The perfect storm
“Brian was my calm, and he was my storm,” his wife Kristie said. ’He was the other half of my heart and my soul and a firm supportive father wanting nothing but the best for all his children.’ When Kristie met Brian for the first time and asked his name, he said; “Brian Wright, as in Mr. Right,” ‘then sheepishly apologized for the cheesy line; evidently it worked.
Brian had many interests, including philosophy, reading, playing chess, and watching sports. He especially enjoyed cheering on his favorite team, the Cincinnati Bengals. He didn’t graduate from high school but earned his GED. He wanted to better himself, to be someone his kids could be proud of, an example to emulate to become productive adults; so he recently started college and was in his second semester when he passed away.
Nothing brought more joy or pride to Brian than the accomplishments of his children. He was passionate about his kids having the life they deserved, always wanting the best for them. He was protective and set strict boundaries to guide them on the right path, free from the life he lived. Brian loved to help others, never seeking recognition for the good that he did. He once climbed on top of a school to get a Frisbee for a crying kindergartner, much to the dismay of the school custodian. His wife called him her “very own Superman/Clark Kent,” she felt secure with him. Kristie misses resting her head on Brian’s chest, listening to his heartbeat and feeling peace as he wrapped his arms around her.
The best and most enjoyable job that Brian had was being a stay at home dad. “He made sure the house was clean, laundry was done, kids were organized, and I was organized too,” his wife said, ‘I don’t know how I get through each day now without him.’ Brian felt a responsibility to help kids who were struggling or in trouble. Every child was welcome in their home; Brian would do their laundry, give them clothes and make sure they were fed. He would also offer them guidance to keep them on track.
At one point Brian went to prison for selling drugs. He knew when he came out that he needed a life away from the surroundings in which he was raised, so he moved from Ohio to Wyoming and was sober much of his time there, though he had some relapses. He missed Ohio but knew the environment was not good for him. Since his death, his wife Kristie has returned there to feel connected to him without the oppressive feeling she had in Wyoming, where he died. His roots and his heart were in Ohio, so that is where she wanted to be.
Kristie has learned a lot about addiction and the battle that people with the disease face. “It has made me passionate about bringing awareness to addiction and breaking the stigma; and taught me to be less judgmental and more empathetic.” She is going back to school to become a substance use counselor. She wants to help others believe in themselves so they know they are much more than their addiction.
Brian’s wife, Kristie Wright, provided the information for this narrative.
September 16, 1982-March 26, 2016
Age 33-Lived with addiction 19 years