The passing of a loved one is always difficult to write about. It is a privilege to be able to write about a beautiful life as well as a life that is well-lived. And while I personally don’t feel like words will ever carry enough weight to balance out grief, I sincerely hope that they will help preserve the memory and honor of an amazing and selfless individual, Bill Haines Jr.
On July 24th, Recovery Beyond lost a dear friend, William “Bill” Haines Jr. Bill and Gina, (Recovery Beyond’s Executive Director), had been married for 42 years. They raised three children together and had recently welcomed their second grandson this summer. Bill was a founding member of Recovery Beyond and served on the organization’s Board of Directors as corporate secretary. He cared deeply for the mission of the organization and wanted to make a difference in the lives of those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. Throughout his life, Bill dedicated much of his time to serving others through his work in the Catholic church, scouting, (Bill and both of his sons were Eagle Scouts), and many other charitable organizations. He loved being with his family. For him, faith in God was the foundation upon which everything else was built.
When I first met Bill, he stood up from his desk, shook my hand, and warmly said to me, “You look familiar.” I had never met him before but was glad that I had the opportunity to do so when meeting with Gina one day. Bill was a nice man and had a very caring demeanor about him. That first impression is how I came to know Bill and how I will always remember him.
As we close out the year, we reflect on the incredible and inspiring life that Bill led. We miss him dearly and will continue to honor him through the work we do in our organization. As an organization that is focused on building community, we are there for each other, as a support system, as friends, as family.
For anyone who is experiencing grief: we know it is powerful. The desire to mask it with drugs and alcohol can be intense. I believe that contained within the idea of grief are some of the strongest, heaviest, most complex and uncomfortable feelings we are forced to navigate as humans. Feeling what we need to feel and identifying what we need during a tough time is healthy. Having a support system in place is important, even if that support system is one person. The grieving process is a series of stages that don’t have a specific time frame or set of rules. However, out of grief emerges some of the strongest, most resilient people, people who do incredible things to honor those that they love. Grief is often the fuel used to change the world.
Our deepest condolences go out to Gina and her family, their close friends, and loved ones.
William W. Haines Jr., January 21, 1954 – July 24, 2019