An open letter to Doctor MacAfee
My dearest Doc,
You’ll never know how difficult it is to say goodbye to you. What would we have done without your steady presence? When Jeff was in his tenth rehab and in that delicate space of deciding whether to get clean or submit to yet another deadly run, you were the one who made the difference. You saw his sensitivity and gentleness, and you led him through his pain with grace. You helped him see his inner goodness and you never demeaned him for his addiction. You acknowledged his strengths and helped him to understand his weaknesses.
You taught me, too. You told me that it takes courage to fight addiction and that relapse isn’t failure. You showed me that my loving son was still alive under the drugs. You and I talked for ten years about addiction. When I felt confused or needed direction, you were there. When I reached out for advice for others, you were there. When I doubted my abilities to be a good mother, you were there.
You ended all of our conversations with the words stay close. I’ll stay close, Doc, and continue to spread all I’ve learned from you about taking addiction out of the shadows and into the light. I know you’ll stay close to us, especially to Jeff. He represents your best work.
You told me that addicts are saints in the making. You, Doc, are a saint to us. Pray for us.
With love and eternal respect,
Sorry to hear of his passing. Thank you for sharing his love for addicts and helping you and your son! God is merciful. My son is now dealing with his addiction in the Community Cenecolo. Until he entered, I relied on prayer, the rosary and looking forward to reading your blog each Tuesday. My prayers continue for all addicts and their families. Thank you again.
He will be missed. Prayers for his family.
I’m so sorry to hear this. We so desperately need more (and more and more) medical professionals who truly understand the nature of the addiction disease and treat its victims with the compassion and respect that they deserve.May his place be taken on this earth by many many more just like him. That is my prayer.
I’m so sorry for your loss. I feel like I knew “doc” myself through your weekly posts. My prayers are with you.
So sorry for your lose my friend. Love and gentleness sent your way. Love Edward from Maine
Libby, I am deeply saddened to hear of Dr. MacAfee’s passing. Your tribute to him is so beautiful and eloquent. His spirit will live on in all of our hearts as you have been so kind, painfully honest and generous to share his wisdom with us during our own personal challenges.
Thank you for this gift.
I was saddened with tears welling in my eyes as I read your blog today. I was moved the first time I read his chapter in your book. I went back a few times at later dates because I trusted his words, his thoughts, his knowledge. He seemed “to know” addiction at a very core level and seemed to have a compassion that could heal. I wondered if it would have ever been possible for my son/ or our family to have a “session” with him…. I guess now he is available eternally.
This is a touching tribute. Thank you for listening to Dr. MacAfee and then sharing his words through your book. It helped me through the rough spots along the way.
I was looking for an obituary for Pat, and found this. Thank you for sharing. He was everything to our family,
Thank you all for your kind comments and compassion. Dr. MacAfee touched many of us through his words and wisdom. We’ve lost a warrior in this arena of addiction. With his 40 years of experience, he made a huge difference with many. Through us, he will continue to live on.
My love to all of you. Thanks for staying close.
Thank you. I had the privilege of seeing Patrick for more than 20 years, during which time life-changing magic beyond words and beyond silence kept me going, kept me alive, kept me hopeful for tomorrow, kept me grounded in the hard life and the life of grace, and above all, he reminded me to be with my children and honor their courage, always. I also had the privilege of editing an early version of his chapter — and for the countless numbers of us touched by his wisdom, grace, love, and honoring, his loss is so great. I hear his voice and laugh and gain strength from his tears of compassion every day, and he is alive in my heart by day and in my dreams by night.