In Memory

Joan Crogan (Gossman)

Joan Crogan (Gossman)

From Mitch Gossman via Facebook 292.06.23:

I’m posting this on Joan’s page and my page. I hate Facebook for many reasons, but I like it as a technology to keep in touch and see what other people are doing. So, I’m using this as a tool, and to say some things I want to say.

June 22 is now the happiest day of my life and the worst day of my life. It is the day I married Joan 35 years ago and it’s the day I lost her. It’s the day we lost her. I’ve called the people I needed to call, and I asked them to call others who needed to be told, there are so many. Everyone asked the same question: “What happened?” It’s not surprising since I assume I have said the same thing when I have gotten news like this. So: At 7:00 pm today she said she would head upstairs from poolside, where we had been enjoying the perfect weather in Hilton Head Island at our resort, to freshen up for 7:30 dinner. I stayed behind to gather my things from our poolside perch, and I went to tell Connor, who was in the pool, that I was headed up, and went upstairs to our room. I saw the bathroom door was closed and Madeline relaxing in a chair. A few minutes later I went to the bathroom because I needed to use it, and to remind her we had to hurry up. No response at the door to my knocking and asking what was going on. Fortunately, the door was unlocked, I went in and saw her down, blue, bleeding from the nose, and a large bruise on her forehead. No pulse, no breathing, I started CPR, Connor by then was in the room, and he called for an ambulance, and were there in a flash. 45 minutes of CPR and cardiac shock could not save her.

I’m hurting very badly, reliving it every 3 minutes now. The kids are dealing with this in their own way, I had to call Jack and Grant back home.

I’m not suicidal. I’m in a very bad way. Everyone asks if there’s anything they can do, and there sure is – just be there for us in case we need you because we would do the same for you.

Joan was, and everyone who knows her knows this, a wonderful person. Kind, generous, smart as a whip, and best of all she loved me so much. When I spoke to her for hours in late 1979 before we met after an introduction by a cousin on January 12, and saw her beautiful face for the first time in my Honda in her La Crosse driveway, I hoped she would like me as much as I liked her from the start and that she was as nice as she seemed on the phone. We were 19, and this feeling only grew for the past 40 years. Folks, I was the luckiest guy in the world, it’s been a fairy tale, believe me. I cannot believe I’ll never see her again, that I had to kiss her goodbye, take Socks and two of her kids to another room, and make two terrible calls to the other two kids back home. She loved the Low Country where we lost her, I suppose that should make me feel better, and maybe it will someday. No one should have to see what I saw, dealt with what happened, and put away her things in a suitcase including an anniversary bracelet that she hadn't worn yet, which will be Madeline's now. I shall miss her more than anyone can imagine.

I happen to believe in God, and I believe that there is life after death, and that she is enjoying the company of her sister and others, as well as Pal the dog, cats Marshmallow and Cocoa, and her pet turtles. Please, God, let me enjoy all this with her. There was so much in store for us.