Sometimes life doesn’t quite turn out as we had hoped. That’s the hard reality of living. This story is the very reason we should hold those we love close and share the power of the words “I love you” and “you matter” more often. Read the UNTOLD story as delivered through the powerful storytelling and photography of Lorna Dancey. 

They were high school sweethearts and they were madly in love with each other.  They dreamed of a simple life and after a few years out of high school and some savings from his job at the local sawmill, they did just that.   He married the love of his life.

The first few years of bliss were spent living carefree, and traveling wherever the wind and their gypsy souls would take them.  They laughed, fought, explored, and made memories along the way.

When they returned, they rented a small cottage overlooking the ocean where they spent a lot of nights outside looking up at the stars, holding hands and talking for hours.  Even though they were young, they knew they wanted to start a family right away and as luck would have it, they did just that.

They were blessed with a son who turned their world upside down.  They thought they knew love but when that baby boy came into their lives with a scream that could be heard all through the hallways announcing his arrival, they were overwhelmed with pride. Life was perfect and they couldn’t stop staring at his face or cooing over his every little new ‘first’.  They were indeed blessed.

One morning he received a hysterical call from his wife, the baby was blue and wasn’t breathing.  When he arrived, the ambulance was there and when he went inside, they had just pronounced their son, dead.   She ran to him and he held his sobbing wife in his arms, they crumbled to the floor, never to be the same two people again.

The pain was more than he could bear. His son was gone and there wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it.  The Dr’s reported it was (SIDS) Sudden Infant Death Syndrome that took their son away but he blames God instead.

Over the next few years, their marriage fell apart; she was medicated and suffered a deep and dark depression.  He drank as much as he possibly could and lost his job.   They couldn’t recover and they couldn’t even try.   One day, her parents came and took her back home to look after her and at that moment, he had lost everyone he had loved and had nothing left to live for.

That was a lifetime ago now and at times, the past doesn’t even seem real, but it is because the pain and loss  left a hole in his heart.   He now lives on the streets and fills his time by walking and begging for what he needs to get by that day.  His favorite thing to do is talk to strangers; it makes him forget his life and lets him pretend like he matters to someone again, even for a little while.

Photo and story by UNTOLD Contributor, Lorna Dancey.