[This was originally posted on my Facebook page to my friends but the post has been shared over 50 times and has garnered over 400 likes and 200 comments. So, I’m sharing it here since it seems to be a blessing or inspiring to people]
I’m writing this with tears. But Stacy was so loved by so many that I want to share information as soon as possible.
On Tuesday night around 1am ( technically, Wednesday morning — May 24th) my wife Stacy Wilson Campbell collapsed without warning and with no signs of stress. The initial report from the medical examiner suggests that she had a blocked artery which made her heart stop suddenly. Oddly, she hadn’t complained of any chest pains at any point and seemed totally relaxed up until the moment she collapsed.
It seemed like her heart stopped instantly so I imagine she felt no pain. Paramedics and the hospital tried for over an hour to restart her heart but were unable to do so.
She’s gone. Just like that. With so many dreams and wishes and hopes unfulfilled. This is sad, tragic and my heart seems like it is breaking over and over and over. But there is also something beautiful and Godly here. And I’ll explain what I mean by that.
With a clogged artery, she could have gone at any time. And there were so many moments where she could have been taken while she was alone. In fact, that day and the week leading up to it, she was mostly by herself. I was in Washington DC the weekend before. I could have come home to find her already gone. Even when I returned to Atlanta on Monday, I went straight from the airport to a recording session and didn’t get home until after 10pm. It was my birthday and even though it was late, she wanted to take me out. I was sooo tired, I suggested we wait another day or two. She was willing to wait but I could hear the disappointment in her voice so we went out for a late night dinner (I’m so glad that we didn’t put it off).
The next morning (Tuesday), I went back to the studio session and didn’t return till almost midnight. She could have been taken at any time. I could have come home to find her body.
When I returned home near midnight, Stacy was preparing for a late night recording session herself. She was just finishing up an audio book that she was narrating and she had about 3 or 4 more hours of editing to do. So, she planned to work through the night to complete it.
This had been our schedule for at least the last week or so. I was gone most of the day and she was working through the night. We didn’t see that much of each other and we hadn’t even had the time to share much intimacy at all. We were okay with it because we were working really hard on our goals and we both were so close to some serious breakthroughs so we figured it was “go hard” time.
So, Tuesday night, arriving home around midnight, she was getting ready to start a late night of recording and I was going to bed exhausted. As she sees me get into the bed, she decides to climb into bed with me and cuddle. Just for 10 minutes. Just 10 minutes of closeness before she would go back to work.
What makes that moment so special to me is that it had been at least a week (maybe more) since we’d even taken the time to simply cuddle. We were just going and going and working and working. We didn’t have much time for anything else. But, tonight she gets decides to get in the bed and share a few moments with me.
And while we were there, in bed, laying together, touching each other and remembering how much we love each other, she suddenly stops and calls out my name (not loudly or in distress. It was soft but it still sounded odd, like something was wrong). And she fell off the bed and hit the floor. My name was the last thing she said.
I don’t understand why this happened. I really don’t understand why God would take her just as she’s about to launch her handbag line (I don’t know if I’ll ever understand that). But I can’t help but see God in the timing because he clearly waited till that moment to take her.
He could have taken her while I was in DC or in the recording studio. Or I could have gone to sleep and left her up working only to wake up the next morning to find her dead. But that’s not what happened. He waiting till she and I weren’t running and planning and strategizing about the future. He waited till were simply together, side by side, assuring each other of our love. And then He took her. He took her in a beautiful moment. That had to be God. Right? At least, that’s how I see it. How else can I see it?
I am so thankful to everyone who has reached out or stopped by. I’ve hardly been alone since she passed. Sometimes I don’t feel like talking but my friends will just sit quietly and let me sleep or cry. It helps just to feel someone’s presence in the room even if you’re not in a mood to talk. My refrigerator is full of food and I’m grateful. I knew Stacy was loved but I don’t think I realized how much I am. Most of our family members are out of town and we sometimes felt isolated here in Atlanta but I realize now that I’ve had family here this whole time. Thank you.
I really appreciate all the calls, text messages, DM’s etc. Even if I don’t get to respond, please know that I’m grateful for the outpouring of love.
Per Stacy’s wishes, there will not be a service or memorial. But we will do something in Atlanta and Florida to give friends and family an opportunity to remember her. Those events will happen in the coming weeks and possibly mid-summer. We’ll make sure to get the word out.
Thank you again for your words of encouragement, your prayers, and just your thoughts. It means more to me than I can ever express.