December 8, 2012

'I feel like a walking shell: empty, alone and lost.'

'Hold your children tight, love them with every ounce you have'.

A mother-of-three whose husband and children were killed in a terrifying house fire last month has described herself as 'a walking shell' in a heart-wrenching open letter to her local newspaper.

In the note, which she asked to be shared with her community in Bangor, Maine, Christine Johnson begs other parents to 'hold your children tight, love them with every ounce of love you have' and says her 'damaged soul' will never heal after the devastating loss of her family.

Ms Johnson's husband, Ben Johnson III, woke up to the couple's fire alarm early on November 10, and after saving his wife's life by putting her through a window and onto the roof he turned back into the thick, black smoke in an attempt to save their three children.

But the blaze quickly engulfed the Orrington home and the brave father died of smoke inhalation along with his children Ben IV, 9, Ryan, 4, and Leslie, 8. 

 Christine Johnson+Family

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Ms Johnson said in the note that she was distraught after losing her loving husband - a local bowler and bowling coach who worked two jobs to support the family.

'I see my children in my dreams': Mother whose three daughters and parents perished in Christmas Day blaze reveals how their 'visits' helped her overcome her grief

'I still feel the love I had for my husband, but there is no one to return it,' she wrote. 'No one to comfort me, no one to wrap their arms around me and say, "I've got you, baby doll, I've got you."

'No one to chase the nightmares away, or snuggle with on the couch after the kids have gone to sleep. And no one to tell me a joke when I'm crying, just so they can see me smile. My husband loved to make me smile. He said it was because my eyes would sparkle… Now my eyes sparkle no more.'

But she said her children were 'the ones I will forever cry over' because they 'never had a chance at life.''They never got to go on a boat, or ride a roller coaster,' she wrote. 'They never got to see Disney World, or Niagara Falls. They never got to ride on a plane to some far off land, or see a real, live moose.

'My youngest didn't even get to ride a school bus, and I remember him getting excited about the chance to get on one. My daughter never got the dance lessons that she wanted. My oldest never got to build the flying car that he kept bragging he was going to make.'

Unimaginable grief.

Posted by Jill Fallon at December 8, 2012 2:44 PM | Permalink