The Loss of My Wife

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I debated posting this on my music site but I felt the need to share. On March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, my wife, Charis Jones went home to be with the Lord. She was tragically taken from me after a nearly month and a half in 2 different hospitals battling end stage liver failure which had several complications of its own. Read on for my full story, her story actually. We lay her to rest next Wednesday and I know it’ll be an incredibly tough day.

Charis Obituary

Charis survived many things in her life, none of which were easy. She was a bright, sunny spot of joy from the moment I met her in late 1995. Someone I was drawn to instantly and a person I shared a spark of chemistry from the very beginning. We were teenagers ourselves, high school sweethearts you’d consider us. My future wife was a teen mom and had a young son when we met and began dating in 1996. At first, I was a bit standoffish and cautious because my own anxiety about dating someone with a child battled out in my mind, inching out any risk I needed to take. She pursued me and her playful flirting caught my eye. After a few months of back and forth and me getting over my own personal judgments, I made the leap and asked her out on a date. We saw some forgettable film with Edward Furlong (the kid from Terminator 2) on our first date with friends, but I remember having so much fun, and an enjoyable encounter without a doubt. I was comfortable around her and I felt feelings inside that I’d never experienced before in my young life, butterflies if you will. We dated for little over a year before I popped the question in June 1997 right before she graduated high school. I was 19 and her 18. It was a moment I still can’t forget. We were at the beach in Newport, and I had a blanket laid out during the late afternoon to put the candles on (I was trying to be a romantic ‘kid’) but the wind kept blowing them out. I decided to take her down to the shallow water, turned my back to the waves and asked her to marry me. She said yes of course and then a small wave crashed on me and just as I flung my arms about, she had grabbed the ring before I would have dropped it in the water. We had a good laugh and I shook off my fear of losing an expensive ring in the ocean water, yikes!

We were apartment shopping that year for me to find a crappy 2 bedroom one and we were struggling to get going on that. Family stepped in and a home appeared on our radar not long after. I moved in October 97′ and then once we got married in 98′ her and my future son Brayden, moved in. We were married in 98′ in front of family and friends. Our youth pastor married us in what many would deem a beautifully arranged ceremony. It was a time I still haven’t forgotten 26 years later. She was gorgeous and the gathering of family and friends solidified our commitment to one another in addition to our commitment to God and our vows to one another, something that rang true till her passing a few weeks ago.

The first couple of years certainly weren’t easy as we learned each other’s likes, dislikes, preferences, moods, and respect to ideas and planning. When you are forced to become adults and instant parents at the age of 20/19, it’s quite an eye opening experience and a test of character. There was a lot of immaturity on my part and I believe she forgave me for that over the years.

We would move after 2 years to our home in Aliso Viejo where we lived for 19 years raising our oldest son and our twins born in 2010. We tried to have children on our own for many years. We prayed fervently for doors to be opened and for God to bring us children. We went through fertility processes and finally had our answers in our beautiful babies born in 2010, a month early. They like our oldest hold a piece of her, her best pieces. I’ll forever be reminded of her when I look at them, knowing full well her character and personality will shine through. It was an emergency childbirth and I almost lost Charis the moment after she gave birth to our son Everett and was trying to deliver our daughter Avaline. Her numbers were dropping with both mom and baby so I stepped out of the room with my mother-in-law Carol to sit in the hospital hallway only to hear the most blood curdling scream you could witness. She screamed and we knew something wasn’t right. I wept uncontrollably and prayed God would save her and our youngest baby. She thankfully made it out in one piece and baby was delivered remarkably well. Both babies were taken to NICU upstairs in CHOC and after nearly a week were allowed to leave for home. I’d later find out that my wife was cut open in an emergency C-section without anesthesia kicking in. She spent several days recovering before she was strong enough to see her newborns. It was traumatic and a taste of what was to come.

In summer of 2014 our family took a trip together with her family to Mammoth Lakes, California, a small town in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. It was one of my favorite spots growing up and I wanted her family to experience it. We hadn’t been back there since during the summer since 2005. My wife began having serious headaches on the way there and throughout the week spent glamping, fishing, and hiking. It was quite the memorable time together. Now mind you, Charis had been dealing with on and off headaches since high school so I hadn’t given much thought to the ongoing ones. Number one mistake. After the trip wrapped up, we headed home on the 5 hour car ride and her head began to throb. We got home on a Friday and by Sunday, I found my dear wife collapsed on the ground in our downstairs bathroom mostly unconscious but still able to reach up and hold my hand. After getting off the phone with my Grandma I called my mother in law to tell her what had happened and what I should do, she’s like CALL 911! I said ok and hung up to call emergency services. They came out to our house fairly quick and examined her. They asked me a bunch of questions and then hauled her off in front of our then 4 year olds with our 18 year old nearby. Fear snuck in and I began anxiously running through a bunch of scenarios in my head.

I met up with Charis, her father, and doctors in the ER. I heard the word “stroke” and was freaking out. They were trying to find out if she had a birth defect that would have lead to it or if it was sudden. The experts finally decided upon random, sudden stroke unrelated to anything genetic. Those headaches should never have been ignored. She was put up in ICU and monitored closely. They began physical therapy a day later. She wasn’t verbalizing as much. After 3 days in the hospital, a dr ordered more blood thinner for a clot at which time a nurse administered and then that fateful brain bleed. I got the call about 6am, I still remember being woken at home to the Dr. explaining the situation and the fact that she would require emergency surgery to stop the bleed. I rushed to the hospital, consented to the surgery, and a few hours later the dr performed her life saving surgery. I still remember an entire waiting room of family and friends praying together to bring about a miracle. After a couple hours the dr emerged to inform us that the surgery was successful but then we would have to wait for her to wake up to see how she reacts. There was a chance she’d never be the same and have deficits. I was shocked but elated to know my wife was alive.

She was sleeping peacefully with the ventilator inserted in her mouth, giving her air to breathe and life support you could call it. I remember them pulling the tube the next day while a Harp was playing in the hall to Amazing Grace. It was surreal. After hours, she would awaken. At first, I noticed her humor was in tact but that her language was off. It didn’t matter to me because my wife was ALIVE! After nearly a month in the hospital during that grueling stroke/brain surgery/and recovery period, my wife was discharged. Charis would then immediately begin brain rehab at a place called winways (at the time) in the city of Orange. Someone sponsored her to go and her stint there was fully covered which was a miracle in and of itself.

Her time at winways was marked as a time of growth and challenges. She literally had to relearn tasks that had been forgotten and retrain her mind how to do common day to day activities as well as strengthening her mental capacity. She received rigorous physical therapy, along with things like math, english and learning to read and write, as well as things like cooking and safety, even how to shop and use her debit card at a grocery store. It was surreal but after 4 months there, she had improved so greatly that I could hardly tell she had any deficits from the stroke. She did struggle sometimes to find the right words to speak, and had short term memory loss which we dealt with daily. It never bothered me or the occasional moods post-stroke because I loved her so much and was just happy to have my wife at home again, by my side. It was a new beginning a fresh start.

Fast forward a year and the years that followed, Charis would experience some major seizures of which I became well acquainted with in a short span of time. She developed Epilepsy as a result of her hemorrhagic stroke and brain surgery. The first couple were very scary for me. I was terrified to watch the woman I loved suffer so greatly for which she already paid her dues with the stroke and everything before. Usually, we could tell when it would come on because she would stop communicating, literally, and couldn’t get any words out. It was like Keanu in The Matrix when his lips were sowed up. That’s when I knew something was about to happen. Now there were times she avoided having one by taking a medication the minute she began having those feelings and an extra anti-seizure med to stop it, but at times it wasn’t enough. She would spend many more times in the hospital even if just for a couple of days, dealing with seizures, and other related issues. Heck one time there was a screw up with the pharmacy and dosing instructions on a blood thinner back towards the beginning of her stroke ordeal and I ended up giving her too much medication of which she could have bled out so yes, another trip to the ER! As with much of her life, she was faced with adversity and constant challenges. The mundane for many became terrifying for her and she struggled to cope.

The years would pass and she would grow stronger as person and as a woman of God. Things that would have knocked her down in the past only began to strengthen her moving forward. But as overcoming challenges became something easier to deal with and just as she became more “normal” again, her spirit was broken and what once was thought to have been under control was soon pulled right out from under her.

During the summer months of 2022 Charis began to feel weak. She was experiencing fatigue, had some bleeding issues, confusion, and just a general overwhelming sick feeling. Her symptoms grew much worse and by October of that year, she was in the hospital yet again. She was bleeding, had yellow in the eyes and skin, extreme fatigue, some confusion I thought was stroke related, and as with much of the past, that meant another trip to the ER. That hospital experience was a nightmare. After countless tests and bloodwork, a rather blunt hospitalist came in and said, “You have liver disease and it is serious!”. She had a serious talking to and was made to feel unworthy of being human but once discharged, everything changed yet again.

Charis was given a lot of blood packets, blood transfusions, over the days she was in the hospital because her hemoglobin had gone to a “6” which is definitely far from normal range. It wasn’t the first time she had blood transfusions and certainly wouldn’t be the last.

We started seeing a gastroenterologist here locally who was convinced her bleeding problems were all related to problems with the backside (I won’t go into detail) rather than specifically just the liver. After seeing this dr for many months and having him tell us BS about how the liver was improving and it’ll heal on it’s own, eventually going back to normal, I decided to jump ship and find a new Dr. I just knew that guy didn’t have his head screwed on right. So once I found a new DR in the Providence network that we belong to (part of the hospital system here locally), we began seeing this NEW Dr. He was soft spoken young, feminine guy upon initial meeting but we didn’t care because it was about his approach to healthcare and how we would be taken care of. I really liked his approach right off the bat. He was ordering weekly or biweekly to even monthly, blood tests and procedures to try and find out the extent of her disease. In the short span of early to mid 2023 she had Endoscopy done, CTs, MRIs, Cancer screenings and a bone marrow biopsy even at one point. In the midst of this she was also having her Mammograms and receiving them more frequently because they had found a small mass that they were monitoring. Again, for me that was terrifying and more anxiety inducing than ever before. I had to keep it together.

Toward the end of summer of last year and after many of the liver tests/liver panels came back showing worsening of her condition, he popped the question about how she would be a good candidate for liver transplant and what did she think about that? Of course she was a little taken aback but she seemed to warm to the idea. We had a few different choices for hospitals to choose from so he suggested Scripps Hospital in La Jolla (San Diego) which would be an easier drive of course considering traffic going south is a lot easier than going North towards Los Angeles. So we went with that and he soon typed up a referral for us. Had it not been for me switching to this Dr, we never would have had the opportunity to at least try for a transplant, something that would have saved her life had it happened, sooner.

I made the call not long after receiving the referral, happily putting effort toward furthering her recovery and giving her a chance at a new life, yet again. Scripps was easy to deal with and we got in with a Dr. pretty quick. We started seeing this Dr. down there at Scripps a couple times until we got accepted into their liver program for transplant. Once we fast tracked into it, she began undergoing more tests and procedures for everything from Heart to Brain to other organs, her strength, etc. all to make sure she’d be a good candidate. We were making regular trips together down south and spending a lot of quality time together reminiscing and talking about our future together. It was a grueling experience for her and I could tell. It was weighing heavy on her and taking a toll. Her liver disease was taking a toll.

We had to meet with her Hepatologist, Transplant Surgeon, Dietician, Social Worker, and the whole nine yards to get considered for this future Liver Transplant. We did whatever had to be done and I made sure we made it to every single appointment on time, made sure she took all the meds including those specifically for liver healing, and just took care of my wife the best I could. It wouldn’t be the first time and it certainly wouldn’t be the last, for now.

After scaling what seemed to be a mountain with an infinite height that kept extending as she carefully traversed it’s sheer, rocky, and dangerous surface, she would have to let go and fall with grace until I could catch her again at the base. In the meantime while all of this was happening, Charis started to develop this strange weakness in her legs. It first started when she would walk upstairs in our home and elsewhere, having to sit down at the top and saying the backs of her legs hurt. I just thought she was weak from everything she was going through and the fact that she wasn’t as active as before. How can you stay active when you feel so weak and sick all the time? Yeah, my thoughts exactly. Anyway, the weakness slowly progressed over time. What once was a few steps became half the staircase. What once was walk with ease became a slowing gait and painful movement. She loved her baby chickens so much. She was spending time in a back room of our home where she was caring for them in a collapsible enclosure and feeding them daily. When this weakness began to set in, it became harder and harder to traverse the length of our home. We decided to move the chickens into the garage once they got a little bit bigger and had an enclosure for them set up. She would find it difficult to make it down to the garage on her own but she sure tried and wouldn’t give up on her babies. She longed for the day we could finish building a custom wood coop in the backyard that my father had so lovingly began working on for her. She would eventually lose one of her babies to an eye injury caused by the mean B**** Hen lol that wouldn’t stop pecking this other Hen. Charis was deeply saddened. I would have to begin helping her down the stairs as this weakness progressed so that she could sit and feed her chickens. Around thanksgiving of last year it really became apparent that something was going on. She was having trouble walking around the house and needed support. She would get winded very easily and find it difficult to complete her same daily tasks. We were just so happy to spend time with Charis that it didn’t matter and we let the serious signs slip by us like a thief in the night.

By the end of December, it had progressed to the point where it was quite noticeable to everyone. We all became increasingly aware that something wasn’t right, something wasn’t normal. On December 20th of 2023 I decided to drive her to the hospital, this time Scripps Green Hospital in La Jolla where she had become a patient. I was told beforehand that if anything goes wrong medically, I couldn’t use our local hospital since she was a patient of Scripps now and on track toward the liver transplant we were praying for. They again, performed countless tests, gave her another blood transfusion, and more procedures like CTs and such. They even did a spinal tap to test the Cerebral Spinal Fluid for any and all brain related diseases. Like with all our past experiences, Charis’s tests all came back negative for anything major. She didn’t have MS or ALS, or anything like that which would cause this extreme lower limb weakness. It wasn’t until a newer Hospital Neurologist came on board and looked everything over that a diagnosis was decided on, “Hepatic Myelopathy”. We wouldn’t get the full extent of that until we would get home and see her regular Neurologist she’d been seeing for almost 10 years.

Last Christmas would serve as the very last Christmas I’d ever spend with Charis. By this point she was confined to a special walker that was donated from her family. It had 4 wheels, had a seat, and was collapsible. It was a fantastic piece of equipment and allowed more freedom to traverse the house. She started by walking very slowly in it until she began sitting and pushing herself around by her feet around our house. Eventually I’d have to push her at times when she would tire out. Last Christmas we helped her up the stairs at her mom and dad’s house and situated her into a chair. She was weak but giddy and happy with that same childlike innocence and excitable gaze that she so often shared around the holidays. She loved celebrating the holidays, all of them throughout the year just like her mother and those two were inseparable. I loved my family and my extended family is just that, my family. After the opening of gifts, with the gentle sounds of Christmas songs and carols playing in the background, the scene of sweet treats and an inviting meal, and smiles to fill the room with laughter and happiness, the night had ended. My last Christmas would start and end being forgotten with the mad dash of life saving healthcare we were pursuing.

After the new year, now 2024, everything became a blur. We had a virtual meeting with her hepatologist (liver dr) who was cautiously warning us of what to expect and what they still needed to see. Our expectations were to the moon and back. We had little doubt she would be accepted as a Transplant recipient. We were told beforehand about the post-transplant drugs causing seizures in some patients and in her case, would be serious. We ignored it and assumed the risks. That same week we followed up with her Neurologist here locally, we’ll just call him Dr. Jim Bob to protect for privacy sakes. Dr Jim had been seeing her since late 2014, right after stroke discharge from hospital. He had been responsible for her health and well being for nearly 10 years. He prescribed the anti-seizure and anti-anxiety meds that helped calm down any seizures from happening, the moment she would stop speaking or would feel one coming on. This Dr. had regularly ordered tests on her over the years and each time just showed similar results post-stroke/surgery. Her brain was unique and the skull shape wasn’t the same as before of course after the craniotomy and cranioplasty (with her own skull piece). I’d always had some anxiety about each time a test was done or the results of bloodwork. I just didn’t know if one would lead to a more serious diagnosis. So much of this lies in the crater of the unknown. Even now.

Dr. Jim ordered a nerve test because we kept saying how serious her weakness was. We felt like were yelling in the wind through a hurricane with little hope for our communication to reach the other side. Dr. Jim conducted the test and like the others before, came back negative for anything that would result in her ongoing, worsening condition. Finally, on our return trip a couple days later to Dr. Jim, he would sit us down and tell us how serious it was. He had been communicating with the neurologist at Scripps and he had just confirmed her diagnosis of hepatic myelopathy. He told us that it is a progressive disorder and that even with a Transplant, it’s likely that her condition will not improve. It can even spread to the other limbs. By about this time my eyes were glazing over and I felt the sudden need to puke. She was in tears. How would you like to suffer a debilitating stroke only to improve after the fight of your life, get better and recover to almost to your old self just to be knocked down and told you might never walk again? She just felt like she was being kicked while she was down. So we took this news with seriousness and forged on to hear the results of Scripps decision from their panel. The results from Dr. Jim’s encounter was soon sent over to Scripps Hospital and we waited, then waited some more for their final decision.

We got a call in the afternoon one day, I can’t remember if it was a Monday or some other day midweek, my mind is in a daze, from the Liver Dr. who was going to tell us that we got accepted and she’ll be fast-tracked to the top of the list for the next available transplant. Those were my dreams and my anticipation for positive news that would just rock our world. Unfortunately, what goes up must come down and so our hopes were dashed, our pain and sadness overwhelming. We were told she was not a good candidate for liver transplant. One, because of the neuro stuff and the seizure disorder, and two because of her new Hepatic Myelopathy diagnosis. Kick her while she’s down, then kick and kick some more. She was beaten to a pulp by the unfortunate events of the past year and this revelation certainly didn’t make things any easier. To make matters worse, Charis was telling me she didn’t want to be cut open, that she had been cut open enough in her life and didn’t want to go through that again. I just ignored her and reassured her that it wouldn’t be like that, that this would save your life and you want to live right? She was preparing me that time was short and she couldn’t keep fighting….

The Dr at Scripps did provide us a referral to UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles for a transplant evaluation. When one door closes, another tends to open. So, I made some calls and went through the usual sit and wait routine. In the meantime, Charis began worsening in her condition to the point that I was getting worried. I’d been through this before and I was trying to keep my calm while also drawing attention to some symptoms she was having that required immediate help from someone qualified. Her last dr ordered bloodwork and we were heading on out on February 7th to get that taken care of but the night before was difficult to say in the least and making me debate whether to get the bloodwork or drive to ER. She had lost control of her limbs the night before and had a really rough night with me helping her back onto the bed. She had begun taking quite a few falls in the past couple of months and that night was more of the same. She had also stopped being able to use her cell phone and told me she couldn’t figure out how to use it toward the end of her time at home. Plus having active bleeding certainly didn’t help things. So without making matters worse I decided to drive her straight to the ER that day at our local Mission Hospital. Once they checked her in, all the testing began again, more bloodwork, etc. Of course that then meant she was low with her hemoglobin which led to more blood transfusions. February 7th was the beginning of what would be her end.

The month and half that followed was nothing short of pure hellish torture and mind warping chaos for myself and family. Watching her melt away in agony and in near comatose state was like a jagged, rusty dagger pitted and torn being thrust right through the chest and me being forced to watch as I begin suffocating but not being allowed to close my eyes. That’s how it felt and that’s how it has felt since then. We had several good days while she was in the hospital even with the presence of high ammonia levels caused by the failing liver, but they wouldn’t last long. On February 13th, the day before Valentine’s Day, she was sitting up and smiling, full of typical Charis charm. We had a large room full of family and friends all joining in conversation and cheerfully laughing so as to knock those tears back a little and bring light to her situation, her condition. That night would serve as the last real time I would spend with her awake before she would drift in and out of consciousness, reaching for the stars in dreams and nightmares. She was placed on a ventilator and transferred to cardiac ICU a few days after Valentine’s Day, a day for lovers but clearly broken hearts. She fought hard in ICU and her numbers would improve one minute only to plunge the next. The day of her admission to ICU she hemorrhaged out through various orifices and it was really scary. I began hearing whispers of palliative care and told how serious her condition was. I didn’t know what that was but I would soon learn the terrifying truth. Her liver was in dire shape. She had end stage liver failure and without a transplant her days were numbered. It’s hard to believe from October 2022 until just March 2024, just a year and a half after diagnosis, she would be near the end. After the scary, terrifying parts had passed for a bit and her numbers returned to a more decent range, the hope would build.

Her sweet hospitalist Dr. Key (alias for protection) worked so hard on her behalf. UCLA actually started calling the hospital direct because I guess the referral finally went through from Scripps (wow, go figure). So her Dr. now at the hospital began working steadily behind the scenes to get her transferred to UCLA for a liver transplant evaluation. After a couple days I got the call that she was approved by hospital and our insurance so they’d be transferring her direct to UCLA! Pesky palliative care, that name, that term just kept popping up in my head. Onward to UCLA.

So, she arrived at UCLA on February 27th I believe and we were all so elated. Just when our hopes were dashed and hope was a fleeting memory, a chance, a real chance presented itself and we just knew this would save Charis. I visited her at UCLA almost daily and when I couldn’t be in person I’d call and get full notes from the Nurse on call. It was quite a complicated experience not just because of the drive and traffic but because of the massive campus of UCLA and how many people are admitted there at any given time. I felt as though she was sort of just a number to them even though they are world renown for their healthcare and advancements in treatment. It was a different approach than our smaller local hospital. Less personal touch and more of a finely tuned machine, efficient and skilled in what they do but not as forthcoming as our hospital. So it became clear that getting answers would be a daily struggle. I was getting quite good at asking all the right questions, even quizzing nurses and drs to get what I wanted to know. It wasn’t easy and half the time you got BS answers but at least I made an effort to educate myself. The whole time at UCLA she was under sedation and on the ventilator. They told us they would try and ween her off sedation to try and “wake her” but had little success in doing so. They tried on multiple occasions. It was as if they were throwing in the towel without really trying. I was fighting the inevitable, but I didn’t want to give up, I couldn’t give up…

After going back and forth for a little over 10 days at UCLA, the panel finally made their decision. We were all anxiously waiting, pacing, biting fingernails, pushing back anxiety and panic attacks, then I got the call, a call no one wants to get. The liver transplant coordinator called to share the news that the Panel had decided she would not be a good candidate for a Liver Transplant. Her body was too weak, she wouldn’t wake up, she wasn’t following commands, and that condition mentioned prior – Hepatic Myelopathy was so rare that no one in 30 years at UCLA had ever heard of it. So with all those factors taken into consideration along with the fact that her body itself was weak and her seizure disorder which would be exasperated by the liver transplant drugs, it was clear this wasn’t her time. Feeling defeated, bruised and bloodied from a hard-fought battle that we couldn’t win no matter how much strength we thrust into it, she would be transferred right back to mission hospital where we knew things wouldn’t end well. Our local hospital is not a transplant hospital so to be told that your loved one was going back there and who has end stage liver failure, the last chapter was being written out before our eyes.

She arrived at Mission on March 11th. After a day of being back, we had a meeting with the cardiac ICU dr, and palliative care team. If you don’t know the term, it pretty much means end of life care and comfort. They are there when things get so bad that there is little hope for a return. My God, it was the absolute worst experience of my life. Tears flow just thinking about that day and the whole journey in and of itself.

On March 13th, Charis’s entire family, friends, loved ones, my family, and of course me, joined together at the ICU floor to say our goodbyes. The mood music was chosen and was right for the occasion. Soft lighting and tears that flowed full of love, full of remembrance, and full of the pain that this loss would bring. We were there for hours and she remained without ventilator once it was pulled (while we all stepped out) but she kept on fighting for 4 more days. On March 17th, Saint Patrick’s Day, in a room with myself, my eldest son and his girlfriend, we said our goodbyes and watched as she slipped out from under us, to float on to heaven to be with our savior for an eternity. She was without pain, without hurt, and suffering, and she was home at last.

Friends, I have been so wounded in this fight and on this journey. As strong as I try to remain, I’m in deep pain and lie at the bottom of an empty well failing to have my thirst quenched. The absolute worst experience imaginable just multiplied by 1000, or a 1million or whatever infinite number equals the excruciating loss I feel. Charis has been through so much in her short time on Earth and even though she came out each time, I think a human body can only take so much. Her will was strong but she just couldn’t keep fighting and was weakening in the process. I’ve been angry, I’ve been confused and conflicted, I’ve been at a loss for words, searching for the right things to say, even now and here. The one thing I keep coming back to in my mind is the fact that God brought me Charis. She is a gift and everything she’s ever done for anyone was nothing short of extraordinary. She was selfless, she was humble, she was kind hearted, and always put others before herself. On top of that was her immense beauty both of the physical nature and inner. Of anyone on the planet deserving of hellish torture like she’s been through, you certainly wouldn’t think of Charis. I constantly think in my head that how could someone kind like her deserve such a horrible last 10 years? That part I don’t understand but what I do understand is that God gave me 10 more years with her that I might never have had if she died on the bathroom floor back in 2014 after the stroke. I can tell you that at 36 years old I wouldn’t have handled things like I can now. I feel as if I’ve been educated on medical terminology that probably has no direct use for me but really helped me to understand what she was going through, what she went through, and kept me on my toes for how to care for her. My kids got their mom for 10 more years so they would remember her and have sweet memories of times we spent as a family laughing and crying together, and just finding the joy in the simplest of things. I feel loss and pain like none other. Sometimes it feels like I am buried deep in a hole with a glimmer of sunlight above piercing the surface only for the dirt above to start caving in on me. I wanted to save her, I really did. I couldn’t, I tried, but I couldn’t and I am only just a man. God has her and she is suffering no more.

Charis was a light in this world. You may have never met her but if you did, you certainly wouldn’t forget. She was a friend to many, a mom to three beautiful, smart, and charming children who loved her. She was a wife to someone who really didn’t deserve to be in the presence of pure grace and beauty. I feel like I have been the luckiest man to be on this Earth getting to live and be married to a woman like her for 26 years now. To know that a couple dumb teenagers with wide eyes and a certain naïve sensibility would come together at a youth group, fall in love, and get married with me learning to be a Dad, all before we turned 20 years old. It’s a miracle but beyond that, it’s a God thing and he blessed not only our union but our life together. God’s many blessings will shine through in our children who will now carry that piece of her in their hearts and bodies on into the future long after I have lived out my life and passed on. The spirit and genes of Charis will live on through my family and every time I look at them, I’ll be reminded of the beautiful life I had with Charis for that short period of time. Our favorite verse has been 1st Corinthians 13:4-8 and it means just as much then as it does now. Love IS patient, and Love IS kind.

Carry on my friends and I dedicate this website and Indie Vision Music as a whole in memory of Charis K Jones. May she forever live on in our hearts and minds. Peace be with you honey, I love you now and forever more. XOXO.

If you want to learn more about Charis and see some old pics of us and family, click here:
Charis’s Obituary Page

Charis Jones

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April 4, 2024 8:40 am

I am so sorry to hear the news of your loss. May God truly comfort you in your time of grieving. I feel like I have gotten to know you and your wife after all you have shared in various posts over the years. So many of us appreciate the blessing you have been to us for so long.

Simon M.
Simon M.
April 4, 2024 8:40 pm

My sincere condolences! May God give you all the Power you need to cope with the Situation.

Jim Naysium
Jim Naysium
April 4, 2024 3:15 pm

My friend, I am so sorry for your loss. Words cannot describe something like this. May the Lord bless you in this time of grieving, remember that He is near the brokenhearted and crushed in spirit. And take heart in the fact that Jesus looked at your wife as she entered heaven and said, “Well done, My good and faithful servant.”

Hang in there my friend.

Loyd Harp
April 4, 2024 2:35 pm

Thank you for sharing your story with us, fearless leader. I’m at a loss for words–both grateful for the time you had together, and sorry for the terrible loss, and again grateful for your support base. Praying for God’s comfort to be with you and your three boys.

Loyd Harp
April 6, 2024 6:16 pm
Reply to  Brandon J.

No, I’m sure I read/typed it wrong. Blessings to you all.

Marco Leal
April 4, 2024 1:10 pm

Brandon, so sorry to hear this, brother. I know your wife has had health struggles over the years, but I know the Lord was getting her through. Take solace that she is in glory now and you will see her again. May the Lord comfort and strengthen you through this season. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Christian Bradley
Christian Bradley
April 4, 2024 11:48 am

Sorry to read of your loss. That was a long and tormented battle that I can’t even begin to imagine. I know no words can make things any easier for you, but I want you to know: The way you described how wonderful your wife was brought me to tears. She sounds like she was a treasure and a great joy in your life. Souls like that are an honor to love and be loved by. May your grief and healing see you out of the empty well when you are ready.

Ryan Getz
Ryan Getz
April 4, 2024 11:29 am

What a moving tribute. I can’t imagine your pain but your God-oriented perspective is inspiring.

April 13, 2024 10:41 pm

I am so in sorry for your loss Brandon. She sounds like she was an incredible woman that the Lord used to bless many people. As believers we have confidence in the promises that await us in eternity through Christ, but even with that hope the pain that comes with loss hurts more than words can describe. In the midst of it all, my encouragement to you is to lean on Christ for strength and comfort. In Him is peace, hope, and rest. If all things truly work together for the good of those who love God and are called… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by thruchristalone777
Jami Williams
Jami Williams
April 10, 2024 2:02 pm

Brandon my heart, prayers, sympathies and love go out to you all! I felt so blessed to het to know you both through my friendship with Carol and your entire family! I was made to feel so welcome then and Charis and I would sometimes chat online after my visit out to see you all! But to be around you both was to know just how great the love between you two was! You each just glowed being in the presence of the other! And it was a toss up as to whose eyes lit up the most when the… Read more »

April 8, 2024 5:25 am

Thank you for sharing this, Brandon.

Billy Edwards
Billy Edwards
April 4, 2024 11:51 pm

So sorry for your loss.

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