My husband, John Kelly Snyder, was a warrior. An engineer and a musician, with the inappropriate jokes of a sailor and the heart of a marshmallow, he was the best man I have ever known.
But he fought demons that he could not vanquish, and that all of our love could not extinguish.
Johnny died on October 21st, 2016 after too many years of physical and emotional pain. I am left behind, heartbroken and wondering why I, a lifelong social worker, could not fix things.
One of John’s favorite poems was Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “The Skeleton in Armour”:
The ending is particularly apt…
“In the vast forest here,
Clad in my warlike gear,
Fell I upon my spear,
O, death was grateful!
“Thus, seamed with many scars,
Bursting these prison-bars,
Up to its native stars
My soul ascended!
There from the flowing bowl
Deep drinks the warrior’s soul,
Skoal! to the Northland! skoal!”
– Thus the tale ended.
In memory of my beloved husband John Kelly Snyder… 20 Sept 1956 – 21 Oct 2016.
The Warrior Project is a warm, welcoming drop-in center for those living with extreme emotional and/or physical pain coupled with hopelessness, and a resource for families and friends fearing for the life of, or grieving the loss of, the person they love so much.
My Johnny was a true warrior, fighting demons no one else could see. I thought he was the strongest man in the world, and perhaps he was, but tragically, the demons got the better of him.
The name of this project is in no way intended to be reflective of, or piggy back off, Wounded Warriors which serves those wounded after September 11, 20o1. Like too many others, John was a warrior long before then.
Fair winds and following seas, Husband.