Thank you for running the Dec. 23 guest commentary about my husband Bill Williams that my sister-in-law Kate Dahlstedt wrote. (“Mistreatment of mentally ill must end.”)
My husband was a good person who deserved to have a happy life. Bill volunteered at the Anacortes Salvation Army for several years delivering food to senior and disabled people. Later he volunteered at Skagit County Community Action Agency for their mobile food bank as a driver. Additionally, he drove to Food Lifeline in Shoreline twice a month for five years to pick up food for the Skagit County food banks. When Bill was able to work, he ran a yard maintenance business for eight years. His clients loved him.
Bill was my beloved husband, father to our two children and grandfather to three beautiful granddaughters.
I spent 31 years with Bill. I believed it was part of my life’s calling to try to keep him safe from a system that has little to no resources for the mentally ill that are meaningful. I have so many stories about life with Bill. Bill did not deserve to die the way that he did, and I venture a guess if I committed a so-called “accidental homicide,” I not only would not have been placed on paid leave, but most likely would be sitting in a jail somewhere.
My life will never be the same. Bill was loved mostly by me, family and many friends. Mental illness is not a crime, but the way we respond to the mentally ill in our society sometimes is. I miss him every day.