This is part of a Yahoo News series honoring some of the American lives lost to COVID-19. Their stories are told by family and friends, who were left to deal with their often sudden and painful deaths.
Terrence James, 49, of Galveston, Texas, died on Feb. 19, 2021, after becoming ill with COVID-19. He is among the more than 565,000 Americans who have succumbed to the disease since the first known fatality in the United States in early 2020.
His wife, Ebony James, told Yahoo News that her husband was a man of faith who loved God and his family fearlessly and that he was also passionate about helping people.
“If someone were to tell him about an issue or concern that they had, he would always listen. He never missed an opportunity to say, ‘OK, let's pray for it right now,” Ebony said, adding that her husband “always made an effort to let people know that he cared.”
Terrence James was a sixth grade social studies teacher at Central Middle School in Galveston. He also managed a nonprofit organization called Leaders of Tomorrow, which gave at-risk youth the chance to experience travel. “He took them places where they ordinarily wouldn't get an opportunity to go,” Ebony said.
At home, Terrence was a devoted husband and father. The couple, who had been together for 12 years, had just celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary in December. Ebony said her husband was her best friend.
Both Ebony and Terrence contracted COVID-19 in late January and were hospitalized. Ebony recuperated and was sent home, but her husband’s health continued to decline. After spending 23 days in the hospital, he died from COVID-19 complications.
Losing Terrence has been devastating for his wife and children. During her grieving process, Ebony said what gives her comfort is knowing she cherished every moment with her husband when he was alive.
“It's a beauty to be able to not have to look back and say, ‘I wish I would have. I wish I could have.’ I don't have that,” Ebony said. “I just have the beauty of our relationship, and I would most certainly say being married to a larger-than-life person who could love me, and love my children, and treat us so wonderfully is something that I'll cherish for the rest of my life.”
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