Last week The New York Times wrote a profile of ex-NFL player Ray Easterling’s widow, who describes the tortured two decades he lived as he suffered from dementia and memory loss. Two weeks ago, he committed suicide.
Easterling was a plaintiff in one of several suits that former players have filed against the NFL, alleging that the league failed to warn them or protect them from the long-term brain damage caused by repeated concussions. Mary Ann Easterling doesn’t plan to give up the legal fight, according to The Times.
Mary Ann has decided not to move from the home in Richmond, Va., where she found her husband’s body. Ray retired in 1979, but it was not a peaceful retirement. He underwent a dramatic personality change, Mary Ann told The Times.
He would sometimes make offensive remarks, or show up at family gatherings in running shorts, failing to dress up, according to The Times. Mary Ann would sometimes have to hunt for him when he got lost during late-night jogs.
Ray left a heart-breaking suicide note for Mary Ann. They were both devout Christians, and he wrote, “I’m ready to meet my Lord and savior,” according to The Times. He also told Mary Ann he loved her.