William James Roach, 32 years old, died unexpectedly on Sunday, January 6th, 2019 at his home in Farmington, Utah.
Will was born on September 30, 1986 in Provo, Utah. The second child, and oldest son to Jay Alan Roach and Lorraine Hancock Allan. Will has 3 siblings; Ryan, Kelli, and Brant who loved him dearly.
Will grew up in Spanish Fork and attended schools there, graduating from Spanish Fork High School with high honors. He excelled in basketball, baseball and track. He then went on to complete a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Utah. William had many academic achievements and school seemed to come easy for him. The only reason his oldest sister passed her college math class was because he spent hours and hours tutoring her. His “book smarts” heavily outweighed his “street smarts” though and we always teased him that it wouldn’t be fair if he had everything. But William didn’t have everything. He had an inquisitive mind, a tender heart, and felt things so much deeper than he knew how to deal with.
Will fought hard. He fought against the addiction that stole his physical body. He fought for the love and acceptance of everyone around him, especially the ones he loved. He fought for perfection. He set the bar so high for himself and it seemed as though everything always landed right outside his grasp. Will’s soul was destined for more -and his mortal limitations hindered the progress he longed for.
We thought we knew grief already. We thought we knew loss- because he was not the brother and the son that we once had. He burned every bridge he had ever built and broke our hearts over and over again. People say you have to set boundaries with drug addicts. You have to let them hit rock bottom. You have to cut them off. You have to use tough love. We tried to do everything we could to help him, but nothing seemed to matter. What we learned is it’s not about tough love. It’s about LOVE. It’s about compassion. If we let ourselves harden our hearts, we will live with regrets and we will learn nothing. Loving someone who is owned by addiction is a choice we have to make. It turns into a mission – and if you choose to accept it, it will be the hardest thing you ever do in your life.
“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven? And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives? When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” -Kahlil Gibran
In 2016, Will admitted himself into a rehab program and successfully completed it about a year later. When he finished, he took all of the knowledge and skills that he learned and tried to share them with as many people as would listen. It was as though he was a common missionary. He was born again. His eyes were bright like blue diamonds, and his energy was radiating light. We rallied around him and couldn’t get enough of him. We had missed him for so long. He was so articulate; he had the most amazing way of speaking, and of patiently listening. He had such an open mind and had so many dreams. He was a delight to be around and had made so many friends from so many walks of life with such diversity. He accepted everyone with no judgment. He made it his calling to lift up those who had fallen, give to those in need, and serve in any way he could. He was paying it forward in everything he did. In the last two years, he made up for more than 10 years of sorrow. In the last two years, he brought us SO MUCH JOY. We know he didn’t mean to leave us so soon.
Will loved golf and spent a delightful day on his last birthday trying to teach his dad to golf in Hawaii. He swam with the dolphins and had a great time there. Will had a lust for life and always tried to make the best of it, even in trying times. He lived with his dad the last couple years of his life and was truly an asset to teach him technology, as well as help take care of him and be an example of acceptance of all people. William and his dad used to sit down in his room and talk late into the night – Will had a lot he wanted to share and he ended up teaching his dad many valuable things. As a true Libra, with a strong intellect and keen mind, he was inspired by discussion and he truly took accountability for his actions and choices and promoted others to do the same.
Will always told his mother how much he loved her. He leaned on her, was kind to her, and loved her in the most tender way. Will never had any money but he sent her flowers every year on her birthday. That meant a lot to him. He knew that she would never tell him a lie- that was a special promise he knew he had from her, and she stuck by her promise. This Christmas, Will came 5 hours early to help her with dinner. His mom just wanted to use the regular dishes, but Will insisted on using the finest dinnerware, the crystal glasses, the nicest linens and the silver chargers on all the place settings. He put on an apron over his collared dress shirt, peeled the potatoes, washed the dishes, and did everything he could just to make it nice for her. And it was. It was the most beautiful evening and something we will cherish forever. Everywhere Will went and everything he touched left a lasting impression. Will loved conversations and getting other people’s perspectives, especially his mom’s because he looked up to her and always wanted her opinion and advice. They always talked, often for hours at a time.
His soul was so bright that we know we will continue to see and feel it around us as we finish our mortal journey without him. “Nature never repeats herself, and the possibilities of one human soul will never be found in another.” Will, you will be in our hearts, and in our thoughts every single day. You will never be forgotten, and somehow we will learn how to go on. Loving you was worth every single minute of pain we will endure having lost you. All our love.