Saturday, April 25, 2009

7 weeks, 3 days ago

My life changed forever...
I knew Patrick for 18 years. This year we would have celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary. We have 2 beautiful children who turn 7 and 5 years old this year.

Patrick died on March 4, 2009, a sudden, tragic, senseless death. Someday when I can talk about it, I will.

So many people tell me how strong I am. I want to scream, "I am not strong, can't you people see I am trying to survive here!" I think I have switched into mother protecting her cubs mode, and cannot switch out.

The days and weeks surrounding Patrick's death have been surreal. How do you plan a funeral 2 days after your best friend dies? You think to yourself, how long is this torture going to continue as you sit in the funeral directors office, picking prayer cards, and casket liners. What f-ing difference does it make, do you realize my husband just died! In the end, his service was lovely and moving, and as my children and I walked behind his casket through the church, I was proud to have been his wife, proud to be holding his childrens' hands.

I think Patrick would have been mortified that I dressed him in his best suit, sprayed my favorite cologne on his lapels, and set him out for everyone to gawk at. I would have probably had him cremated, but because of the way he died, I needed to see him, to touch him, to tell him I hoped as he died he knew he was loved, to tell him how sorry I am that he died alone, to tell him that if I knew he was dying, I would have been there to hold him as his heart beat for the last time, to feel his last breath against my face, to hold him as his life left his body, because that is what he deserved. He did not deserve to die alone, on a cold, hard floor, waiting for someone to come and help him.

I live with that picture in my mind every single day, my vibrant, handsome, genius husband waiting for help, all alone. I try to push the picture out of my mind, and replace it with memoires that belong there, us riding a motorcycle around in Rome, walking the streets of Vegas at 4AM, riding roller coasters with our children. That is the Patrick I should be remembering, every minute of the day.

How exactly does one become a widow at 40? Widows are older women who had a whole lifetime of memories with their husbands, not the small handful I am left with. I ache for him that he will not see his children grow up to be the wonderful adults I know they will be. I ache for my children that they will live their whole lives without their father. I ache for me that I was robbed of a husband at 40 years old, that I did not get to grow old with the man that I loved. Mostly, I just ache.

Patrick, you are missed, every minute of every day.