“三个星期前，我是一名学校心理学家，一个充满爱心的朋友，女儿，姐姐，姑姑，希望有一天能成为母亲。今天我迷路了。我的故事始于2014年5月。我遇到迈克的那一年。我们通过一对刚开始约会的夫妇见面。我最好的朋友之一是约会他的一个。陈词滥调，对吗？好吧，令人震惊-at 29 years old, being a woman, I was on the HUNT. My friend immediately told me to come out to meet this single guy that was nice, my type, and most importantly-有趣的。我想我带来了A-Game，因为，如果我自己这么说，迈克就很艰难。在我们的第一个晚上在城市跑来跑去，喝酒，愚蠢和亲吻一点之后，迈克开始要求我定期出去玩。大约一个月后，他实际上要求独家。我在那里死了一点，因为我觉得我们十二岁。但是他做出了大胆的举动。到2015年6月的时候，我听到了婚礼钟声。这是计划。秋季，2015年-see you there, b*tches!
2015年7月,所以,我决定把自己30 birthday bash. Old school, ya know? My backyard (we have a huge deck and pool) with all my oldest friends and family. I can admit now I’ve thrown a few big parties in that backyard while my parents spent weekends visiting one of my siblings at college. And of course, I wanted Mike’s family there too so they could continue getting to know me (and love me). We had all gotten close and we felt in the air the next steps were coming. I’ll always remember my mom sitting at the kitchen table, saying, ‘Should we have your engagement party here, too?’ I remember that morning setting the lawn games up with Mike, my dad bringing the keg he couldn’t wait to use, having cocktails and laughing with Mike’s dad. I know at some point I gave him a kiss on the head.
My mom brought out a cake, and I made a speech. I don’t remember what I said exactly, but it was something along the lines of how perfect a gift it was for everyone I loved to be in one place. I remember the sun starting to go down and people with kids starting to pack them up, and Mike’s parents saying goodbye. I was looking forward to finally being able to start the REAL party, play some drinking games, and hangout with Mike. I remember setting up a table and calling my friends over to start playing flip cup. I remember noticing the sun was really almost down, and we would soon need lights to see.
我记得震耳欲聋的沉默和大声的尖叫，“迈克！！！”我知道我的兄弟乔恩尖叫了。我记得跪在他旁边，把我的嘴唇放在他的嘴上，品尝水。他在水上cho住了。我试图把它打出来。我开始敲打他的胸部，而玛丽卡特（Marykate）却计算了三十。我试图呼吸他的嘴。我抬起头，被带走了，看到安吉拉在哭。我跑了。我跑过马路。我在草坪上看到我的朋友说我的名字。 I ran until I collapsed and heard the sirens. I heard Sarah’s voice. I asked if he’s dead, and I heard ‘I don’t know.’ I got up and ran to the ambulance, I heard my sister scream, ‘DOES HE HAVE ALLERGIES?’ I screamed back, ‘NO,’ she screamed no. I saw my mom. I ran to her. We heard ‘They have a heartbeat!’ I said, ‘What does that mean?’ My mom said, ‘It means he’s alive.’ I was in my parents car, my sister was next to me. We were following the ambulance.
Mike died 6 days later in the hospitaldue to an injury to his neck, between C1 and C2. This injury meant that his brain couldn’t tell his body to move, and he ceased to breathe. Mike was found face down in the middle of my pool, no bruises, no cuts. No explanation. The first of 6 days in the hospital, the doctor told me that I will never know what really happened. Up until this August, that was the absolute lowest time of my life.
It took about 2 years to heal from this grief as fully as possible. I was depressed and in denial for a long time. Very angry. Questioned everything. Got into an emotionally abusive relationship with a man a year after Mike’s death, got cheated on, and finally faced what I had to. I was pissed, I was sad, and I was never going to get Mike back. I could only let the time pass, build myself back up by making healthier choices with the help of a psychiatrist, and accept all of this was ‘Something Terrible.’ I am human like everyone else, life doesn’t owe me anything, and I suffered something terrible. That’s all it was. It was not my fault, it was not fate, it was just a terrible thing I had to live with and had to grieve from, and eventually keep moving on from. It was time to accept that and decide to not be a victim from it. And I had to forgive myself for not being the perfect ‘survivor.’
My dreams came true in February, 2018. After about 400 Bumble dates, I met Eric. Crazy, talkative, anxious, silly, ‘cool,’ gorgeous Eric. It was my top one favorite date, even though it took him a month to meet me (uh oh), and he made me meet him right in his neighborhood (rude!) at an Irish pub (okay, points for that). I knew I’d probably get him for another date or two, but what 31-year-old cute, seemingly doing well financially, single guy who just moved to NYC a few months earlier would want to settle down anytime soon?
好吧，有了一些推动，好老女孩的窍门，玩得很酷-我得到了他们。我在天堂。我知道我要fall in love with him even if I hadn’t totally felt it yet. I also was terrified that he would break my heart. It was too good to be true… I’ve never been with someone and not cared what my friends and family thought. I wanted him. Without an ounce of uncertainty. I need to take a break now. My heart aches to go back to that time, and these moments are still too hard to swallow.
Due to Covid-19, our 250 person wedding turned to 50 people. Eric would say, ‘That doesn’t mean anything, I cannot wait to marry you. I am so lucky,’ as I complained I wouldn’t have the wedding of ‘my dreams.’ We decided not to postpone because I felt it was bad luck to change the date. August came around, and it was soon time for the rehearsal party. In a small beautiful restaurant, with our favorite people in the world, we celebrated being together, being with our friends, and had one of the best nights of our lives. We played an ongoing slide show of us growing up and of the short 2 ½ years we were together. Eric’s dad welcomed me to the family, Eric made a lovely speech, and to be honest things get blurry after that (I had a little too much fun).
I woke up the next morning, my wedding day, to the hotel room phone ringing. It was my mom, and I thought I had slept too late. She asked me to come down to the lobby. I said not until you tell me what is going on. ‘Eric died in the middle of the night.’
Eric died of a heart attack in the early hours of our wedding day, due to an underlying heart condition. Eric’s father, a cardiologist who saves lives everyday-fought to save his son from the exact condition he fights against to keep strangers alive, every day. Eric’s brother, his best friend, is a neurosurgeon who flew across the country to spend the most important weekend of Eric’s life with him. His brother, who has spent the better part of his life saving and/or learning how to save others, will have to live with the most traumatic experience someone will ever have to endure.
The next couple days were filled with excruciating pain. That is all. Pain that looked like shock, screaming, crying, suicidal thoughts. We buried him a couple days later. His best friend, his father, his brother, and myself spoke about what Eric meant to us. And how we will try to go on only because we owe it to him. But right now, I cannot catch my breath. I cannot grasp a future beyond this. I am so angry at what Eric will never get to experience. And I feel hopeless often.
Steps I have taken are seeing a therapist weekly, reading on grief, writing about my feelings, and remembering who I need to live for. Eric spent his last months on earth working his butt off for us to have a beautiful future, and even in his short time he left me with enough security until I can get back on my feet. He has given me a chance for some type of future. Eric was a hilarious, kind, gentle soul who loved to love. He adored his family and his friends. He wanted everyone to be happy. He hated sad things. He made everything fun. He loved the Yankees, the Rangers, the Jacksonville Jaguars, but most of all, golf.
We loved drinking wine or whiskey and watching Dateline. We loved talking about our future kids. We loved being near water. Eric loved hiking and skiing and was so active and healthy. He loved making me smile. I try to smile once a day for him. Eric’s favorite singer was Bruce Springsteen and our wedding song was going to be Secret Garden. (We loved Jerry Maguire.) I will forever have a hole in my heart for this beautiful man who loved me and promised me the world.
My hope for the future is I can think of Eric and smile instead of cry, one day. My hope is I can help others who experience trauma and/or grief, I will gain the strength to do something worthy with this. My hope is I honor his legacy by making people laugh, taking adventures, and being grateful for everyone in my life.
Everyday is different. Every hour is different. Some days I need to be alone, some I need friends, some I need family. Most days I don’t know what I need. But, What I’ve done differently this time around is ask for help, tell people what I need, and do things like this- tell my story and not be ashamed of it.
There is no shame in death, and there is no shame in grieving.
‘The road is dark and it’s a thin thin line, but I want you to know I’ll walk it for you any time.’
-Tougher Than the Rest, Bruce Springsteen”
Read more stories like this:
‘Come home. There’s been a plane crash, and they think it’s Mitch.’ He was moments away from landing. I felt my soul leave my body.’: Widow re-marries after loss, ‘Life handed me a second chance at love’
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