A Letter to Luke, One Year Later:

A year ago, you left us… I’ve spent the last 365 days trying to understand how, why, or what on earth made it so you had to leave so soon. I still don’t know, and I doubt I ever will. What I do know, is that I will spend the rest of my days trying my hardest to live and love in your honor.

I hope you are proud with how far I’ve come.

A year ago I was a shell of a human being. I couldn’t take a deep breath no matter how hard I tried. I was lost, broken, and utterly destroyed on the inside. My heart physically ached for you (and still does, on a more tolerable scale).

A year ago I just spent 6 days living in two different ICUs, surviving off of small sips of orange Gatorade and a few grapes here and there.

A year ago a team of doctors, nurses, and chaplains came to me and asked that I make the hardest and most traumatizing decision of my life.

A year ago I kissed your warm forehead for the very last time, and I softly cried the last words to your breathing body you would ever hear on this Earth: “You’re late for your tee time up there. I love you, baby.”

A year ago, I heard the words, “He’s gone,” and collapsed into your brother’s arms. Those words still haunt me to this day.

A year ago I hadn’t eaten in days, which would turn into weeks, which would make me throw up almost every time I tried for the next month.

A year ago I was prescribed anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medications, and attending at least weekly psychotherapy EMDR sessions for my severe PTSD and panic attacks.

A year ago I was terrified of going to sleep for fear of the quiet, and I was terrified of waking up for fear of another reality check that you were still gone.

A year ago I couldn’t go to work, I couldn’t go out to eat, and I couldn’t leave for more than an hour at a time without feeling sick.

A year ago I couldn’t stand up straight, look myself in the mirror, or bother to smile at anything. I was numb. It felt like lidocaine infused into my body.

A year ago I wished and prayed for more than anything not to wake up. Waking up meant having to continue living without you. I didn’t want to do that anymore.

That was a year ago.

Today is different. Today, I am reminded of the journey this past year has been and all I have learned along the way.

Today, I am down to monthly talk therapy sessions and completely off all medication without any issues.

Today, I am a healthy weight and have a steady appetite.

Today, I have learned how to use meditation to stop a panic attack.

Today, I can focus on more than just breathing and wishing I weren’t here. In fact, I’ve come to appreciate the life I am living. I am a work in progress.

Today, my writing is published for a national non-profit, and my personal blog has over 70,000 views. I’ve had widows from all over the country reach out to me for support, shared pain, and the comfort of someone who gets it. I’ve built friendships with some incredible women.

Today, I own an adorable house that I share with my best friend and rock, Amber Rose.

Today, I have memories and pictures of you all over my house, car, and cubicle. Most days, I can look at these without tearing up. Instead, I just smile knowing I have the world’s best guardian angel husband.

Today, I am still Aunt Jayme to our army of nieces and nephews. They still talk about you with so much love.

Today, I have the courage to open my heart to love again. I am truly blessed with who you chose for me.

Today, it is not easier to be without you, but instead, I am stronger and have learned how to continue a joyful and happy life for you.

A year ago, I couldn’t see the light at the end of tunnel.

Today, I am my own light. For me, for other widows, for friends and family, but most of all, for you, Luke.

I love and miss you so much, Rocketman. And as always…Play on. ❤️

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