Tuesday, October 26, 2010

31 for 21: 5 Years Ago

5 years ago my world was turned upside down.

It started like any other day.  I went to work in the morning, and then home for lunch with Brian.  We ate, talked about what we had planned for the afternoon.  I reminded him he needed to call his mom that night, and we said goodbye, I love you, see you tonight...

When a police office walked into the office a few hours later and asked for me, it didn't faze me at all.  I work at an insurance agency, and it's not unheard of to have the police ask if one of our clients has coverage.  I expected them to tell me one of our clients had been in an accident.  Instead, they came into my office and shut the door. They asked if I knew Brian. I said I did, that he was my husband.  They said there had been an accident.  I sat and waited, knowing they were going to tell me he was in the hospital, maybe hurt badly.  But when they told me he'd been killed, all the air left the room.  I gasped for breath, and remember seeing my tears hit the floor.

They opened the door to the adjoining office, explained what was going on, and my friend came into my office.  This part is all a blur.  I think people were talking, I know I was crying, and then I had to get out of the room, sure I was going to be sick.  I sank down on the bathroom floor and just sat.  I remember being so concerned about where I was going to live.  Not only had I just lost Brian, but I was losing our house as well  (It was provided as a benefit of Brian's job).  Even at the time I knew this was a strange thing to worry about, but I wasn't really thinking clearly.

When I came out of the bathroom the officer asked about notifying Brian's parents.  They offered to send an officer out to their house to tell them about the accident.  All I could picture was Brian's mom, home by herself, when this officer showed up to give her terrible news.  I just couldn't put her through that, so I did the notification.  And to this day, it is the hardest thing I have ever done. 

I went into the conference room and called her.  I was crying and barely able to catch my breath.  As soon as she heard my voice I'm sure she knew something was wrong.  I told her that there had been an accident, and that Brian was gone.  She wailed, and that sound will forever echo in my head.  I don't know what else was said except that they'd be on their way to our house soon. 

After that I tried to get a hold of my mom again.  I'd tried earlier, and couldn't reach her.  I don't remember if the line was busy, or if she wasn't answering.  My dad was also called, but I honestly don't remember if I talked to him or not.  By this point I was exhausted, and probably only an hour or so had passed. 

I was taken home and remember lying on the couch while a friend went to look for Sage, one of our dogs.  He was in the pickup during the accident, but no one had seen him since.  He was found a short time later, completely unharmed. I stayed on the couch while the house filled with people, and the phone started ringing. I know I was there for it all, and maybe even participated over the next few days, but I don't remember much else.

For all of my wonderful family and friends that were there then, whether physically or through your prayers, thank you.  Your love, prayers and support were what kept me going.

ETA:  Now that I'm done writing this, it seems like I ended rather abruptly. There really is no good place to end though, because the story keeps going.  There was the funeral to plan, a move away from our house, and the world just kept turning around me.  But most of all, there is still missing Brian.


  1. Oh my gosh, what a hard thing to go through, I am so sorry. Hugs to you tonight.

  2. I had no idea that you went through that. I am so sorry :( Hugs hugs hugs

  3. That was incredibly brave of you to share tonight with your blog family. It reminds us of how so quickly we can lose it all. I could imagine your world spinning just as you described it. Praying for you ...HUGS

  4. Oh Melissa,I had no idea either.

    Love to you and peace to you tonight as you miss Brian.

    Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

  5. I had noticed earlier in 31 for 21 that you referenced Brian. I agree with Erin, it was incredibly brave of you to share such an intense experience here.

    I hope this doesn't seem out of line, but I also just need to send hugs to Darren. I am a couples therapist, and I so often see relationships crumble because one of the partners cannot accept that the other had a life before them. And this often concerns nothing more than someone they once dated. Some of these relationships are so dysfunctional because of this. Your case is so different. You didn't end your relationship, and so all of the love you had for Brian was still alive. I think it shows what a wonderful person Darren must be to love and support you so much that you needn't censor your grief. It may seem like the normal and logical thing to do, but I too often see such a negative side of relationships, that I can't help but be touched by this!

    Hugs to you all!

  6. Melissa, I love you so very much. I think about this day. I was so very worried about you. You are strong & so very beautiful though. Sometimes we wonder where our strength comes from, don't we? I think part of your strengh came from Darren, even then. It's amazing the twists & turns our life take. I'm so glad that Brian's best friend was there for you. And I'm so glad you have the gift of him now as well & that you're able to love, grieve & grow together. Big hugs to you all!

  7. Honestly Melissa, this seems like something out of a book. It is something from your worst nightmare. My blood turned to ice as I was reading this, but then I thought about your life with Darren and Claire. I think by sharing your tragedy with us, as well as how your life did go on, you could help others in the same situation. You are one strong lady.

  8. this post made me cry at work today. i have never met you, but can imagine that you are an amazing, strong woman because of life's refining fire. wow, that is an unbelievably awful thing to have to endure. praying and thinking about you today.

  9. Melissa, thank you so much for sharing this. From the bottom of my soul. Thank you.

  10. You were strong then and continue to be now. You are an inspiration to all of us that know you and love you. My sweet Melissa,you have accomplished wonderful things so far in this short life of yours and have been a model of strength for all of us. I have no doubt that you will continue to teach us all through your example. Momma

  11. Thank you so much for sharing your pain and loss so honestly - it not only honors Brian's memory, but also Darren and Claire and yourself.

  12. THank you for sharing, I hope it offers you some peace. Sending strength and happiness.

  13. I have chills. Thank you for sharing. My heart goes out to you. You will be such an encouragement and strength for those who also have to go through similar tragedies. God Bless you. Erin


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