Today has been a day filled with tons of mixed emotions. I barely slept at all last night, and I have been exhausted since I got out of bed. I keep having the same dream where I am sending Nick text messages, but they won’t go through. I have been told to document my dreams because some will be very strange, some painful, and some may eventually be comforting.
I went to the Doctor today to fill out the paperwork for time off. That is probably a good thing considering I can barely handle driving on Hwy 1 without having a panic attack. My family and I were on our way back to Medicine Hat today, and when my Dad went to pass a semi, I said, “Dad you might want to hurry up.” He said, “why?”. We were approaching a crest in the Hwy, and I said, “Dad someone could be coming our direction.” My Dad gently reminded me that we were on Hwy 1, and it was double lane.
Whenever I have spoken to a Doctor since Nick died they have asked me, “Have you thought about hurting yourself?” Every time they have asked me that I have cried. The one thing I haven’t been able to get out of my head since being told Nick was gone is what happened to him on that mountain. Being caught up in an avalanche, and being buried under hard packed snow, is not exactly what a person would imagine a peaceful death. When my Aunt died a few years ago after a year-long battle with cancer, I remember holding her hand and not even knowing she had taken her last breath. She was 57 years old. We were all with her. It was one of the most painful days my family has experienced. We loved her so much, and a part of all of us died when she had to go. The one thing that I was always grateful for though was that her death was so incredibly peaceful. Now with Nick’s death, I keep imagining the worst.I am a believer, and I keep telling myself that as his body was falling down that mountain, someone was there lifting him right up to where he is now. I have to believe this, but it doesn’t stop the constant images going through my head. The thought of Nick being scared or in pain or dying alone is what makes my heart break over and over. That is why when someone asks me, “have you thought about hurting yourself?”, The answer is no. I know Nick would not want the circumstances of his death to cause me pain, and I also know I would not want to cause him the pain of watching me hurt myself.
With that said, for the first few days after my world flipped upside down I begged Nick to come and get me. I begged him not to leave me here alone, and I told him I did not want to be here with out him. There is a difference between wanting to hurt yourself and being okay with your time coming sooner than later. I was finding the most comfort knowing that my time could come soon too, and I could be with Nick again. I am not going to lie; this still crosses my mind at least once every day.
I used to fear death, but now I fear nothing. How can you fear death when your person is waiting for you on the other side. This doesn’t mean I am going to hurt myself or take my own life; it just means I am okay with whatever happens because I now know heaven is waiting for me.
Now to talk about the heading of this entry. As police, we often forget that there are good people in this world. We are surrounded by evil, selfishness, death, and every other negative thing you can think of. We become very jaded. I have never been so amazed by people than I have been in the last two and a half weeks. Let’s start with my work family. I have two bosses who are amazing. Before all this, our team would often talk about how lucky we are to have two amazing supervisors who genuinely care about our well-being. I am here to tell you all the good things we may have said about them before were understatements. My work team from supervisors down have been incredibly helpful through all this. Not only have they been helpful for me but they have been there for my family and some of Nick’s friends. If any of you are reading this, you know the things you have done thus far, and I will never be able to thank you enough.
Next, I have learned how good people are through the action of my neighbours. They dropped off a basket of things and at first I was upset because receiving gifts only reminded me of some of the exciting things that were to come this year. I said to my Mom, “I am supposed to be getting wedding gifts, not sympathy gifts.” The truth is when I went through all of the things the neighbours had gathered for me I felt comfort. I love the store Indigo, and they managed to pick out all of the things that I wanted at one point but didn’t buy because we were on a strict budget. I knew immediately Nick had a hand in helping them with this. There was a pen in there that said: “Hello lovely.” One day a while back I wanted to buy this pen just cause I thought it was cute and Nick said “no way are you spending $20 on a pen.” Out of all the pens at Indigo, the neighbours picked this one. My street is filled with so many good people.
Last night I went to the jewelry store where Nick and I purchased our wedding rings. The same lady who sold them to us was working. She approached us and said, “how can I help you.” I said to her, “I don’t know if you remember me, but my fiancé and I just bought our wedding rings off of you last month.” I went on to say as I pulled his ring off my thumb, “I picked up our rings on February 19th, and Nick passed away the next day.” She immediately started crying and gave me a hug. She said, “you were just in here, I remember you.” She was genuinely upset. I asked her to have the ring sized so I could wear it and she helped me pick out a chain to wear my cross pendant with part of Nick’s ashes. When we left I hugged her, and I said, “Nick really liked you, and he insisted we buy our rings from you.” That was true. Nick and I talked about how she reminded us of Celine Dion, and he flirted with her the entire time we were in there. We had so much fun picking out our rings with her, and I will forever remember her as a good person.
My friends are amazing. This includes co-workers, friends of mine I have had forever, and friends of Nick’s who I have recently become so close to. There is not a day that goes by that someone isn’t making me smile one way or another. Karyn came by last night to cook us dinner, and I am sorry to share this story, but she almost burnt my house down. I truly believe Nick had a part in it because we were having a bit of a rough day yesterday. We had some tough conversations while Karyn was over and I was just really sad. All of a sudden my oven was on fire. I am not talking a tiny little fire; I am talking the oven was completely engulfed in flames. It was absolutely hilarious. Karyn grabbed the cooking sheet and all though it nearly started her on fire she ran outside with it and dropped in on my wooden deck. In her defense, it was either that or she was going to be the next thing engulfed in flames. I know Nick, and I had two fire extinguishers but clearly we didn’t have them readily accessible. We managed to get the fire out, and we had a really good laugh. Karyn is one of the several friends that have been so incredibly helpful through all of this. Many of my friends are also grieving the loss of Nick but have somehow found the strength to put me first. Nick touched so many lives, and this has impacted everyone. I know I have lost my person, but so many have lost a really good friend. Have I mentioned I know good people?
Nick’s family has been there for me since I shared this horrendous news. When I went back to Ontario, they shared stories of Nick and talked about how proud of him they were. Many of the conversations I had with some of Nick’s family brought me comfort, and I can only hope Nick was listening.
I don’t even know if I have to talk about how amazing my family is. Everyone in my family including all of my cousins, even the ones from far away have been here for me. My aunts and uncles, my brother and his family, my Grandmother’s, and most of all my parents. My parents are by far the best parents on this entire planet. I don’t even have to explain this because they have shown their strength and there love over and over and over, and everyone around us has felt it. If there is one positive thing that I can take from all of this it is that I have spent the last two and a half weeks morning and night with my parents and will likely continue to spend time with them for a while.
Today has been a day filled with mixed emotions. I have cried, I said I hate my life about six times, but I have also smiled. Every time I look at the front screen of my phone, I see a picture of Nick smiling. How can I not smile when I see that? I was always a sucker for Nick’s smile. It didn’t matter if we were in the middle of a heated fight, if he smiled at me, it was over. One night I was having a, “bad hormone day”, and I was so mad at Nick. I can’t even remember what we were fighting about, because like I said those things don’t matter anymore. I was so angry at him I took the spoonful of mayonnaise I had in my hand, and I chucked it at his head. It hit the window. At the same moment, I yelled, “YOU NEED TO CALM DOWN.” Nick looked at me and said something along the lines of, “Hang on, did you just chuck mayonnaise at me and tell me to calm down?” Neither one of us could help it, and we both just started laughing. Nick had the most amazing and contagious smile.
Although my heart is broken, I will still try to smile. It hasn’t been easy and sometimes my smiles are followed with tears but at the end of the day, I know Nick would want me to smile at least once each day. Today I was reminded that there are so many good people in my life. What I have learned is that you need to recognize and cherish those good people because let’s face it; those are the people heaven wants, and you never know when they will no longer be around for you to say thank you.