Why Did I Survive?
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Why Did I Survive?

by Theresa Hall

A Survivor Of A Drunk Driver

Why did I survive when Mike died? We were sitting there side by side only inches away from each other. Is it fair that I should have lived and he should have died? He managed to lean over partially on me just before the fatal crushing blow. I helplessly watched the life draining from his shattered body as he gasped for his last breaths. Trapped by my own seat belt petrified, horrified and panicked I struggled to help him but could not move. Sometimes I can still feel the weight of his head pressed against me. The guilt I feel often is so unbearable I can hardly look at myself in the mirror. I've heard all the reasoning from those who love me. "You lived to raise those children they couldn't have handled the loss of both of you." "Mike is in a far better place than here but it just wasn't your time to go." I know those reasons are sensible. But, when you're the survivor of something this horrible nothing makes much sense to you. I tried to starve myself to death after Mike was killed. I almost succeeded. I lost 35 lbs. I didn't have to lose to begin with and my potassium dropped to a very dangerous level. I wasn't doing it conciously but I guess deep inside part of me wanted to die too so I could be with him again. The guilt I felt for being alive was tearing me apart inside. My reality is that Mike is dead and I was left behind. Left to grieve. Left to miss him. Left to feel the pain. Left to feel the lonliness. Left to feel a void inside. Left to feel ripped in half. Left changed from what I was before. Left to carry on somehow, without my love. How do I carry on alone? Why, why, is he dead while I'm still alive? I don't know the answers to these questions. I probably never will. But, what I do know is that for him, for me, for our children and for those we love I will find a way to carry on. I will face each day no matter how hard it is for me. I will raise our children to the best of my ability. I will see glimpses of Mike continue to live through his children and future generations. I will always miss him. And, unfortunately I know that I will never ever forget that night. I often wonder what the purpose of the whole thing was. Was it supposed to send some profound message. Was there some unknown reason for it to happen. Deep inside me I know that there was no reason. It was completely and totally senseless. One man made a decision that altered our lives forever. One man chose alcohol over the safety of our lives, anyones life. It could have been you on that road that night, any road. Heading home after a quiet dinner and Christmas shopping together. Thinking that you still had your whole lives ahead of you. Looking forward to the holidays. Anticipating the excitement in your childrens faces come Christmas morning. Looking forward to the rest of the evening with each other. Then suddenly, without a moments notice all your dreams, hopes, plans and future is taken away from you in an instant. As I sit here writing this I can think of all the un-done plans we had. We planned to do so much with our kids and had so many places we wanted to take them. We were eager to share the beauty in the world with them. We use to talk about what it would be like when the children were grown, on their own and we were older. After we had experienced the pleasure and pride a parent feels at all the milestones of their children's lives. We dreamed of getting an RV and seeing the United States. Every nook and cranny of it. We thought we might not even have an address for awhile just the open road and a cell phone. What wonderful dreams they were. Dreams that can never happen now. Why? Because of such a senseless act. A stupid, irresponsible, senseless act. It still scares me to think that one person drunk on the roads can hold the future of so many lives in his hands. Anyone's life, at any time and at any place. Why can't they see that it's just a matter of time before they seriously injure or kill someone? Why don't they care? Maybe I was left to help draw attention to the tragedy of this situation. Maybe I was meant to help spread the word that people are dying on our highways needlessly. Maybe, no not maybe, I will join the fight to get drunk driving killers off of our roads. I'll fight in Mike's memory, I'll fight because it's the right thing to do and I'll fight so that others may be spared the agony I've had to endure. I know I'll still have days I'd rather crawl into a hole than face the world and sometimes I might not go out and face it and that's ok. But most days, I will face it. I must!

Mike & Theresa Just Being Silly After His Shower!

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