I Lost My Wife To A Drunk Driver And I Thought I’d Never Be Able To See Her Again

Flickr / David Sledge
Flickr / David Sledge

The best and worst days of my life were separated by two years, three months, four days, three hours, and seven minutes, give or take a few seconds.

The best? The day of my wedding. It was that moment where my eyes swept along the curve of my wife’s white gown and up to the tears in her eyes, watching them pour down the second I said, “I do.” That day was amazing, culminating in that one perfect moment.

The worst? The day I lost her, sitting in the ER, watching the surgeon come out only 20 minutes after she’d been rushed in. I knew then that she was gone. I had a drunk driver to thank for that.

Maybe it sounds strange, becoming that attached to someone. I married young, I could always find someone else, right? Except that there was no one else. When I met her, it was like something inside me clicked into place. Everywhere we went, she bled color into the world, filling my vision with a kind of beauty that I can’t express, no matter how many useless words fill this page. She was my one and my only.

Jessica. Sorry, it’s still hard to even write her name. It feels like the weight on my chest gets heavier every time.

After her death, I went into a deep depression, as is to be expected. I stopped eating and going outside. I practically lived on the couch because I couldn’t bear to be in our bed. I had her favorite pink silk nightgown perpetually balled up in my fist. It was like I could hold on to that one piece of her forever.

Things went on like this for months. Even after my family tried to intervene. I just couldn’t move on. I wouldn’t let anyone touch her stuff. I still DVRed her favorite shows. I would make her favorite foods and then leave them on the counter, never touching them for myself.

I was a mess.

But time goes on. And life goes on, whether you want it to or not. Whether it’s fair or not. I started with her toothbrush. One day I caught myself staring at it for over an hour. And then, on an impulse, I grabbed it and threw it in the trashcan. I sobbed for about 20 minutes after. It’s like a spell was broken. I gradually went back to daily life.


Rona Vaselaar is a graduate from the University of Notre Dame and currently attending Johns Hopkins as a graduate student.

Keep up with Rona on tumblr.com

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