Along the Broken Road

Life Goes On

These last two days have been really rough for me. Aside from still trying to figure out all the finances (I was spoiled by Ralf who took care of all of that – he was, after all, a math and numbers guy), calling insurance companies, and trying to get this house ready for Mason’s arrival (I’ve had many helpers that I cannot thank enough), yesterday was my first regular day back at work. I had a lot of anxiety the night before because it felt like reality was setting in even more deeply. I know that I have two choices in this situation – I can either succumb to depression and close myself off from the world while feeling sorry for myself for the rest of my life, or I can do my best to move forward one breath at a time, one minute at a time. I know Ralf would have wanted me to do the latter. Don’t get me wrong, I have my share of emotional break downs and this morning’s was a doozy. But after my sobbing sessions,  I wash my face, center myself as much as humanly possible, and start to attack the next item on my never-ending to-do list.

Those that know me personally know that my family is no stranger to loss. Ralf is the biggest loss that I have ever and most likely will ever experience in my lifetime, but he was not the first. When I was five years old I had a little brother (he was three, almost four years old) who passed away. He suffered from a congenital heart disease and many other health issues during his short life on this earth. Along the way, I’ve also lost my grandfather and my uncle. (Ironically, my uncle passed away unexpectedly in his sleep just a few weeks before Ralf, and Ralf  was there to help my Dad load his body into the van that would take him to the crematorium. Never could any of us have imagined that Ralf was dying, too.) Through all those goodbyes of loved ones, I learned a very difficult yet valuable lesson from my parents: LIFE GOES ON. Whether you are ready or not. That doesn’t mean the pain subsides, you just learn to live with it.

Ralf and I had conversations about “What would happen if…” many times, and death was one topic we had discussed. He would jokingly say that he would die first, before Charlie (our dog) and me because he couldn’t stand to live without us. I don’t think he could have imagined that Charlie would actually outlive him. Anyway, there is one instance that sticks out in my memory. Ralf and I both agreed that we would want the other to move on, find happiness, and eventually find love again. But I remember saying to him that any other man that came into my life would have to accept the fact that he would never be everything that Ralf was for me. His response was, “You don’t know that. You could meet a great guy and really hit it off.” Among his countless traits that I admired and loved so much, that was the biggest – he was so humble. He had no idea how special he was.

Actually, now that we are on the subject of humility, I’m reminded of something that happened while Ralf was hospitalized. One of the times that the neurosurgeon came to speak with us, Ralf apologized to him. He was embarrassed that so many people had reached out to the doctor, whether through connections to Ralf’s dad who is also a physician, Ralf’s uncle who works at UM Hospital, or through Ralf’s previous supervisor and colleagues (he had a per diem job at UM). Ralf told him, “Regardless of what you may have heard, I am not special and I don’t expect special treatment.” Every time one of the nurses would go into the room to check on him or give him his meds, Ralf would ask the nurse if there was anything that he could do for them. He also comforted his visitors more than he was comforted himself. That was just the kind of guy he was.

So, the lesson I take from him is that I am not special either. My pain and suffering is unique in the sense that no two situations, losses, or relationships are alike – that much is true. However, I’m not the first young pregnant widow to ever walk the face of this planet. In the moments when I feel completely broken and small, when the burden is too much, when the weight on my shoulders is just too heavy, I promise Ralf that I will remind myself of this. I will do my best to be like him. I will remind myself that I can survive through the pain and the heartache, that I have both Ralf and God beside me to hold me up, and that I am blessed to have experienced true and selfless love at least once in my lifetime. While I am still struggling to find my purpose, and figuring out how to deal with everything currently on my plate, my life will inevitably go on.


  1. both you and Ralf are incredibly special. your love, your wisdom, your words – they are a blessing to so many! what i have learned through my grief is that, you are right, life goes on even though you don’t want it to. it’s so hard to remind yourself of that at times though.


  2. Ana Viso

    Maeghan I continue to be in awe of your courage through this ordeal. I just read a blog on Facebook from Ralf’s uncle Christian De La Huerta and his words and the images brought tears to my eyes. What an incredible show of support from the city of Miami Firefighters! Although I never have met you personally I feel a connection through a common community ( I graduated from OLLA in ’84 and my husband from Columbus in ’77) as well as a cousin of ours, Gabriel Arronte who went to high school with Ralf. I want you to know that my little 11 year old daughter and I prayed the Divine Mercy at 3:30 the afternoon Ralf was taken off life support- I felt so compelled to do so and I think probably many others were as well. 🙏Please take care of yourself, face this one day at a time, and keep writing… you are an inspiration!!! Our love to you and Mason❤️


  3. Nikki

    I was listening to this song and I thought of what you are going through:
    I just thought you should know that your courage is inspiring.
    You are in my prayers.

    “Follow Me Back Into The Sun”
    By: The Rescues

    Sirens in the distance cry
    The trumpet is sounding
    For someone tonight

    Strangers in a blood red light
    Running around us
    They reunite

    The sky fell down
    A star shattered highway
    I heard the wind inside me crying

    Run and run (we’re running out of time)
    Follow me back into the sun (I’m right behind you)
    On and on (we’re running out of time)
    Still waiting for forever to come (I’m right behind you)
    Don’t know how to leave you
    Don’t know how to leave you now

    Wondered how this day would come
    Sure as the night falls
    Sure as the snow

    Never thought the light would break
    So slowly
    But we both know we gotta let it go

    Love be brave
    Burn all the maps and let the
    Ashes blow away

    Run and run (we’re running out of time)
    Follow me back into the sun (I’m right behind you)
    On and on (we’re running out of time)
    Still waiting for forever to come (I’m right behind you)
    Don’t know how to leave you
    Don’t know how to leave you now

    Sirens in the distance cry
    From the corner of my eye
    I see my lovers face
    I’m leaving time and space


  4. Maria Serralta- Valera

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us. Although my heart breaks for you, I know that you will be ok. You are strong, have faith in God, and have a baby boy to focus on and live for. God took Ralf to avoid him further suffering, but he made sure to leave you something very special behind, Baby Mason. This little boy will be the love of your life. He will give you unconditional love, make you laugh, keep you very busy, and make you feel a kind of love you’ve never felt before. He is your greatest blessing and love! I pray that God gives you peace and comfort and that your baby is healthy and strong. I hope you’ll post pictures once he’s born because we can’t wait to meet him! Hugs to you!


  5. ana suarez

    You are stronger than you know, take it one minute or one hour at a time.cannot wait until you hold your precious son in your arms,


  6. Diana Cardona

    9  And so, from the day we heard,  we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him,  bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. 11  May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 
    1 Colossians 9-11.
    That will be my prayer for you tonight. May you rest in Jesus and wake in his strength.


  7. Diana Cardona

    To loose the love of your life is to alter it forever. The pain eventually stops, new people come into your life but the gap never closes. The hole in your heart will direct be the shape of the one you love. But yes life goes on. You we’re blessed to have a love most never experience…not even for a day. May that love sustain you, strengthen you and guide you. ..One breath at a time. You are surrounded in prayer, both you and your baby. Thank you for helping others, encouraging them to go on as well.
    Blessings sweet Maeghan!


  8. Hi Maeghan…I am a paramedic in California and read your story through EMS1. It made my heart break for you and your family. I reposted the story to my Facebook and asked my local EMS brothers and sisters to pray for you and Ralf. I was so sad when I read on your Facebook page that he had passed away and couldn’t imagine what you must have been going through. I have continued to pray for you and am glad that you have such a great support system to help you with your grief. I’m also very glad that you are trying to stay positive. My sister lost her husband suddenly to a congenital heart defect that he didn’t know he had because he was adopted when she was 28 years old. She had two small children (3 year old boy & 1 year old girl) when this happened and I remember feeling helpless to help her with her grief. The biggest thing I remember her saying to me was to take as much time as you need before parting with his things. People, trying to help, took his clothes and things that they thought she wouldn’t need within a few days of his funeral and she regretted it. So my advice is to not be in a hurry to make changes. Let the emotions and the reality of what has happened really sink in before you make any big changes. I will continue to pray for you and your family. I know that God has you all in His hands during this difficult time. Sincerely Renee H.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Juliet

    Beautiful words! May beautiful memories bring you peace during this difficult time. So sorry for your loss. May God continue to bless you, your family and baby Mason!


  10. Eyda Arguelles

    May God continue to give you strength and guide you thru the rough patches you encounter. You and Mason are in my prayers every evening…😘


  11. Yanes Legra

    You are truly an amazing person. Trust in God that if he brought you to it; he will push you through it. There is nothing that with faith you can’t overcome. May God continue to bless you and your son. Thank you for sharing.


  12. Soly

    May God and your angel Ralf continue to give you strength . I dont know you personally, but your story reached me and touched my heart. Havent stopped praying for you. My impression of that you WILL make it. Nothing will ever be the same but you WILL find joy again.
    May your baby bring you the most amazing peace ever. I do believe God can give us more than we can handle at times, only for us to turn to HIM for strength. It appears thats exactly who is giving you all the strength and fortitude we are witnessing in you.

    One day at a time.
    God bless


  13. Nora Hernandez

    You are truly an inspiration to all of us. Ralf is no longer with us in this realm but with you forever on a emotional and deeper plane. Stay strong and focused as Mason will be here soon ❤️❤️❤️ love reading your writings


  14. You are an unbelievably strong person and right on point on everything you write, your feelings, emotions etc. If all my clients would be as strong as you in the face of adversity, my job as a therapist and motivator would be so much easier.

    May God bless you and your soon to be born son. Namaste


  15. Yadira

    God bless you, your son and your entire family. Your writing has honestly lifted my spirits each and everytime I’ve read something. Thank you for being strong and although I didn’t know Ralf, through your writing I feel as if I did. God gave you the gift to know him, love him endlessly, and be his wife. My prayers will continue to be with you.


  16. Laura

    You continue to be a powerful example of a wonderful and strong human being. Your burden will soon be somewhat alleviated with Mason’s arrival, continue to stay strong. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words and showing us what a wonderful human being Ralf was!


  17. Maeghan,
    Writing has always been my outlet. I had a still birth pregnancy that became a miracle, he was revived and now 20 years old. Writing down what I was going through back then was my comfort. I also lost a pregnancy of a little girl at five months pregnant:/ That was rough, as I have only boys. I can’t find that diary unfortunately:/ Writing down what troubled me made my healing process seem a bit more relieving somehow. Now when my son Greg, went through re constructive skull surgery at the age of 6, due to a bat injury. Nothing helped. I couldn’t sleep, eat, write, talk. He was in a coma for three months and when he woke up, he didn’t know I was his mom. It was awful, I was stranger to him. We lived in the hospital for 11 months. It was one of the worst experiences of my life. He is now 23. He lost his short term memory and I have had my share of troubles with him. The brain is sooo fragile and traumatic experiences make the brain function in different ways. He has come very far and prayer has him in a better place in life I believe but it’s been a rough road. As a parent you experience sooo much happiness, pain, worry and anything and every emotion you can think of.
    When my Mama passed, October 31, 2009, from a brain tumor that came all of a sudden. I got paralysis in my face. It lasted about 6 months. I looked pretty bad and one eye stayed open for that long. Her passing was devastating to me because it came without notice and after she passed I wrote a book of poems in Spanish. Although I speak it, I had never written poems in Spanish. Only English. I would LOVE to publish what I have written in honor of her life but I don’t even know where to begin. I have asked but in English is all I can find information on.
    Writing has been a tool for me through my years of heartache and it’s been healthly for me, I am glad we share that gift. I pray for you, baby Mason and the soul of your husband. I don’t have to know to know or imagine your pain. Anyone who has a heart, when you write, feels it. Stay strong, God is in control. God bless you❤️


  18. Sheilah

    Beautifully written!. I can feel the pain in your words as I read them, but at the same time they are balm for the soul. There is sadness and yet there is joy in reading your posts because while your are struggling you still find the strenght to write your feelings down in such way that Im sure had inspired many of us to look at life from a different perspective. You are an amazing woman, and I wish you nothing but health and happiness. Blessings for you and baby Mason!…once again, thank you for sharing with us.


  19. adita1212

    Maeghan: I love your writings and very personal thoughts on this path that your life has taken. Always remember that if God brings you to it, He will see you through it. Keep your faith always. I am certain that when you bring Mason into this world, he will fill your heart with much joy, pure happiness and unconditional love. Keeping you and Mason in my prayers, Ada Otero 😘🙏👼


  20. Karen Rodriguez

    Maeghan your posts are so inspiring and beautiful the courage you show through this painful time is inspiring along with the love you shared with Ralf I pray daily for you and your baby Mason!


  21. Ani Ortiz

    “Do not look forward to whay might happen tomorrow. The same everlasting Father who cares for you today, will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations. It is such a mystery to us all. Jesus I trust You will one day allow us to see and understand the “why” behind our journey on earth. God bless you beautiful Mommy.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Arleen

    Sorry for your loss. I don’t know you, but I have been reading your blogs, and I can assure you that God will not give you anything you can’t handle.
    It’s hard at first, I myself lost my father two years ago unexpectedly… Till this day in my head I’m going over and over as to why it happened so quickly. What went wrong I ask myself? The truth is the pain will never go away… Like you said you just learn to
    live with it. If it’s any comfort.. Remember
    all the wonderful experiences and
    memories which will last forever! That’s how I remember my father. May he R.I.P.


  23. Nydia Kaye

    Your faith, love and honesty are a testament to all of us. You are a hero, too, and one who has the most amazing training and preparation through God, Ralf and your parents. We are all praying for you and watching you soar, beautifully and gracefully.


  24. Ivan

    1 Peter 5:5 – All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’

    Humility is the most redeeming of human traits. As a result, Ralf was an exemplary ‘human being.’ May he rest in the peace he so deserves.


  25. Manuela Espino

    You are such a strong woman. I am going through my own loss but in no way does it assimilate to yours. Mine is a breakup and reading your blog and seeing how strong you are is making me realize how dumb I have been for crying and feeling helpless. You lost your husband the love of your life, father of your child, your best friend and you are up deciding to go on with life.

    I wish you the best in life and know that I am praying for you to continue being strong and for that little Mason.

    Thank you for giving me without knowing me a reason to get up everyday.



  26. Lauren

    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Your words touched my heart. Little Mason is lucky to have a mother like you. Wishing you continued healing as you navigate this difficult journey.


  27. Maria

    You are a very special lady! Our family new Ralf and Nick through St Brendan Elementary. Very blessed to know the Garcias! I am a pediatric heme/onc RN , worked @ MCH until 2011 that I resign to take care my of my granddaughter. Through out my nursing carreer I have met the most wonderful, strong and dynamic patient and families. I want to leave you with part of a poem a mother wrote to her daughter ” God’s garden must be very special because God only takes the best” I picture Ralf sitting in that garden with all our special kids! They are all angels looking out for their love ones on earth!
    Maria Olson


  28. Laura LoynaZ

    Maeghan always remember besides Ralf and God holding you up, you also have your family and friends ready to hold you whenever you need us to.❤️


  29. Dear Maeghan,
    This is truly incredible. I am completely edified by your words. My spirit rises in God, my Savior, as I read your profound words of wisdom. Thank you for writing and expressing your most inner feelings. Our lives are indeed richer as a result of your insights. I continue to pray for you as we all share in your healing process. God bless you and your baby.
    Juan del Sol


  30. Jennifer Mendoza

    Oh Maeghan! I think about you several times a day. I really cannot wrap my mind, nor my heart around the pain you must feel. I can tell you this though, you hold Ralf on a pedestal (as he deserves to be), but listen when I tell you, that man that deserves his right on a pedestal chose to marry YOU! What does this say about you? A LOT my friend. You are deserving of your place right there next to him. You will spend the rest of your life trying to discover your purpose here. Ralf fulfilled his in a very short 28 years, and provided more to this life than most people will who live decades longer, so in my opinion, part of your purpose is to raise Mason by sharing the wonderful qualities Ralf had, teaching him how to be the kind of man is Father was and to do here on earth what Ralf is unable to from Heaven. I know there are going to be hard, painful days ahead of you and no one will truly be able to tell you how to get through them, but continue to allow yourself to feel all of the feelings as they come. Time heals all wounds. There will always be a scar, but eventually you will find a way to have peace. My heart aches for you, keep writing, keep expressing – I am praying for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Eli

    Why is it that you are comforting me through this very difficult time in YOUR life? As I struggle to understand WHY, your words are profound and truly inspiring. I’m sorry for your loss. I’m thankful for your strength and words of encouragement that can be and are applied to life in general. Keeping you and your baby in my prayers. Thank you.


  32. Janine

    Ralf sounds like he was a wonderful man and you are a strong, amazing woman. You will have your moments of weakness, who wouldn’t, but just like you said, you splash some water on your face and keep moving.


    • Sofia

      I don’t have the pleasure of meeting you but your courage and attitude towards life is amazing as is your closeness wih God. I am sure that the pain of loosing Ralf will always be there he, from heaven, will give you eh strength cope and be very very happy! I have a friend who also lost her husband suddenly in Miami while expecting her third child and she says that it’s the most difficult thing that’s happened to her but as time has passed ( her girl is 3 now) he sees the hand of God and his husband from heaven helping her through her life. Keep prying for you!


    • Evelin

      Wow the song Forever dont know where you find the strength i broke down 😱 it has to be that you have a part if him in u ! Mason keeps u sane and thats a wonderful thing! See Ralf didnt leave u by yourself he left a continuation of himself in Mason Ralf! 😇


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