With the anniversary of Ralf’s passing just three days away, I felt it would be appropriate to share this again. Words that I wrote from my heart, and that became a tribute to my Forever Hero.
Life goes on. I continue to heal and grow while love takes on new forms. My heart continues to expand and I am abundantly blessed, even after tragedy and loss. Still, I will carry the memory of our love on my skin and in the deepest corners of my heart and soul – all the days of my life.
Those of you that have been following my story from the beginning, when Ralf was in the hospital and I started posting on Facebook, have already read the words below. If you attended his funeral mass, you heard them read so eloquently by my father-in-law before he gave his beautiful eulogy. What you don’t know, however, because I didn’t mention it at the time, is that the “meat” of this post – which you will notice in bold now- was actually written several months before Ralf’s passing. I took them from an email that I wrote to him after we’d had a really stupid fight over something so insignificant – something that couples unfortunately do at times. I realized that I was being ridiculous for being upset with him, and so I wrote my feelings down. When I made the Facebook post, I just added some introductory/concluding remarks and changed all the you’s to he’s.
I am SO happy that I can say Ralf read these words, that he knew how I loved him. I believe he still does and always will. Even on the days when I feel like the grief hits me all over again like a ton of bricks, that brings me so much comfort and peace.
Don’t ever assume the people you love know how you feel about them. TELL them. SHOW them. Love them out loud. Even if they do already know, it’s nice to be reminded.
As I sit here, trying to cope as best I can, I struggle to find the words to express what I am feeling. Everyone tells me how “strong” and “amazing” I am being, but the truth is the only thing that is keeping me going is Ralf’s baby, whose heart is beating inside of me. I am only trying to do what I know Ralf would have done for me.
From the moment I found out that we were having a boy, I kept telling Ralf I had this funny feeling our baby was going to be a little carbon copy of him. I believe that more than ever now. I know so many people have been witness to the genuineness and pure love that was Ralf, but no one will ever understand the level of intimacy he and I shared on all levels. I will not sit here and tell you he was perfect, because perfect does not exist. But I can tell you without a doubt in my mind or an ounce of hesitation that he WAS the ideal man that every woman dreams of finding one day. A man that put his woman’s needs ahead of his own. A man that treated his woman with the utmost respect. Who listened to her and did whatever he could to make her feel understood, even when she sounded crazy to the rest of the world. A man that found beauty and humor in all of his woman’s little quirks and imperfections and did his best to make her feel like the most attractive creature alive (even on days when she felt anything but). A man that owned up to his mistakes and apologized from the bottom of his heart. A man that made his woman feel loved, and appreciated, and cherished every day. Even on the not-so-great days. He was the kind of man that most women never find.
Although I feel he was taken from me too soon, I feel honored and privileged to have been able to share my life with him and call myself his wife. A love like ours is one that comes along rarely, and why God chose me, I will never fully understand. But I am so grateful. Don’t take pity or feel sad for me. I was the lucky one. He was the love of my life and my heart will always be his.
I love you, Ralf. Know that your son will be raised with so much love and support. I will make sure everyday that he knows who his daddy was and what an amazing and loved man he was. I have no doubt that you will be there in spirit every step of the way. Rest easy, in peace and without any pain.