This is Mary. I had the opportunity to sit down with Nancy yesterday and have a long talk with her about everything that is happening, things she is thinking and feeling, and about questions we all have about everything.

I am not the best at translating my thoughts into words, and I know I get too wordy most of the time, so just bear with me! Also, these are MY thoughts, (combined with Nancy’s), so it my own questioning and deficiency of faith that I am revealing here…

First and foremost, where is Pat? We believe in the spirit, in his soul, and that he is still here with us in some way. But how and where, and why can’t he communicate with us, touch us, talk to us?
You hear your whole life about “heaven” and that this is where you go when you die – but really, what does that mean? Where is it? Is his soul still HIM, still the Pat we know and love? Is he still here? Is he thinking about us, watching us, WANTING to reach out and touch us? And if so, WHY are we unable to feel him, to hear him, to see him?

As much as I know Pat loves Nancy with his whole heart and soul, if he has a way to do so, he will, and he IS trying to reach out to her, to touch her, to tell her he is here, to tell her he loves her and will always love her, forever. Forever and ever….. But what exactly does that MEAN, if he is not here where she can actually touch him, see his eyes, hear his voice, smell his skin, feel his hugs? Our senses are so limited, but they are what we have here on this earth, in this life. I think there is some kind of “sense” that we are not equipped with that would be required to see and communicate with souls as they pass into the next life, the next world, the next universe, the next “form of being”.

I believe in the soul living on – I can’t even imagine that my love for my children and all of my family could possibly just die if I died. I love them too much – my love for them will go on into all of eternity, there is no way it would or could ever end. My husband has been gone for 11 years now, and I still talk to him and still feel his presence at times. We just don’t have the opportunity to sense them in the same way any more. It hurts not to hear their voices, not to be able to feel their warm hands in ours, to look into their eyes, to be able to talk to them and hear them talk back TO US about everything we are thinking and feeling as we go through this.

Nancy has many, many people who love her and reach out and touch her every day. Many people who genuinely love her and are deeply interested in what she is going through – but it is still PAT whom she longs to sit down with just to talk about all of this. It is Pat that needs to hear what this is like for her, it is Pat that needs to talk to her about what this all means, how it impacts her life, how to live through it, how to go on, how to be there for the kids, how to simply get through each and every day.

Another question we have, is WHY are we even here? What is the purpose of our lives? If we are only here for a short time, then if we can just disappear in death, unable to talk to or touch anyone any more, what does it all mean? Why do we (and not just US, but all of humanity) have to endure suffering and hardship, only to be left with questions of not knowing fully what it means? Yes, to US, Pat’s life means so very much, and nothing can take that away from us. But, as the years go on, and new lives come and go from this world, what does each of our individual lives really mean? WILL we be able to see each other again after we die? Will we be the same people? Will Pat be the same person, will he stay the same as he was on the last day we saw him alive?

We know the traditional Christian answers to these questions. I know these questions have been asked by all people throughout all time, and all we have is our faith. We have no real way of *knowing*, we just have our ideas and our faith in what may or may not be the truth. And that makes it so difficult when you are looking for truth, for reality, for evidence of what is REAL.

But even more than just these deep, philosophical-type questions, we have others. We wonder too, about Shane, about what he is going through. Does he think about Pat, does he read this site? Does he wonder where Pat is, about WHO Pat was in our lives? It hurts not to be able to talk to him, to hear what he may be thinking or feeling. We just have questions for him, like what really happened that night and morning. We don’t want to pass any judgment or anything, we just want to know. We wonder what his mom is thinking and feeling too. I can’t help but to think what if that was MY son? My heart would be broken into a million pieces, for a million different reasons. I would be wanting to reach out to the family that my son has changed forever, to let them know what we were thinking and feeling too. We understand that there are still legal proceedings, and Shane and his family have probably been advised NOT to contact us, but we still have these questions….

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  1. hathomas

    i think these questions have breached us all at one point or another, particularly now. they seem so intrusive at times. how dare they shake the foundation of our lives? how dare they force us to question what it’s all about? however, my good friend once sent me a card with the following written on the front:

    “i beg you…to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a foreign language. don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. and the point is, to live everything. live the questions now. perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer…” -rainer maria rilke

    when i last took dinner over to nancy, we talked about how proud pat would have been of the wonderful things that people said of him at his funeral and how nancy longed to share these with him. i do not know if he heard them or not but do hope that we all showed him through life exactly what a exceptional person he was. it was an honor to have met him and learned from him for but a short time. he always led by example. i continue to try to do the same. though you may not be able to use your earthly senses to be with pat, you can look all around you at the community, the family he created and know that he is loved and his life and work continues. keep watch for the breeze!

  2. Mary

    Hi Hannah,
    Thank you so much for your comment, and for this quote. I was JUST on this site, re-reading the questions I posted, and your comment popped up through my email. I want to believe that was Pat speaking to me through you. I do believe he is still here with us, I only wish I could find a way to help him reveal himself to Nancy.

    I appreciate this quote you gave to us.
    It also fits for me, and helps me feel Pat is speaking to me and to us, to live our lives, to live in the moment, to live the questions.

    There is a new song on the radio by David Cook (yes, the American Idol….) that for SOME reason always hits me in the heart when I hear it. I don’t know WHY – it never had a thing to do with my thoughts of Pat when he was alive, but ever since he died, when I hear this song, I FEEL Pat’s presence. The words in the song that especially get to me are “I’m going to taste every moment and LIVE IT OUT LOUD”
    Pat was someone who knew how to live his life out loud – he lived his love and his beliefs to the fullest.

    There is another line that says “I’m rising from the ashes, finding my wings.” I think Pat is trying to tell us to LIVE our lives, live through the pain, live the questions, live our way into the answer….

    Thank you SO much for this response, it is something that has deeply touched me.


  3. hathomas

    we must just have a connection through pat today. i looked back before i logged off of the computer and read your message. i then went into the kitchen and the following song (a favorite of mine) was on the radio: garth brooks, standing outside the fire. i’ll include the lyrics. THANK YOU, MARY! I REALLY NEEDED THIS CONNECTION TODAY! -Hannah

    We call them cool
    Those hearts that have no scars to show
    The ones that never do let go
    And risk the tables being turned

    We call them fools
    Who have to dance within the flame
    Who chance the sorrow and the shame
    That always comes with getting burned

    But you’ve got to be tough when consumed by desire
    ‘Cause it’s not enough just to stand outside the fire

    We call them strong
    Those who can face this world alone
    Who seem to get by on their own
    Those who will never take the fall

    We call them weak
    Who are unable to resist
    The slightest chance love might exist
    And for that forsake it all

    They’re so hell-bent on giving ,walking a wire
    Convinced it’s not living if you stand outside the fire

    Standing outside the fire
    Standing outside the fire
    Life is not tried, it is merely survived
    If you’re standing outside the fire

    There’s this love that is burning
    Deep in my soul
    Constantly yearning to get out of control
    Wanting to fly higher and higher
    I can’t abide
    Standing outside the fire

    Standing outside the fire
    Standing outside the fire
    Life is not tried, it is merely survived
    If you’re standing outside the fire

    Standing outside the fire
    Standing outside the fire
    Life is not tried, it is merely survived
    If you’re standing outside the fire

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