August 28, 2010
One year ago today, at 9 am, my husband Dr. Peter Vincent Pakulis took his final earthly breath…
At the time, I was the only one in the room with him. Everything was quiet, I was holding his hand and Peter was breathing so peacefully. I looked up, and saw his final breath. The moment I knew he had passed from this life to the next, honestly… my first thought was, “Ohhh…. he’s there…”
I know… as a spouse, maybe that’s an odd or crazy way of responding to the loss of my husband and my best friend. But, I absolutely knew that Peter had just begun his eternal life. That he was in heaven that very moment. That the pain and suffering was over… and that in the midst of that moment of loss, I had the honor of holding his hand as he walked from this life to the next. A life that was promised to him because he had on small and beautiful gift:
I do believe that Peter had been prepared. On his birthday that June, he received a call from his oncologist saying that they discovered that the cancer had metastasized, Peter chose not to tell us about the phone call that day. He knew it was his birthday and wanted us to go ahead with our birthday celebration for him… so he kept the news to himself.
That night, gathered around cake and ice cream, we gave him our gifts. My present for Peter was a book! I had been SO prompted to buy him this book. And actually it was sort of a crazy choice, given that Peter had just gotten through 2 very extreme types of cancer and was basically told that everything looked good and that he was alright!
But the gift I gave him was book titled, “HEAVEN” by Randy Alcorn.
Peter later told me that when he opened that gift.. he thought to himself, “how appropriate.” Little did I know.
For the next 2 1/2 final months of his life… he read this book non-stop. He talked about it all the time to me… theme and to our children. He was completely fascinated with it. Deep down he knew that if he did not get through this 3rd round of cancer, he knew exactly where he was going. That he would be going home.. to this amazing place called HEAVEN! He learned so much more than he’d ever been taught about this amazing hope and future he had simply for having faith in the One who had ALWAYS been him… Jesus!
Today marks the one year anniversary of my husband passing from this life to the next. And the truth of the matter is that I have not once ever said or have been able to say this entire year that my husband died…
True death really does not exist… we do pass from this life to the next. Of course I know that his physical body died on August 28, 2010 at 9 o’clock in the morning…. but I am here to say, that Peter, truly, is far from dead!
There is so much stirring in my heart. So many emotions all at the same time. And so much occurring right now. We’ve just moved into a new home… and I’ve had the crazy that comes with that. But today, I might actually have several posts. Some things on my heart that seem ready to come out.
I’ll start by letting you know that we are doing alright. My children and I, though we feel the significance of this day deeply…. we continue to live our lives with much hope. Though we literally begin a NEW chapter in our lives, as we have just moved out from last home and into a new home. And as I removed final items that so precious to me, we live with the comfort of knowing where Peter is.. and that in the FINAL chapter of all of our lives, he will be there… waiting with open arms !
Everything in between…
…is just life.