Today I will run my 5th 5K since March.  Myself and my friend Debbie have decided to run at least one 5K a month.  And as we do every month Debbie will pick me up this morning and the whole way there we will be talking about how we would rather be in bed.  But we also know how good we will feel when we cross the finish line.

I also remember another day where running was something I wanted to do but in a different way.  It was the 2nd morning after I suddenly lost my husband Pat.  I woke up at 5 that morning and while the rest of the household was sleeping I went and sat outside on the front stairs.  I was in in shorts, a t-shirt and no shoes and it was cold and raining. As I sat there my anxiety reached a fevered pitch and all I wanted to do was run away – away from my pain and reality.  I felt if I ran far enough this nightmare would disappear.  The only thing that stopped me was I couldn’t figure out how to find my shoes.  I remember sitting there and thinking “where on earth can my shoes be”.  Which makes no sense cause I was in my own home and my shoes are always in the same place  As I sat there trying to think of where my shoes would be I realized no matter how far I ran my reality would be the same.  Pat was gone.  Our future was gone.  Life as I knew it was gone.  I went back into the house and began to wake up the friends and family that were there so that we could begin to make preparations for his funeral.

There are still days when I have an overwhelming need to run way from everything and I have to remind myself that running away does not make the pain go away.  So now instead of running away from this new life, I use running as a way to deal with the feelings of anxiety and depression that Pat’s death has brought into my life.  Even though my friend  and I  are not your fastest runners,  we have been improving our time each month.  We hope by next running season we will be able to do some longer runs maybe even some out of town runs.

So here I go to the lakefront to run for health, a tiny bit of happiness and some peace of mind.  To hopefully improve by a minute or so on time.  And to enjoy the beautiful start to the day.



Eileen Clarke is an average everyday woman whose life was torn apart on November 2, 2017 with the sudden loss of her husband Patrick (Pat).

She is now in the process of taking a journey that she never asked for but must take nonetheless. Her hope that in sharing her journey she may be able to help other woman as she embarks on her own unplanned journey of grief and rebuilding.