Pat and I would usually take our big vacation around this time every year.  So I am flooded with memories that pop up on social media. 2 years ago that vacation was London.  This was a trip that almost didn’t happen due to some things going on at that time. My oldest sister was battling cancer and was having some not so good days and on a business trip a couple of weeks before the trip I slipped and fractured my ribs.  Pat and I went back and forth on cancelling our vacation, we thought it might not be the right time to take it. But in the end we decided to go for it and take the trip. Looking back i am so happy that we did. This turned out to be our last vacation together.  We had such an amazing trip. We got up each morning and set out for the day just to explore. We walked all over London including one day walking almost 30,000 steps. We would leave in the morning and not go back to the room until we were done for the day. On this trip we talked about all the other places we wanted to see and explore.  We loved traveling together.


Us on the London Eye

Just weeks before he died we had planned our next vacation that sadly was not to be.  I remember all the memories popping up last year of our vacations and I quickly dismissed them without looking at the pictures.  It was just too painful to remember and to know it would never be again. This year as each of these vacations pop up on my memories I am able to look at the pictures and smile and even laugh when I think of what we were doing that day.  It feels so good to remember our life and feel the happiness again. Not only the pain. Don’t get me wrong there is still pain but at least I am able to feel the warmth of our love and remember our life in a good way.

We were planning a big trip this year as we would both be turning 50 (I still can’t believe I am turning 50 – i sometimes feel like i stopped aging when he did).  We were going to take a couple of weeks and go to either Australia or on a european river cruise. As difficult as it is not to be taking this trip with him I am planning a trip (to a different place)  with some friends to celebrate. It won’t be the same without him – even the planning is different but I am still trying to do something we loved to do which is travel!

We fit a lot of travelling together in our marriage.  Even though his death was sudden and not something we were prepared for I almost feel we were racing against time to do as much together as possible.  Like somewhere deep within us we knew our time was limited. I guess all of our time here on earth is limited. Life is short and Pat definitely lived his life trying to make the most of everything.  He believed we needed to live in today as much as possible. George Strait’s song (“Here for a good time”) reminds me of him

So, Take the trip, Eat the cake, Buy the shoes! (love this saying).  Do what makes you happy!




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.