Patrick Swayze’s widow, Lisa Niemi, made a moving speech Tuesday during Maria Shriver’s 2009 Women’s Conference in Long Beach, CA.
Talking on a panel addressing “Grief, Healing and Resilience”, Niemi, who joined cancer sufferer Elizabeth Edwards on the stage, shared that her grief is still raw following the death of her beloved husband to pancreatic cancer on September 14th.
“I thought during the 22 months of my husband’s illness that it gave me all this time to get used to the idea of losing him,” she shared. “I found myself that when I actually got to this point I said, ‘No no no’..It wasn’t the same at all.”
Going on to say, “The actual loss is like an animal all of its own. It made all sadness and grief previous to that look like an intellectual concept. It’s almost — when the grief takes over, your body is not your own… I know I just have to go through it, and it’s going to take as long as it’s going to take.”
Niemi admitted that at some point she wanted to feel like she had the courage to go on and have a good life but, “In the first few days after [Patrick’s death], I felt like that would almost be a betrayal. That I would be letting him down somehow, and of course everyone’s saying to me, ‘Trust me, this is what he would have wanted’”