So I’m gonna start you all off with one of the saddest blogs I’ll ever write, so I apologise in advance!!!
The day was Friday the 13th, 2014. A day no different to any other. Pez (for those that don’t know me, my husbands name was Richard Perry, but everyone called him Pez!) woke up and rolled over to put his hands on my 32 week pregnant belly and say good morning to our little boy!!
The baby had a little kick to say morning to daddy and we all had snuggles. Pez got ready for work, came back to bed and kissed me to say goodbye, telling me he loved me, as he always did before he left the house.
I got up and was in an excited mood! I had just started my maternity leave that week so had no work!!! Although I was massively pregnant I was happy!! My mum and friends had organised a baby shower for me the following day and I had a day of pampering ahead of me, bliss!!!!
Got Rhys to school and headed to the spa for some pampering and a massage!!!! Aaaah heaven!!!! Then I went for my hair doing.
The day passed in a blur and before I knew it, it was time to go collect Rhys from school. I did the school run, then went to the local hardware store as we needed a lock! (Boring but stick with me!!)
It was only when I got the the shop at about 345, I realised Pez was supposed to be coming home early from work as he had a Physio appointment, so he wanted to get changed. I called him and his phone went to voicemail, I just figured that he must have stayed late at work and gone straight to his appointment, so thought nothing more of it.
At about the same time I got a call from mine and Pez’s best friend Rich. He seemed a bit odd, asked where I was, so I told him, he then said he has to go and rushed off. Again, I thought nothing of it and carried on with what I was doing.
I got home, I remember I was making Rhys beans on toast and I heard a knock at the door. I waddled out of the kitchen and saw a police car across my drive, the first thing I thought was ‘shit, have I done something wrong?!’ And I sheepishly opened the door!!!
Two policemen were standing there with a very grave look on their faces. They asked me if I was Samantha perry, so I replied yes and let them in.
They asked me if I was married to Richard perry and I said ‘yes, why?’ So they asked me to sit down.
I started to become really agitated and refused to sit down (anyone that knows me will know I never do as I’m told!!)
I remember the policeman kept trying to hold my hand and I kept brushing him off.
So they then said the words that I will never forget, I remember the day step by step, as if it happened only yesterday.
‘Richard has been in an accident’ , to which I replied ‘right, ok so which hospital is he in, let me get Rhys and you can take us’
I could tell by the look on their faces and the sad look in their eyes what was coming next, the way they were surrounding me to catch me if I fell, the way they were watching me rub my 32 week pregnant belly. And right at that point I knew, I just knew what was coming.
‘I am afraid it was fatal, he is dead’. At that point, with that sentence, the world as I knew it crashed around my ears. It was as if everything stopped and then started in slow motion around me, my ears went fuzzy and my eyes went blurry and I just stopped.
I asked ‘was it a car accident?’ As he worked in Bradford and drove on the motorway every day. But they told me he had fallen through a roof. So I started laughing and said, sorry, but you have got the wrong person, Pez didn’t work on roofs, he was scared of heights, so it can’t have been him. They assured me it was and I just became more hysterical.
‘but he can’t be, I’m pregnant, our baby, what will I do?’
They asked me if I wanted to go to hospital, I said no. I just need my Mum, then the world seemed to speed up and I went into panic mode, the one thing I needed was my Mummy, I didn’t know what to do and I knew she would know EXACTLY what I would need to do.
The police wanted to go get mum and dad, but I wanted to call her. I picked up my phone and hysterically said ‘mum, mum you need to come quickly because the police are here telling me Pez is dead and I do not know what they are talking about.’ Mum said ok stay there we will be right up, all the while screaming for dad to get the car we need to get to Sams.
At this point my biggest baby Rhys came running in from the garden, where he had been playing asking me what was wrong. What the fuck do you say to a 6 year old boy who’s daddy had just died?? So I said nothing, told him everything was ok and he went to play at a neighbours.
Then Rich, our best friend who called me earlier ran into my house. He was sobbing and just grabbed me, that was the first time I cried. When I say cried, I mean absolutely broke down and collapsed. I didn’t realise at the time Rich had called me earlier, that he already knew Pez was dead and wanted to know if I did.
Then my Mummy walked in, I say mummy but she is my absolute best friend and rock, she grabbed me and we sobbed together. I could hear my dad in the background talking to the police, asking them what had happened and just pacing, looking at me and looking scared, I remember the fear in his eyes as he watched me. Then he grabbed me and I crumbled all over again. I kept asking everyone ‘what has happened, where he is he, he can’t be gone this can’t be happening.’
Then I stopped crying and felt ok. It was a weird feeling, every time I stopped crying, I felt guilty, like I should just be continuously crying, but it was as if I had run out of tears.
My house was suddenly filled with people. My lovely, supportive family. My best friend Anna left work as soon as she heard. My head was in overdrive, I just couldn’t comprehend what was happening, none of it made sense. I remember sitting there and it was like a scene from a film, I seemed to be in slow motion, while the world buzzed around me really fast.
The lovely policemen stayed with us for hours, just stayed in the background to answer all the questions that were being thrown at them. I just sat down and greeted my guests as if I was having some kind of fucked up party!
We still didn’t really know what had happened, all we knew was that Pez had been on the roof at work covering some skylights with vinyl to stop the sun shining on the shop floor, as everyone was complaining about how hot it was. Anyone that knew Pez would know how he went out of his way to help people, but to go on a roof, I couldn’t comprehend that. He hated heights, why the fuck would he go on a roof??
He was covering the last skylight and leaned over it to smooth out some bubbles (Pez was a perfectionist where his work was concerned and had an eye for detail, so the bubbles would have really annoyed him!)
Then the skylight crumbled beneath him, he fell 30ft through the window, to the shop floor below. He hit his head on some machinery on the way down and was dead
When he hit the floor.
A friend of his was on the roof with him when it happened, they were doing the work together. I spoke to him that day, he was understandably traumatised, he had watched his friend fall to his death and there was nothing he could have done to help him.
The police eventually left, my family left, my two best friends were the last to leave, I could see they didn’t want to, they couldn’t stop hugging me. Everyone was watching me, with a fearful look in their eyes, no one really knew what to do, me included! So all they could do was keep hugging me.
I’ll never forget a conversation with my best friend, Anna. She was hugging me, I was sobbing and I just kept saying ‘what am I going to do, I just don’t know what I’m going to do?’ And she replied ‘Sam, I don’t know either, but all I know is we will be here with you every step of the way and we will do it together.’ How true to her word she was, her and her husband Rich have been my rock, along with my amazing Mum and Dad.
All that day I waited for a call from the coroner, the call to tell me that I could go see Pez, have my last goodbye and kiss him for the last time, but that call didn’t come until the Monday, as it was the weekend.
The night drew in and there was just Myself, mum and Dad, I was tired, so very tired but wide awake. I was 32 weeks pregnant and couldn’t eat a thing, I felt sick to my stomach, I laid on the sofa, trying to watch crap on telly with Dad.
I forced myself to bed in the early hours of the morning, but everything I touched drove a knife through my heart, I couldn’t look at Pez’ photos, his unwashed clothes were still in the wash basket, his shoes in the porch, it was absolutely crazy that he wasn’t here anymore.
I laid in our bed that I last laid in with my husband, my soul mate, my best friend and love of my life. I wore his red adidas jacket, it still smelt like him, I laid my hands on my massive belly and felt my baby boy inside me. I laid his pillows at the side of me, so it seemed as if he was in bed next to me.
I closed my eyes, willing myself to sleep, as I was exhausted, but every time I closed my eyes all I saw was my husband falling through the roof. I wondered what had gone through his head as he fell, were we the last things on his mind, had it hurt him? It sounds gruesome but I kept getting a vision of his beautiful face, smashed and broken, his blood on the shop floor. I was glad he died instantly, so hoped that he suffered no pain.
I eventually fell into a restless sleep, I managed a couple of hours and woke up sweating and screaming for Pez. For a minute I thought it was a dream, the most terrible dream and that my Pez was really alive, in the bathroom getting ready for work and that any minute now he would come running in, hold me in his strong arms and tell me to stop being silly, it was just a dream. That didn’t happen. I woke fully and reality kicked in, it wasn’t a dream, this was my life.
I stumbled downstairs and fell onto the sofa, my Dad was on the other sofa, he came to me and I remember he sobbed on me, telling me everything was going to be ok, I shouldn’t worry, but I still couldn’t understand how everything would be ok? My dad doesn’t cry and him crying scared me, I comforted him.
Pez and I had been together for 12 years, married for 7. We had a boy called Rhys, who was 6 at the time and another on the way. I was 37, Pez was 43.
I was a widow at 37, how does that even happen, it was ridiculous! I’ve since realised that this happens, a lot and to people much younger than I was too.
I had a million things running through my head, I needed to see Pez, I needed to organise things, organising and planning is what I do best, so I went into survival mode and started pulling out box files with all the paperwork in.
We had never really discussed funerals, this made me sad, I knew he wanted cremating but nothing else. Fuck me, I was thinking about my husbands funeral, my husband, the father to my children was dead, like really dead, not here anymore, how the hell am I meant to live without him?
I’m not embarrassed to admit, at that point, I wanted to die too, I didn’t want to live without him, I couldn’t live without him. The minute he died, half of me died too and I didn’t think that the half of me that was left was strong enough to go on without him.