It’s been two months since the tragic events of Las Vegas took place on Oct. 1, when a gunman sprayed bullets upon concert-goers at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, killing 58 and injuring hundreds more.
One story that stood out was that of Sonny Melton, a surgical nurse who lost his life that night shielding his wife, Heather Melton, from gunfire as they tried to run and hide.
Heather shared her story and her grief with the “Today” show back in October saying, “He saved my life and lost his,” and has returned two months later to look back on the tragedy that changed her life and share how she’s adjusting to her new knew life.
In part, here’s what Heather had to say regarding the loss of her husband.
“My new reality feels unreal, unimaginable and raw,” she shared with “Today.” “It’s hard to process the horror I witnessed that one night and the profound loss and grief I’ve felt ever since. But I owe it to Sonny to share his story to encourage people to love like there is no tomorrow.
“Every moment of that nightmare, and the immediate days that followed, reminded me of my new reality. Homicide detectives. The coroner’s office. Returning home to Tennessee with two suitcases — and Sonny’s body in the cargo. Then came the flood of messages, first from loved ones, and then from reporters calling from all over the world. I remember asking God for guidance before deciding I would do everything in my power to let as many people as possible know the name Sonny Melton and the extraordinary person senselessly taken that night.
“Today, there are signs all over the hospital where we work that ask, “What Would Sonny Do?” It’s a huge testament that his friends and colleagues thought the best way to honor Sonny was to encourage random acts of kindness, to reflect the compassionate deeds he often demonstrated. When Sonny loved you, you knew it. He loved big, and I loved Sonny back hard. I would never give up that love, despite this excruciating grief. Nor would my children, who know how lucky they were to have a stepfather like Sonny.
“This past Thanksgiving, friends reached out, expressing comfort on a holiday they expected to be hard for me. But honestly, every day is hard. I still see Sonny everywhere.
“On days when we weren’t both working, he was always waiting for me when I got home. I don’t think I ever got out of my car without him opening the door and helping me carry my stuff in. Now I just come home to an empty house. Everywhere I go, at work, at home or with my kids, I’m reminded that Sonny is no longer here. At the same time, I have a hard time not breaking into a smile whenever I think of him, especially how we used to plan our next adventure.
“These days, there’s not a week that goes by when I’m not asked to give a speech or attend an event related to Sonny. I’ll do whatever necessary to keep his memory and spirit alive.”
R.I.P Sonny Melton.