(WXYZ) - It’s been two months now since Officer Patrick O’Rourke was killed during a domestic call in West Bloomfield. He left behind a wife, and four young children. Just two days after the murder, Amy O’Rourke astounded us with her strength and faith. But how is she doing now? I visited with her and her kids to talk about the husband, and dad they loved.
Mary is 8 years old, the real talker of the three girls. “It was emotional for about the first month, but we’re doing pretty good now.”
She and her sisters, 10 year old Eileen and 5 year Andrea have been getting grief counseling once a week. Little 11 month old Stephen is too little to understand it all. Their mom kept the girls home from school the day I visited because they wanted to talk about their dad.
“He was a really, really good guy, Everyday after school he made us a snack and stuff, and asked us about our day. I really miss that.”
10 year old Eileen calls him a great role model and says people’s description of him as a “gentle giant” is right on.
Amy O’Rourke says she and the kids have been leaning on each other to get through these dark days. “One morning I really struggled, I just could not stop crying, trying to get them out the door to school and they did, they came and hugged me and rubbed my back and said lovely things.”
Amy has been overwhelmed by the tremendous support from family, friends and even strangers. She has more than 13-000 likes on a Facebook page set up in honor of her husband. She spills out her heartache there, and is regularly met my people pledging their prayers.
It was Sunday, September 9 th when just before the end of his shift, Officer O’Rourke responded with his fellow officers to a domestic case. Ricky Coley, a man with guns, possibly suicidal, shot and killed Officer O’Rourke, leading to an almost 24-hour standoff with police.
Amy says she’s also been blessed to meet several surviving spouses of police officers who have fallen and that she loves phrasing it that way.
“They taught me that when I met them, verses the “w” word, because I’m still his wife, it’s hard for me to say widow.”
A word that would be difficult for most of us to say is forgiveness, but just two days after Patrick died she told us she felt strongly her husband forgives Ricky Coley, the shooter.
Patrick was a man of great Catholic faith, a faith his wife shares. I asked Amy if she’s able to forgive yet.
“Oh yes, almost immediately really… To not forgive just hurts us, I think when you carry un-forgiveness, it just makes you sick, physically, emotionally, mentally. And that’s why God wants us to forgive people, because he knows it’s going to affect who we are and how we feel. We have to let go of that stuff, give it up to him.”
Ricky Coley’s son remains on Amy’s and her daughter’s minds, knowing that there is another little boy out there who’s hurting because of this.
“I know my kids are definitely praying for their little boy. They did that all on their own, which I thought was wonderful, recognizing that he lost his daddy too…”
Pictures and reminders of Pat remain everywhere around the house, including the flag from his funeral… and his uniform hanging by the front door.
He’ll never be forgotten… but you can’t help but feel this is a family that will make it through, because as Amy says… “I can get mad, I can get so sad that I want to crawl in a hole in my backyard and never get out of it, but I have four reasons to keep going.”
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
It's a horrible crime that happened at a daycare in Sterling Heights.
"You never know when God is going to claim his angels. You never know," said Andrea Williams speaking publicly for the first time since losing two of her sons in a house fire on Detroit's west side.
Battle-fatigued and suddenly bipartisan, the House voted Thursday night to ease across-the-board federal spending cuts and prevent future government shutdowns, acting after Speaker John Boehner unleashed a stinging attack on tea party-aligned conservative groups campaigning for the measure's defeat.