How did you start enlisting people to sing “Live Your Life” each day?
I thought, if anything’s going to wake him up, it’s going to be the whole world singing his song. He always wanted to be a rock star, and we’re going to make him a rock star. And then it caught on like wildfire.
You and your sister started a T-shirt line together, and now you’re going to collaborate on a book?
Yes, I’m writing a memoir about this time, and I’m writing it with Anna Kloots, my sister. It’s about everything I went through, and about positivity and faith and resilience. I started writing when I was in Ohio, with my mom and dad, right after Nick passed. I’ve actually found it to be incredibly therapeutic.
It seems like religion has also been an important part of the way you’re getting through this.
I grew up Lutheran, and I’ve been pretty religious my entire life. I’m nondenominational right now, but I’ve always prayed, I’ve always felt comfort going to church, and I don’t know how I would have gotten through without my faith and prayer.
You talk about accepting God’s will, but that has to be hard now.
It is hard. You know, to say, “Everything happens for a reason,” and you’re like, “Really?” Like, “Why? Why Nick?” But there were so many times in the hospital, or on a phone call, when I was talking to the doctors, and they would tell me Nick wasn’t going to make it — they would tell me he has an hour or two left to live. And I would pray so hard because it’s how I was able to help. And he would live and he would fight and he would hold on.
But one of the times that that happened, I was praying, and I said, “God, thy will be done. I will never understand if you take him. But it isn’t my will, it’s your will.” It helped me in the hospital, and it helps me today. It’s not that the hospital didn’t do enough. It’s not that I didn’t do enough. It’s God’s will.
I know you hear this over and over, but it is striking how positive you seem.
I can’t be in a hole in my life right now, because I have a beautiful little boy that relies on me. And on top of that, it’s what Nick would want me to do. There are parts of every day that I get sad, and there are parts of every day where I cry. But I also have to find the little things throughout the day that make me happy, or else I know I won’t survive.