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Moncton Mounties' widows say their lives are 'forever changed'

10/31/2014 04:03 EDT | Updated 12/31/2014 05:59 EST
The widows of the three Moncton Mounties killed by Justin Bourque say their lives have been forever changed.

Bourque, 24, was sentenced on Friday to life in prison with no eligibility of parole for 75 years.

The women fought back tears as they told reporters outside the courtroom the sentence will not bring their loved ones back.

But they said they are grateful the court proceedings concluded so quickly.

Bourque previously pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder in the June 4 fatal shootings of constables Doug Larche, Dave Ross and Fabrice Gevaudan.

He also pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder for wounding constables Éric Stéphane J. Dubois and Marie Darlene Goguen.

The prepared statements read by the three widows outside the courtroom following the sentencing are reproduced below.​

Nadine Larche

I want to begin by thanking the community for their overwhelming support during the past few months. We've all heard the expression "It takes a village to raise a child." As a proud Monctonian, I certainly felt that the entire village was there to take care of us and to help us through this terrible time. For that, I will be forever grateful.

To my wonderful family, I will never find the proper words to thank you for your continuous love and support. It has given me the strength to keep moving forward. During the unbearable moments, you were there to carry me and you continue to provide the comfort I need to make it through each day.

To my many wonderful friends, you have helped me in so many ways. From taking the girls out for ice cream or a movie, taking our dog for a walk, finishing the landscaping, back to school shopping, helping me decorate for Halloween, bringing supper or coffee, helping me write thank you notes and so much more. To the girls' school, daycare and extracurricular activities, thank you for your continued support. To Armand Doucet and team, I am grateful to you for initiating the Father's Day Run. Doug loved to run and this was a symbolic and kind gesture that brought the community together. It was a difficult day, but one of my proudest and most humbling moments.

So many RCMP members have provided support, but I'd like to thank two special members. Cpl. Don Moore and S/Sgt. Ross Gorman, you accompanied me during the most difficult time in my life. You have been my rocks, my guides and my solace. You continue to be there 24/7, always knowing what I need. I cannot imagine where I'd be if it weren't for the two you.

To Rachael and Angela, through this terrible tragedy I am grateful for our newly found friendship.

My dear Doug, I spent the 17 happiest years of my life with you. Although life will never be the same, I know you are watching and I want you to know that our girls will grow up knowing that their daddy was an incredible man, and a hero.

It is now time for us to start the healing process as we piece our lives together as best as we can. Thank you again for the outpouring of love and support.

Rachael Ross

My family and I have truly appreciated all the love and support shown to us over the past few months. I cannot begin to thank every person who has touched our heart, but I wouldn't have been able to get through all of this without my amazing family, friends, co-workers, church family, RCMP family, neighbours, and  strangers near and far for stepping up to help when help was needed.

God's love has been evident in so many ways. Every kind gesture and words of encouragement have been extremely meaningful.

When faced with situations like this, it is easy to fall into anger and hate, but we all need to choose to look at the good things … look at what is true and noble, such as how the community came together to support each other.

This event was so senseless. I wish it had never happened, that no lives had been lost. I miss my husband every minute of every day. He cannot ever be replaced.

Austin and Hunter will be able to remember their dad as a true hero who ran to face danger to protect us all. You will never be forgotten. Your sacrifice will never be forgotten.

I love you Dave.

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." That is what I will hold onto.

Angela Gevaudan

It is said that in order to change the world you must change yourself.

When you lose someone you love, I think it is only natural to feel anger and resentment towards the circumstances of their loss, especially in a situation like this one, but to continue to carry these feelings would be a choice.

I believe life is about choices. We may not always be aware of this, but every single moment of every day manifests itself from the many choices we make.

Every action we take, every word we choose to speak, has a consequence — good or bad. That can’t be taken back.

Regardless of our circumstances, we choose what we want to contribute in this world.

Being forced with a situation like this one does not exempt me from that responsibility, regardless of the excruciating pain that comes with having to let go of someone I love.

I know Fabrice would want me to always remember the love we shared and continue to build from that place.

I choose to continue to fill my heart with love. I choose not to give any space to feelings of anger, hatred, fear and resentment towards anyone.

I understand that if I did, I would only be contributing to the driving forces behind these kinds of acts. I would also be teaching my beautiful daughter to hate.

I've been incredibly fortunate to be able to see myself through the eyes of someone who loved me unconditionally. I choose to continue to nurture the qualities he saw in me that I would not have seen on my own; even when it is hard to do so, because ultimately, when you blame others for your circumstances, instead of seizing the opportunity to learn and grow, you give away your power to change.

If I can sit across from the person who decided to shoot my husband, my best friend, and still choose to continue to embrace peace, then I believe anyone can choose peace.

I also believe that is what Fabrice would want us all to choose… for ourselves and for each other.

Thank you for being part of this process with Laurence, Jacques, Marco, Aude, me and Miss Emma.

I'd also like to thank Mr. Vincent Hommeric, French consultant general, for being here on behalf of the family as they were not able to attend.

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