In a sit-down with NBC News, Heidi Nunes-Tucker, 40, opened up about losing husband Jared Tucker, 42, during their first wedding anniversary trip through Italy, France and Spain.
“I’d found my person: truly the love of my life. That was obvious to anybody that knew us or saw us,” she said. “And I don’t know that you find that again, and I don’t know that I want to.”
Nunes-Tucker shared that she is struggling to cope with the fact that she won’t have her husband beside her for the everyday events.
“I don’t want to wake up without him next to me, and I don’t want to watch TV without him,” she explained. “All of it is just going to be a lot more empty.”
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Nunes-Tucker said that the duo were stopping for sangria at a café on the popular street of La Rambla on their way to the beach. They separated when Tucker went to find a bathroom.
“No more than … 30 seconds to a minute after he left, all mayhem broke out and people were screaming and crying and running,” Nunes-Tucker said.
A van had begun plowing through pedestrians, ultimately killing 13 and injuring scores more.
She was pushed inside the souvenir kiosk and stayed there hiding until the chaos was over. Afterwards, she was unable to find Tucker.
Nunes-Tucker felt a sense of hope when she saw a photo of her husband after the attack appearing to receive helped by someone. However, that optimism shattered when she went to a police station and cops revealed Tucker had died in the attack.
“It’s hard not to be angry,” she said. “It’s confusing why anybody would want to hurt anybody like that. Why would you want to hurt strangers? Why would you want to hurt anybody?”
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Tucker, who was excited to share this special anniversary trip with his soul mate, never mentioned any hesitation about visiting Europe, despite it being the target of a series of deadly terror attacks in recent years, according to a close friend.
“He didn’t live a life afraid, he didn’t have fear of anything,” Billy Claraty told PEOPLE. “He took things head on all the time and thought he would get through it. They were just out to celebrate one year and have a great time and see some friends.”
In September of 2012 at an art and wine festival in Lafayette, California, Tucker opened his heart to Nunes, a teacher and the mother of a teenage son.
“When he met her, it was immediate, they both knew,” says Claraty. “Heidi was his total life, they had a great, amazing relationship. He had a bumpy road for awhile with past relationships and once he met Heidi that turned around for him.”
A website set up for his wedding to Nunes shows they were married on Aug. 6, 2016, after becoming engaged on Sept. 10, 2015.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by Tucker’s family to cover funeral costs and help raise money to go towards his daughters’ education.