The Oscars red carpet is a long way from the Texas courtroom where Taya Kyle has spent much of the past few weeks.
On Sunday, Taya headed to the Oscars to support American Sniper, the Best Picture-nominated film based on the 2012 memoir of her late husband, Chris Kyle.
“I’m so grateful,” she said about being at the ceremony. “I want to be here to represent Chris obviously.”
Taya also thinks her late husband would be pleased with the movie.
“He would be absolutely blown away and he would be his usual humble self, laugh at himself, make fun of it in some ways,” she said.
On Facebook, she wrote that she’s “exhausted” but wanted to attend the Oscars “to represent my husband, military families and the beautiful people who put more than they had to to make this movie happen.” She added, “I am blessed to have my beautiful loving sister with me to hold my hand and dry my tears from what is sure to be an emotional evening.”
“When I actually think about what it would be like to have him next to me, with my hand in his, it hurts,” Taya, 40, told PEOPLE last month. “But he’s still with me. This movie is a tremendous blessing in that it does carry on who he was and shows that he touched a lot of lives when he was here.”
The Oscars come at a particularly difficult time for Taya, who has been attending the ongoing murder trial of Eddie Ray Routh, 27, the former Marine who confessed to fatally shooting Chris and his friend, Chad Littlefield at a Texas gun range in 2013. Taya wrote that she’s planning on taking a red-eye flight back to Texas after the Oscars to be back in the courtroom on Monday morning.
While actor Dean Cain told PEOPLE that his late friend would rather be fishing, horseback riding or doing anything other than being in “the public eye” at a high-profile event like the Oscars, Taya says he would have loved knowing that the movie resonated with so many people – especially veterans.
“Chris would just be in awe of it,” Taya told PEOPLE. “Part of the beauty of it is that he was just so humble. I thought about it a lot of times and it makes me really emotional when I think about how he would react. I think that he really should be here.”