Albuquerque-Metro

Husband speaks out after wife dies on Southwest Flight 1380

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - A week after Albuquerque's Jennifer Riordan was killed when the Southwest airplane she was on blew an engine, her husband, Michael, is speaking out.

"I have no idea how I can do this without her," he said.

Their love story carried on for nearly 30 years, but that journey came to a sudden end last Tuesday.

"There was a chaplain from the hospital that called and he said 'Well, I'm from Philadelphia,' I forgot the name of the hospital, and I said, 'Well, my wife was flying to Chicago today so you must be looking for somebody else," Riordan explained.

Jennifer was aboard Southwest Flight 1380 last week, when one of the plane's engines exploded mid-flight. Michael said he spoke with her the day of the flight.

"One of my most comforting things through all this is, she called me that morning to check on the day see what we were going to do when she got home and we ended with, 'I love you. Safe travels,'" he said. 

Nearly 1,000 people packed Popejoy Hall this weekend to celebrate the woman who gave so much to the Albuquerque community. Michael said that's what he'll keep in mind when his two kids ask about their mother.

"Kind, loving, caring and sharing," he said. "Every decision we make is going to be based on that. When I have those four little eyes looking at me, thinking how we're going to get through, that's going to make me a better dad, a better husband and a better person."

In the tough days that lie ahead, Michael said he will remind himself of this.

"It's the love affair that will never end because no one can take her from my heart and no one can take her from our family," he said. 

Watch: Michael Riordan's interview with CBS Evening News

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