The mail truck made it through the heavy blizzard snow today. It only delivered us some junk mail – snowy and soggy by the time I got it from the mailbox to the front door. But it got me thinking about letters and what it means to hear from people you love. Then a friend sent me some information on mourning from a conference she went to. One of the suggestions was writing a letter to the person who is gone. I haven’t done this. I have written so many poems but no letters. And I don’t really talk to him – other than when I shout alone in the car – help me – when dealing with a challenging kid situation. Or when I wander out to his apple tree and say hello and thank you. I guess I feel like he can see me, see us, and I don’t have to tell him what is happening, what I am thinking.
But it seems like a good idea for today…. I am not going to plan this letter – I am just going to write. I wonder what will come out?
I imagine you are somewhere safe. In my mind you are well and strong, and I can see your smile and those brown eyes. I like to think of you that way – forever 53. You stand off to the side in my mind now, I think that is a healthy thing. Maybe it means you are moving closer to wherever you need to be. Maybe it means I am moving closer to where I need to be.
Life has surprised me. You got sick and died – that was a surprise. I survived – that was a surprise. But that isn’t even totally true, I felt so alive when you died. Ironic I know, people talk about dying inside when they lose someone. Every cell in my body was awake and aware and hurt.
I am better now. So much better. So are our kids. We miss you. We love you. You are not here to tell us your stories, bring us treats from around the world, or hold us in your arms. But you are in this house, in the stories we tell, and in the way we wrap our arms around the people within our reach.
Love has surprised me – the way I can still feel your adoring belief in me and the sweetness of the memories. The abundance of love has been the greatest surprise of all. That there could be love in my life again (thank you – I know you had your hand in it). When you died I thought I would never have the chance to be myself again – that my heart was cracked. I didn’t know you can grieve, love with all your heart, and then find your heart can double in size.
I don’t need to give you an update on the kids, because I am sure you are with them, always. But know this – they are my gifts from you and I am grateful. They are healing, strong, and wise.
I am signing off now because what I really want to say I can’t find words for. But it feels like hope, gratitude, and love jumbled together.