The Letter to Heaven


Hubby in heaven,

It will be 8 years this Monday since the day you left this world.

I used to imagine how would the pain feel years from the day you left.

A part of me wanted time to speed up and another part wanted time to go backwards.

You left behind a train wreck.

The girls wouldn’t fall asleep at night without holding on to the glass picture frame of you.

In the middle of the night I would go in their room to remove it so it wouldn’t break and hurt them. We were all so angry, desperate and very alone.

The girls would scream sometimes.

Other times they would hit me from their anger, they were so small and so innocent.

Their words could not capture the loss they endured.

As for me I was so afraid to fall asleep.

I had all the lights on for months.

I also had terrors.

I would wake up screaming.

I would dream the same dream over and over again.

Someone was breaking in, taking the kids and I couldn’t move.

Sometimes I cried so much that the next day the whole world could tell from how swollen my eyes were.

I also went back to school, graduated and got a corporate job I did not like.

I had to do it for the girls.

Once I nearly threw us all in the frozen pond in front of our house.

I was racing to come home from work and the ice got us.

I wish you were there to help us.

We had to slowly get out of the car without moving it, as it would have fallen in the frozen water.

We had many near misses throughout the years. I had to learn how to do things on my own. The girls helped me move furniture, carry the groceries in and they were responsible for that first smile of mine.

Slowly the nightmares stopped, I was able to turn off the lights and I resigned from that terrible job 3 years later.

I also met someone new, I think you would like him.

Remember you told me it would happen, and that it would be ok because you would no longer be here. You were so right about so many things.

But the most change took place within me.

I changed the most.

So much that you would not know me.

So much that you would be intrigued.

I had to change to overcome your departure. (Click to Tweet)

I had to become so independent that for a few years I wondered if my heart would ever stop feeling frozen. I am no longer the woman you left behind, scared, alone and desperate.

I am a woman that is unafraid to live alone.

I am a woman who took what you left behind and lifted it up so high that a brand new life emerged.

One that I could have never imagined the day you died.

One you could never imagine for me.

Today the girls are 14 and 12, they have your blond hair and your athletic genes.

Whenever they walk into the room the room lights up.

You would be so proud of them.

And if I was honest with you I would say that the one thing I could not change or fix or make better would be that you are not here to be proud of them with me.

That they won’t have your unconditional love.

That they have to imagine you into life as their memories are fading.

But they have learned to love you in multidimensional ways. And so have I.

Now and again you come to my dreams.

I know you are somewhere watching over us.

We are also watching over you, outside of time and space.

Outside of the traditional human way to love.

We love you forever and ever. In many universes, under many suns. In many lifetimes.

With life,

Christina

PS. Please write a letter to the person who is no longer with you. And share in the comments.

Comments

  1. Christina, I’m at my 14 weeks today and can’t imagine yet how or what my future holds. I’m strong, weak, angry, hurt and I am scared. You give me hope that maybe someone will come into my life again but for now I’m content with my 2 dogs. Thank you for your thoughts as I go thru my grief.
    God Bless – D

  2. I wonder what is in next in my life. You were my life, my everything. We had time to say goodbye but thought we had longer. I am learning to live alone, although our cat and dog keep me from being totally alone! I miss my best friend. I miss coming home and having someone to tell about my day to. I need help with things and hate to ask others. You were my help, my savior, in all situations!
    I wonder where to go from here. It has been a year and a half. I am not sure what to do next. I was never one to have goals. You were my goal and my goal maker. I followed you. We worked so perfectly together at home, at work. You took care of me even as independent as I am.
    I wonder how I will feel in five years, one year, 6 months. I am getting where I enjoy going to the desert to take pics of the wild horses again. I haven’t gotten lost yet but I have to pay close attention! I found that when shopping with friends and they have to explain another pair of shoes to their husbands that I don’t have that anymore, not that I ever had to explain! I miss showing you my finds though. I find myself smiling instead of crying at memories or stories being told. That is an improvement I didn’t think was possible. I hear others complain about their husbands and I get so irritated. What I wouldn’t do to pick up after you or hound you to get some project done. There wouldn’t be complaints anymore, just gratefulness to have you another day! They don’t understand it.
    I wonder if I will ever love again, or trust anyone as fully as I did you. No one can compare.
    I wonder where you are. I am sure you are in a better place but it hurts that you can’t share it with me. I see the signs you have sent when I desperately needed them and opened my eyes so I can see more. I am sure I have missed some. I hope to see all I can.
    I wonder when we will meet again. I will be ready. God has a plan for my life. 🙂
    Love, Your wife

    • It is a nicely written expression , I really felt bad having been found myself miles away
      from you but when I read it , I felt closer and closer to you ,sitting and listening to you , “You are learning to be alone” is the best answer for bringing your happiness back..hope you will stay fine……God bless you , Mosaddek, Dhaka,Bangladesh

  3. It has been almost two years since Charlie has passed away, but the pain is still there. I am moving forward day by day. Getting stronger acknowledging that being alone is good at times. Tried dating, but no one measures up and it seems so boring! Insipid conversations, swelled egos and lack of sensitivity.

    Thank God for my many friends and family who are there for me. Attempting to rebuild my life one brick at a time and I will get there very slowly. Very determined to enjoy life in a different capacity but always remember the love that I had once shared with someone very special.

  4. Letter to my brother,
    Your passing was so sudden and traumatic. Our family has never been able to heal completely. You somehow knew as a child when mom asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up. Your response was shocking. You said you would die before you were twenty five. Everyone was drawn to your kind smile and your easygoing energy. You were the positive person in every party. The encourager the motivator, the person that friends & family would call on if they had a decision to make.
    We still feel lost without you brother. It has been so difficult to talk about your passing, your drowning, how you may have struggled, fighting for a breath of life. You WERE the breath of life for so many. How I think of those two little boys who found your body washed on the shore after ten days in the Colorado River. I want to hug those two young men. No one especially eight and ten should ever see things like that.
    Thank you for choosing our family to be born into for the twenty four years you lived. I know you are with us as you leave us pennies when we need a lift. Your son is your twin I know you are so proud especially now that he is a father. When I held Aubrey I saw you in her eyes. So life has come round full circle, she has healed this family so so much. I love you.

  5. My darling Ken
    It’ s only been a bit over three months since you had to leave. I know if you could’ve you would have stayed forever,but your liver just was done.
    I think about how you said this was self inflicted, but you never would have continued to drink if you knew then what you know now. You can’t blame yourself. I don’t blame you…you stopped when I said I couldn’t stand to lose you but the damage was done.
    I miss you so much sometimes I can’t breathe. I will love you crazy forever my darling..just because you aren’t here physically ,that doesn’t change.
    The girls and the grand kids are all doing well. Kimmy is running her first marathon in your honor..she misses you the most,but she was your princess.
    I have been getting the house in shape so I can handle things,I know you would be pleased.
    Both of our names are on the Employee Wall of Honor,when you died the Foundation sent an email hospital wide and thousands of dollars went donated in our name to the new Upstate Cancer Center
    I try to live my life to honor you
    I will love you forever

  6. Sometimes I feel I will be alone forever. That I will never again know what it is like to wake up in a man’s arms, to have my hand held, to be looked at like I’m someone’s favorite sight. You took all those things when you left. That and so much more. Missy and I are doing ok in general. She is as tough and crazy as ever. Me- well, I’m pretty sure I’m falling apart a little more each day. Riding through town the other day I literally had the air knocked out of me by the knowledge that you are truly and irrevocably gone. We can never again be what we were. Our fairy tale is done, ended tragically and much too soon. I’d like to think you would be proud of me and try every day to make it so. But so much has changed, EVERYTHING has changed. I just don’t know anymore. Your mother cries every day and blames me for taking you away from her. Your sister hates me and blames me for your death. I’m alone, so very alone. And I miss you so very much. Your laugh, how you would quote movies, sing in the shower and dance in the kitchen. There is not a human on the planet that could ever take your place in my heart. If you could, though, would you mind sending someone to hold my hand now and then? The loneliness, oh my God the loneliness is enough to make me insane. I need to laugh and dance and sing again. And I just don’t know how on my own. 

    • Hi I too am a widow, one year on July 27. I know your pain and feel it too, what a great letter you wrote to your husband. Try getting a massage, a pedicure or shampoo just for the human contact, it helps.
      Also there are groups like Modern Widows Club that can offer some solace.
      Robin Berrie

    • Kari
      Your words brought me to tears. I too, know the pain you feel. Honestly, I don’t think it will ever go away or I will ever be in love like that again. I need a hand to hold. Someone to make me laugh but he’s gone just as you said.
      I have now gotten to a place where the memories are too painful because they are so beautiful & unattainable. With respect.

    • Kari, I feel the same way – I miss my husband so much, I lost the person who would light up when he saw me. Now people just look at me with sadness

    • Kari – Beautifully written!! I hope you are doing better as some time has passed. My heart can relate to all that you wrote. Losing a loved one is a challenge in itself, and then dealing with the harshness of people blaming you for your loved ones death makes it even more difficult. I lost my husband tragically as well and was blamed by his family and others and I can’t put in to words how hard that was for me. I say all this to say I can relate to what you went through and I am certain are still going through. (((HUGS))) from Minnesota.

  7. We go back many years, although we made a friendship together only after we became work colleagues fourteen years ago. You were a victim advocate and I a child advocate.

    Eleven years ago my husband received a terminal cancer diagnosis and my casual friend became my life-saver. I took a leave of absence from work and you were my support system: you carried work stuff back and forth for me; you brought me lunch every Friday without fail; you took care of my granddaughter. You listened to my sorrow, frustration, craziness; you took me out to dinner to help me escape from the chaos.

    When he died you took me under your wing. You volunteered your legal skills to help me do the things that needed to be done, including the adoption of my granddaughter. You counseled her, supported her, let her know that you loved her. And, later when she flew home to her bio mother, you supported both of us.

    But I’m jumping ahead. After he died we built a wonderful relationship: we joined a pool and swam together every Saturday and Sunday; we traveled to the Bahamas a couple of times with my family and my granddaughter; we went to the Outer Banks every summer for eight years in a row, sometimes with my family. We welcomed my new grandson. We sat in your yard and on my front porch with sushi or whatever we decided to eat every weekend.

    You shared her friends with me. One of them offered me the best job I ever had. One is now my financial planner. Two are now my best friends.

    I drove you to her cataract surgeries and you drove me to mine. I drove you to your colonoscopy and she to mine. And, finally, came to her doctor’s office to drive her to the hospital when her first atrial fibrillation was diagnosed. That was the beginning of the end.

    It took a few months before the atrial fib caused the stroke that took her from all of us. Another friend and I found her on the floor of her home after that stroke and sat in her hospital room for almost a week while she hung on to life. I had power of attorney for health care and was responsible for making sure her wishes were followed. Her friends Deborah and Susan and I spent a week keeping watch in the hospital as she worked hard to let go. She died almost a week later.

    Two years later I have learned to live without her. Roxie, her funny, big, rescue dog sleeps on my bed and on my feet every night. Her dining room table hosts many friends in my dining room. Her pottery is displayed all over my house, intertwined with my pottery. Pottery was one of our first connections when we went to an art show.

    I’m trying to find a way to have my life go on without her. I’m working on that thanks to Christina. I’m out of the Waiting Room most of the time. Life goes on. Life goes on. Life goes on. I love you Janet and I miss you terribly. You are the best friend and the smartest woman I’ve ever known. We still talk together every day.

  8. My baby brother Jesse…. Oh how I miss you with every fiber of my being! It’s been 10 months and not a day goes by that I don’t think about that smile of yours that could light up a room. Your birthday is in a week and as it approaches my heart seems to hurt more and more. You were more than just my baby brother. You were my buddy and as Mom says my “practice child.” No sister could be more proud of the Man you became! You paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we could keep the freedoms we as American sometimes take for granted. Your military family has now become part of our family and they have helped us deal with your loss but still, there’s this empty space in my heart that just wont go away. Every0ne tells me that I need to give it time, but sometimes the grief of losing you engulfs every aspect of my life….. and it’s just hard to breath.

  9. My story could be summed up in a song:
    All I Want to Be is “DONE”… by the Band Perry.
    The Court House and the Whore House are one in the same:
    “You will get screwed and the price you have to pay is
    not worth the services rendered”!

  10. Dear Dana “Sweetie” “love”
    It’s been 4 months and 12 days, time has flown and I’m still doing paperwork on your behalf, it’s exhausting. There was a time when I felt your spirit had left our home and now I feel it with me full time. I cannot thank you enough for all you have taught me and done for me. I will honor your Zen teachings until I die, your passing is still confusing for me. I live constantly trying to make sense out of WHY? I now wonder if Karma is even real, I gave too so many people and to you without condition and now I’m left wondering what I did to have my Karma hit me like this. I now believe that we are here on this planet to teach and when we have completed our teachings we are done regardless of what age. It’s hard to imagine that you would be so proud of me and my strength because to me that strength came from you. I was once whole and now I’m half and trying to complete the lost half to become whole again. There isn’t a minute of the day that I don’t think of you, it’s exhausting and unfair. Enzo misses you beyond words, I have taken him for walks everyday and night just like always, he misses his pack and your spirit has freaked him out, that’s how I know your here. Please console him and touch his heart and tell him you are okay and not coming back, he needs it and so do I, he’s breaking my heart. I never cried when my Mom died and I never cried when my Dad died and I never cried during our 14 years of marriage and now my tears flow daily, my tears hurt as they are like acid. I was supposed to die first not you! You have family here on earth I do not. Your family who for 14 years I thought were my family has abandoned me, now I’m left processing my anger towards them and trying not to let it destroy me. It’s made me see why you chose to live so far from them, they will never be as true as you were.

    I wake everyday to a new day and wonder to myself, what now? I put one foot in front of the other and walk forward with a heavy heart and a video of our life playing constantly over and over, it’s exhausting. I’m tired. Please watch over me and guide me through my new journey in life without you. Please give me strength and courage to breathe. When it’s my turn to leave here please guide me to you and we can start over again.

    I love you sweetie, thank you for allowing me to be me and for giving me unconditional love and for being a perfect wife and friend. Enzo sends his love too.

  11. Sweet Daughter…
    It went too fast… It was gone before knew it… Time escaped us.
    I remember your smile the most. It was beautiful. I remember the days we used to just be home while your sisters were at preschool. You loved to be home. Racing up and down the hallways. I miss you. I miss the sounds of your feet thumping against the floor. I missed the way you made our family whole.
    Daddy is sad. He hurts I know. Even though I never see him anymore I know. I know because I do too. He loved you so much and was lost for long… Just know he loves you very much as do I and all your sisters. We think of you all the time. He talk of you often. Sometimes as though your still here in everyday life.

    We think of you especially on milestones… New school year, new friends, first heart breaks, even when they scrape their knees and get a new a car. We think of you.

    I don’t hurt no more… Knowing when I need to see your face we spend the nights together walking in dreams… Even though you were here only for two and half years….you have held my hand thru the darkest times and the brightest moments. I love you Jalena MaRae. I love you so much. If you ever think of us I wish you to smile because when we think of you that is what we do.

  12. To my best friend and lover, Terry.
    Not a day goes by that I don’t cry and want you to come back….It was 19 months last Sunday, but some days it feels like an eternity. Oh how I wish I could’ve taken away your pain from the cancer that was eating you alive…we did everything the doctors told us to do, yet God had other plans. You have sent me so many signs that you are still here with me and watching over me and your three children and three grandchildren. My life will never be the same and I try every day to be strong, but’s it so hard. I walk every morning and talk to you and cry…there are so many people out there that no one would ever miss, yet God took you and I don’t understand or ever will. I look at your children and I see you…I look at your grandson and see you. My heart is broken in two, and will never heal till I see you again…my ultimate goal is to see you in Heaven and I will never let you go again. Some days I feel so alone, some days I don’t even get dressed…some days I cry all day. But I’m so grateful the the 42 1/2 years we had together and I wouldn’t change a thing. The number 13 seems to come up all the time, which gives me such comfort and I know you are always here with me…but honey, I need a hug and a kiss!! My first love, my best friend, Heaven needed a hero and somebody just like you…but it hurts…Please guide me through this journey till we meet again…I love you and miss you…You are such a part of me, but I know you are enjoying Heaven seeing your family..what a welcome you must of had. I write to you every night on the computer and that seems to help me cope with my tremendous loss of YOU….Please continue to send me signs that you are still here…you will always live in my heart…till me meet again…I’m sending my love to Heaven…xxoo

  13. To Laury,

    It has been 14 years, 2 months, and 10 days since you and your little boys were taken from all of us. For the longest time… I wondered why people said “I’m sorry”, to ME. “Why are they telling ME that? I’m still here. SHE’s the one they should feel bad for. Her and those 2 little boys. Not me.” I wondered why in the world I came back to life on November 2nd, 1992, when I had that car wreck. Why was I still alive, and you were not? You were a mother, and a brilliant human being, and had 2 little angels by your side. There seemed to be no order to the Universe, when someone like me, who’d never really done ANYTHING in life, and didn’t offer much promise for the future, would still be here, while you were gone.

    Your poor mother was a train wreck. Your older sister, Wendy… well…. you know. She’s never really changed. But, I went to your younger sister Melody’s wedding a few years ago, and she’s got at least one baby girl now.

    I remembered what you said about “Millennium”. Took it to heart, in fact. When you told me to watch that show because you thought it would “change my life”? Well, 14 years later…. and I’m not exactly a crime fighter yet. I did finally do some things I never thought I could do, though. Remember how I used to try to copy your drawing style? How much I wanted to do artsy stuff, but everything I did was kinda without any passion or originality? Well, I’m no longer the copy-cat I used to be. I got someone to teach me to paint. Never thought I’d be brave enough to do that. Also never thought I’d be brave enough to kick the guy out of my life when he obviously became a user, and a violent, negative influence in my life.

    Loosing you was worse than loosing a sister…. You were the best, and the bravest person I’d ever known, and all I ever felt like was a pale copycat. How could I go on in life and do anything…. when you were the one I looked to for which way to go? I guess I was Watson to your Holmes.

    I had a nervous breakdown in May of 2000. My own personal apocalypse, I guess. Since then, I finally met someone and got engaged. We’ve had a house, and a life, and then lost it all. Now, he and I are in my childhood bedroom of the house my mother never let you into. And I have to keep going on, thinking how you won’t be able to be the Maid of Honor at our wedding…. How I was never able to let you into this house, or into the home that Terry and I created together. I’m still angry at all of the life experiences you and the boys were robbed of. Even the little silly things. Did you know they brought back both Doctor Who and Sherlock Holmes? I still remember when we all got to meet the 3rd Doctor. Well, I don’t technically “remember” it, but I have the photos!!!

    I’ve tried talking to you, from time to time…. but it kinda started to seem crazy so I don’t really do that anymore. It’s not because I’ve forgotten you. I just had absolutely no choice but to keep getting out of bed in the morning…breathing in and out, and wondering….”NOW what?” But, in the back of my mind, there is still that little voice that stops me from feeling too sorry for myself, because, STILL, I’m thinking…. “What do I have to complain about? I’m not the one who got murdered!”

    But… there is still that part of me that’s afraid to be a leader. Even of myself. I still look to others for guidance, in EVERYTHING, and I still doubt myself. Watson still needs Holmes in order to have any direction. I guess there’s not much to be done about that, is there?

    With love,

    Erin

  14. Doodles,

    In 8 days it will have been 13 months since you passed away. To this day 13 months later, I am forever grateful for the kidney cancer diagnosis I received almost 4 years ago. That diagnosis started us on the path of looking towards the future, while at the same time living in the moment. We talked about what we would want of each other should something happen, never realizing that it would come to pass so soon. We talked about things we wanted to do together, our bucket list items, and to reunite with that love, passion and spontaneity from our early years of marriage, before we let life get in the way. As opportunities presented themselves, we began knocking off our bucket list items. One of the biggest was the Caribbean cruise, which we did less than 2 months before your passing. We paid attention to the little things, taking spontaneous dates and trips, never went to bed angry with one another. On the day you died, we walked into work holding hands. We were at peace with God, each other and the world. All because of our discussions, stemming from the cancer news.

    Had those talks not occurred, I would have been lost on my journey. I sure would not have made it as far as I have thus far, in the frame of mind I am in. Our talks gave me direction, they gave me Hope. I knew in general terms the type of funeral Mass you wanted, with a few twists I learned from the girls two days before the Mass. I knew you would want to continue the quest to complete or bucket lists. But most important, I knew you want me to do more than survive. You want me to thrive and continue to live life to the fullest. You want me to be happy. You want me to find a new love, a second first.

    You knew I would do a lot of research into ways to deal with my grief, as I always researched everything we did before committing to something. As the days slowly unfolded and I tried to come to terms with my grief a strange metamorphosis settled on me. I realized I had everything I needed already. My faith in God gave me the strength to begin each day and to provide support to our family and friends. Our love for each other and the plans we had discussed would carry me the rest of the way on my journey. By the time the sun rose on the first day without you on this earth, I had a game plan of what would happen. Through God, I knew there was no way to change what had happened. I could not go back into the past. I could only move forward. I could have no regrets, because that would also change nothing. So ever forward I moved, knowing that you were with me every step of the way, and still are. The research I did do helped little. It talked about stages of grief, stating one had to travel through each step to make it out the other side.

    This is what I know. The pain of your loss will be always with me. There is no hole in my heart or soul, because you are there. The human heart and soul has the capacity to love completely and passionately more than once. I turned my grief around to work for me. Recognizing I could not bring you back, I knew I could honor you by moving forward. I planned and executed certain things early on my journey, to do just that. I honored your wishes, and our discussions by being there for each holiday and key event with the child or children who needed me the most. I didn’t so much put my life on hold, just focused on helping the others. Through the journey, I prepared things that would make my personal time for recovery that much easier. Looking back, other than the first few days, I can’t really recall such crippling pain and grief, as I have read about or been told about. I credit that with our plans and discussions, and God’s strength. I have put in place many things, both small and large to honor your spirit and zest for life your passion to help others. I have continued to knock out our bucket list. I have done everything I could to make this transition easier and more bearable for our kids and grandkids. I am now ready to move forward with the last major item on our discussions.

    All our children are grown, they don’t need a mother. But you knew I needed someone with whom to share my passion for life. This may prove to be the most challenging part of this journey, but I believe I am up for that challenge and know you will guide me along the way, as we discussed. As I look back, I don’t feel that I have really changed, at the core. I am still the same me I was when we started dating. More experiences with life and living, but it’s still me. My life may have changed because you are not a living part of it, I may have different things, things we didn’t have before, but things we had talked about wanting and doing. Thank you for having the vision and love to give me the courage and permission to move forward. You know I need it. Just as I know that you are happy with everything that has transpired along my journey toward recovery through grief and loss. I know you are so very proud of not just me, but each of our children and their own journeys.

    I will always love you! Till I see you again. . . .

  15. Dear Dennis, my sweetheart,
    Tomorrow will be 21 months since you left me alone on this planet. And today–today is our anniversary. Thirty-two years ago today we met, and three years later, also July 18, we married. I have been every kind of person since you died–devastated and helpless, capable and strong, confused and bewildered, focused and driven, lost and so, so alone.

    I miss you beyond words, of course. And I also miss the life we had. The rhythms and patterns of husband and wife, the planning and decisions we carried out together, the way we worked on things and worked out things, vacations, home improvements, it’s all a shambles now. Who do I turn too, who has my back? I am absolutely on my own. I can do it all, I know that, but it’s such a lonely world without the one real love of my life.

    I miss the little kindnesses you did for me, and I miss having you to do things for. I kiss you through my tears, I hug you in my dreams. I am a stranger to myself, missing you with every breath.
    XOXOX, Sharon

  16. Dear Rick – my cranky pants….

    It has been 3 months and 8 days since I said good-bye to you. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about you. Who would have known that our friendship would run so deep? I think about the day that we met…the offer of the mammogram – and it is the silly thoughts that keep me going – but even now there are days those are few and far between. I think about all the laughs we were still able to have after your stroke. The visits through rehab, the heck you gave me over breaking my ankle (and the pleasure you took in telling everyone how I managed to do that!). The boys all still tease me about not being able to walk and talk…but it is with tears in our eyes that we remember. We sit outside in your “man cave” and talk about you. They have worked on straightening it up some but we really can’t make ourselves do much. People come to the house and I hear, “You haven’t changed anything. Isn’t it time?” NO – it isn’t time. I don’t know when it will be time.

    Casey from Hospice comes every Wednesday to see me. I think she does that because she knows how hard Wednesdays are on me. I try to go to visit you as often as I can. Your birthday was so hard for all of us. We went and got you the same balloon as last year and took it to you.

    I talk to your brother Jeff quite often. I am going to Florida next week for a couple weeks to see him and others. That will be another first for me – as I haven’t been back since I took you for your last trip down. What a trip that was!! We had such a good time on the way down…and I cherish the memories of that trip. I was given the chance to make memories with my best friend that no one else could.

    I know you are here – I feel you in the house. I still do not understand why you made the decisions you did – I have my reasoning and you will never know how much what you did has impacted my life. You did not have to do that – I would have been here every day to take care of you no matter what! You were my best and dearest friend in the world. Casey told me that even now Hospice still talks about our little “family.” They are amazed that even though none of us were blood relatives – we were a family. She tells me she wishes she could clone our family and use it as an example of “pure love.” I tell her how guilty I feel that I did not do enough – but as she says..and you told me…I honored your wishes and sent you to be with your beloved Karen. That last 12 days was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. To let my best friend leave this earth was so hard. I know it is what you wanted and you gave me the best thank you in the world when you spoke on that one year anniversary of your stroke to tell me “I love you.” The first and last words you spoke in a year were to me. I am forever thankful that I heard that one more time. To let you go nine days later hurt so very badly.

    My dear cranky pants – you gave me such a gift those 12 1/2 months I took care of you. We had our disagreements but we always made up and loved one another. We protected each other like brother and sister – but you still do it even after you left me. I know there are supposed to be stages of grief – but how do I get past stage one? I joined the website where I am posting this because of the peaceful messages I receive – and I am thankful that I am able to write this to you.

    I know you are at peace and you are happy, healthy, laughing, talking, dancing … eating Key Lime pie and drinking cream soda. I know you are in the arms of your beloved Karen – for that I am thankful. I don’t know how long I will be a blubbering crybaby – but I know that none of us who were here with you those last days would change one second, one minute, one hour or one day of the time we had with you. The boys miss you – Jerry especially – so please watch over him – send him a sign so he knows you are at peace. Scott and Richard are holding their own – but they have their days too. I am taking it day by day – sometimes hour by hour. I try to remember the good times and the laughter….but there are days I just can’t put on a happy face. The dogs miss you too but we are spoiling them rotten.

    As I close this letter to you – I just want to say – I love you so very much my Rick…my cranky pants. I miss you dearly….and I thank you…I thank you for allowing me the joy of taking care of you and loving you until you met your beloved Karen. You are my special guardian angel and I know you are watching over me!!

    I miss you and I love you,
    Deb

  17. You said whatever it took to close the sale.
    You lied. You deceived. You made my life a living hell. You made promises you KNEW you could not would not keep. You treated me horribly. Argued when I called you on it. Eventually apologized, then 48 hours later, you did the exact same thing. Over and over and over. You failed to do every single thing you offered to do for me. Every. Single. Thing.
    Not one thing did you successfully lift off my shoulders. You completely failed me as a husband. Even the dates left me in tears. You did not provide for me even the basic necessities of life.
    Because of you, my child is afraid to live with me. He is afraid that you will show up and hurt us again.
    Because of you, I live in a dormitory and sleep on a cot in a shelter behind locked gates protecting me from you and your violence.
    Because of you, a passing glance of a pickup truck that looks like yours makes cold sparks of fear dance through my chest.
    Because of you, I wish I had never met you, never spoken to you, never knew your name.
    Because of you, I want to shock you and make you grieve, make you somehow aware of how you bruised my innocent, generous, kind, and loving heart.
    Because of you, I feel angry and cheated because you are not even capable of basic human remorse. You are not capable of completely getting, completely owning, or repenting for all you have done to me and my family. You are broken and warped by all that was done to you.
    Someone must pay.
    Someone did.
    His name is Jesus. He was bruised for your iniquities. He took the beating you deserve. And the beatings you did not deserve.
    Jesus paid it all. He paid for the whole sorry mess. He paid for everything you did to me. He paid for everything you should have done for me that you didn’t.
    Because of Jesus, I will thrive again.
    Because of Jesus, I will heal.
    Because of Jesus, I will shine and sparkle again.
    And yes, because of Jesus, I will love again. Someone good and worthy who will love me the way I deserve.
    Because of Jesus, my happiness is not dependent on you getting your shit together. Because of Jesus, my happiness depends on His goodness, His generosity, His power, His love, His mercy, His ability, His strong love.
    Because of Jesus, my future is way better than I can imagine. And I can imagine a lot.
    So there.
    And because of Jesus, I am asking God to do really really good things inside your heart. And keep you far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far away from me forever. Amen.
    P. S. I still feel love in my heart for you. But I NEVER want to see you again. Not ever. I cannot allow your behavior and you have proven incapable of stopping yourself.
    Goodbye.

  18. My darling Jean,

    I thought of u today like usual and still feel u are still here live a few miles away. At times it so difficult not to have my best friend around in the same world as me…letting go of the physical is not something I would ever imagine doing, and doing something like letting go like this, when I never planned to or wanted. At times I feel the raw feeling of being told u had died and at other times I feel the presence of this being your time to leave and letting go to be with God.

    I miss you my dear friend my soul mate

    Love Pauline xx

  19. My Eddie

    It’s been 8 months and one day since you left us. I know you didn’t give up the fight, your body gave up. I wasn’t ready, I thought we would get that sought after liver transplant. I was wrong. I live with guilt, thinking that I should of done more for you, could of done more for you…I was afraid. Sounds selfish even to my own ears.

    We had been separated for so long (8 years), that when we reconciled and of course I knew you were ill…I thought love would take away the fear of getting close to you again. Or in hindsight perhaps I thought if I kept you a bit at arms length if anything happened to you it wouldn’t hurt so bad. Well my love, I am a true testament on how wrong that theory was.

    What I didn’t factor in was that I had never stopped loving you. Yes, you made a big mistake but we truly did get past that, and I forgave it, and more importantly I do believe I finally got you to understand that it was important to move forward and forgive yourself.

    On the day you died, I wasn’t expecting it. I wasn’t expecting to fire hospice so that I could send you to the hospital where both the nurse and I believed they would tap your lungs and drain the fluid again and send you home. Then I would rehire them again. I wasn’t expecting to get the first call from the er saying no tap we are sending him home to die, once we contact hospice…wait…die? The Doctor refused to tap your lungs again, you were filling up with fluids.

    I called our kids…”Dad’s in the hospital, they are sending him home, it doesn’t look good” I hung up and I got the next call…”Can’t seBy nd him home til tomorrow, do you want to make him DNR?” By now my love our oldest daughter was with me and we were about to head to the hospital…”He was alert when he left, he can’t make the decision for himself?” You guessed it, although we had discussed an advanced directive and insurence which you had sent off for, you hadn’t filled one out yet. “No, he is confused, you have to make the decision.” My heart sunk…brain spun out…lungs filling, basically drowning…cpr wouldn’t save him or help his quality of life. Tears flow…”Make him DNR, we are on the way. With our daughter at your side and after our 10 year old grand daughter kissed you and said its ok Grampy I am leaving now, you can go…you waited a half hour.

    At 9:30pm you took your last breath hearing Amber and I tell you how much we love you and it was ok to go to heaven. What is life like without you? Like wearing my heart out of my chest. Raw, painful, confusing. I still owe for your cremation, but on a fixed income I don’t know how long it will take to finally pay it off and they won’t release you to me until I do. I am just happy they did it at all.

    My happy memories: Our wedding day, watching you with Amber in your lap watching MASH on tv (your special time). Our 3 years in Germany where Josh (yes you told me he was going to be a boy) and Chelsea were born. Our tax baby Brittany’s birth. Dancing in the kitchen when we thought the kids weren’t watching just to hear a chorus of eww’s. Your mischievous smile, sparkling beautiful hazel eyes and the fact that you were my best friend.

    I had a rough turn shortly after you passed, ended up in the hospital thinking I was having a nervous breakdown. I couldn’t stop crying. I know that makes you laugh, cause I am so not a crier under normal circumstances. Truth is I miss you with all my heart, but I remember when we were newly weds and we talked about what we wanted for the other should one of us die, we both wanted each other to remember our love, but to honor that love by being open to find love again. I may not be ready yet honey, but perhaps someday I will be.

    Love you!

    Debbie

  20. Dear Jeff, I love you, I miss you, I need you. I know you can’t come back, but I really need you to…it hurts so bad. Life without you isn’t a life I want.
    Your LoisLane

  21. My dearest love Eddie,

    Our life together was sublime. Who wanted to sleep when reality was the sweetest dream I could ever dream of! I wanted to lay in your arms and feel your love forever and a day. You rescued my heart when my first husband died and showed me a love I had never known before. You cherished me, protected me, guided me, taught me but most importantly you loved me. I hope in the short 3 years we had together that the love we shared in some small way made up for the heartaches life had give you. I wanted to spoil you, love you, comfort you, and breathe life into you from my very soul. They say God has a plan for your life but how could his plan include such unbearable pain and heartbreak? You’ve been gone 13 months now and I still cant sleep without you or imagine how life will ever be worth living without you! I don’t have children to care for or pets to love. I only have your love to keep me walking one day at a time. I know you would be mad at me if you thought I wasted the time I have left being unhappy or sad. I’m trying really hard to make sense out of a situation that makes no sense. Why find the love of your lifetime that you’ve always dreamed of, only to have it ripped away? I wont be bitter but try to honor you my love with a life worth living. You showed me so much of life in those short years together I will forever remember all the ways you made my life so special and safe. I feel afraid at night to be alone so I stay up late until I pass out from exhaustion. I hope one day I will be able to lay down and rest without fear of the unknown. My love my protector, my rock, my everything. I pray to God that you are at peace and at rest with your loved ones who left before. I pray you know how much I love you and will always love. You forever live in my heart and in my soul. Until we meet again. My Eddie, my love forever and a day. Your wife Evelyn

  22. Dillon,

    How in the world could we have known that our last conversation would include Disney, men’s fashion do’s and don’ts and Star Wars? How funny that those three topics of conversation encompassed (what we thought would be) the next month or so of our lives. OUR lives. The three of us. You, me and our sweet 4 year old son. The son you were so giddy about surprising with the upcoming trip to Disney World. The one you were bent on seeing fight Darth Vader in the Jedi Training Academy. The one you wanted to take back to Give Kids the World- the place we spent what would be our last family vacation together almost a year before. Wow. I know we second-guessed Ethan taking his Wish Trip so early, but I’m so so glad we went!!!! What memories we made!!! Disney was sure to be part of a family vacation tradition. You were so excited to start your new job so that we could go (you were ready to plan a Star Wars Weekend trip in the Spring). I can’t believe you were the guy who thought Disney was a crazy expensive waste of time (until you took your first trip there and saw it through our son’s eyes). You were hooked. We will always go and think of you- much like we did when we continued on our trip in November and when I took him to see his favorite Star Wars characters this spring. It won’t EVER be the same and I will cry every time we see the castle, but I will also feel close to you because we shared that wonderfully magical week there. I will see the twinkle in your eye when I look at Ethan’s. I will hear your laugh whenever he giggles. I will feel your embrace when he wraps his little arms around my neck. I see you when I look at him. I can’t believe we are here without you and, some days, I don’t know how in the world I will make it. I take it one breath at a time.

    I miss you. This isn’t how it was supposed to be. I feel like I’m in an ocean. Bobbing. Sometimes, the water starts to go over my head and I want to succumb to it but then I hear a little voice that needs me and I keep treading. I’m ready to start swimming, Dillon. It’s only been 9 months but I’m so tired of treading. I’m trying to listen to what God wants for us. We are moving back home (you know where home is for me). It means lots of change. We built a great life here for the 10 years and 5 months you and I were married. Without you, I’m not sure how to be me, but I’m starting to try to figure that out. Of course, I’m second-guessing and I can hear you say, “Sweetie, I trust you. I wish you would just trust yourself.” I’m trying. I miss you. I miss your encouraging words. I miss your hugs. I miss your stupid ways that you annoyed me (like kicking me in the booty when we were walking side-by-side). I just flat out freaking miss you.

    You were my rock.

    God is stretching me and growing me and I’m resisting it but I’m trying to just hold on. I want to do the best for our son and I hope that this decision I have made is the right one. We have so much to do in so little time. You know he’s starting kindergarten in less than a month?!?

    I need you here. I am not sure why it was your time to go. I’d rather not be someone else’s inspiration. I was perfectly content being inspired by others around me :p. But, God is bigger than all of this mess and I know He is in the business of making beauty from ashes. I’m just ready to see you again. I’m ready for things to be ok and, right now, it seems like the only solution is for you to come back. It still doesn’t seem real (though I have the PTSD to prove that it is).

    I love you and I hope I make you proud of me. Thank you for loving us. We miss you.

  23. Doug,
    I am mad! It has not been a year yet that you have been gone. I have gone through so many emotions and feelings, but now I am in the mad phase. Part of me died when you died. The part that was a wife and someone’s partner. I don’t even know who I am any more. I never thought at 61 that I would be thrown into a “single world”. I was so comfortable being married to you (42 yrs.). Now I have to be aware of my body image, my physical appearance, things that intimidate and frighten me. Who do I depend on when I am sick or when something goes wrong with the house, the pool, the cars, things I never thought about before? I am sorry I took so much for granted. There is not one day since you have been gone that I do not think of you, probably not one waking hour. I know I am in a selfish place right now and pray things will get better. I will love you eternally,
    Mischelle

  24. Today I am angry. Yesterday was the four month mark of you taking your life, and changing my world for ever.
    I am angry that you didn’t talk to me about what you were feeling. Surely, through the thirty years we were together, you knew my love for you trumped every other thought or feeling and I would have fought harder for you.
    I am angry that there are family members who told you that you didn’t need ECT or committed to the hospital to get better. I’m angry that they made me doubt that my observations were accurate. They made me think that maybe I was over reacting…reading more into it. I’m angry I didn’t always trust my gut feelings. I’m angry I believed you when you promised me that while you had thought of taking your life, you could never do it. I Believed you…trusted you.
    I am angry with the so called mental health professionals who let this round of depression continue for so long without taking more control to help. I am angry they kept throwing drugs, add one, change one, increase one, even after two years of obvious failure. I am angry none of them EVER questioned you about your past career of arson investigation and the horrible things you saw, how you handled the discoveries and managed to continue. I am angry that I had to get so mad at them that I screamed at them..”doesn’t anyone else care? Am I the only one who wants him to get better?” I am angry that they wouldn’t renew your anxiety medication on a Friday without seeing you first, and couldn’t get you an appointment until Tuesday. You took your life on Tuesday morning. Just couldn’t make it a few more hours.
    I am angry that you felt this was your only way to stop the pain. It didn’t have to be.
    I am angry that I now have to talk to a attorney to make arrangements to travel, purchase anything out of the norm…and, I might add, she is not very user friendly.
    I am angry that after thirty years of being together, I am alone. Not just alone today, but alone for the rest of my foreseeable future. The thought and plans of us traveling, rocking on the front porch, growing old together are gone. Snuffed out like blowing out a candle.
    I am angry. I am so sad. I miss you with every fiber of my being. Even when I was not happy with the situation, I still loved you. After thirty years, my heart still fluttered when you walked into the room, smiled at me, and held one of our grandchildren.
    We are to take your ashes to Utah next week, to spread them in Angels Canyon. That was what we had talked about many times, but I never thought for a minute it would happen so soon. I hope with this closure, I can start to heal, and focus on how much I love you, and not be so angry.

  25. It’s been 2 years (June 2012) since you left this world behind. But you truly started the departure 3 months before, Easter weekend that same year. You left behind somewhat of a mess, but somehow we are survivors in more ways than we ever thought possible. Kudos to you, you kept the promises to each of the children that you made on that dreadful afternoon in September 2005. Melanie had her doubts that you would be there for her 8th grade graduation May 2012, but God willing you did it. We lost you 2 short weeks later. Although we had 25 years together, the last 7 during which you battled cancer were by far the most stressful, bad times in our relationship. I loved you til the end, but we had drifted so far apart.
    The haunting memory of the weekend of your death, you left for a bit on Saturday night and then hung on by a thread until the early dawn of Sunday June 3, 2012. I was there stroking your arm, torn between leaving you to wake the kids or staying – I chose to stay. I watched as your body rattled and then a beautiful peace came over you and I knew you had flown away.
    Just now, 2 years later we are beginning to go in that back bedroom. The door remained closed for about a year. I would open it and would come home to find it closed, perhaps that was you trying to help. The house made a lot of noises early on, creepy at times and reassuring at other times.
    Melanie has been hit the hardest. Losing her daddy, leaving friends behind, starting High School – it was just too much for her. She shut down, not talking to me at all. The day I got the dreaded call from school that she had tried to commit suicide was worse than the day I lost you. She spent time in a mental hospital and is slowly healing. Although I still see the lost, sadness in her eyes.
    I met someone new, the girls did not like him – we dated for a year. It was fun being with someone who loved me for the woman I was. We remain friends and who knows maybe someday we will work through the baggage of my loss and his divorce. I will leave that in God’s hands.
    I feel like I am changing and becoming stronger as the days go by. I actually changed out the faucet in the bathroom, a lot of sweat and tears and frustration but at the end, Alex smiled and said I knew you could do it mom.
    I am working through the next chapter in my life and only hope some of the dreams we talked about during the best parts of our relationship are able to come true – retire at 60, travel, live life. I am changing and although I still hold you in my heart, I am not afraid to face the rest of life’s challenges.
    In 2 short years our baby girl will be off to college and although the thought of being in this house alone frightens me, I know that I will be fine. I find my strength through God and knowing that I am up for the challenge of dealing with all the craziness of being a single mom.
    Today Alex is living his dream = 24, living in Germany working for a small manufacturing company. He ran with the bulls in Spain last weekend, oh to be young and full of energy. He misses you like crazy and I know you are proud of him. Shelby is starting senior year at UTK and is sticking to her 4 year plan, will graduate in May 2015 with her mechanical and material sciences engineering degrees. She is so darn smart. Melanie is a junior in high school and my prayer is that she realizes how much we all love her and are always there for her. You would be so proud of them.
    I sure wish you could be here with them, with me to continue on life’s journey wherever it may lead. But, I know deep down that somewhere you are watching over all of us and giving us the thumbs up in approval.
    Missing you always,
    Annette

    • I understand completely. My husband passed suddenly though, an accident. He left behind 2 damaged little girls, one determined to be happy in honor of her father (16 when he passed) and living on her own studying her passion; the other a lost 13 year old little girl. I never had to hospitalize her but I was very close. She is now a college freshman and I couldn’t be more proud of her. She just had a breakdown last night and worked through it. We all still have breakdowns, five years later. The 3 of us will be forever bound by daddy’s guidance through all this madness. We will endure. We will smile. We will live.

  26. To my former husband,

    The day you “died” to me is indelibly etched into my brain. It was the day your mistress rang me to tell me of your prolonged betrayal of me and the boys (then aged 2 and almost 5). Inside a part of me died too. The part that trusted you. The part that respected you. Unfortunately not the part that still loved you. Not then anyway. That was a more brutal death. A slow painful cancer ridden death compared with the more cold perfunctory execution of my trust and respect.

    You said you still loved me and I believed you and despite the overwhelming advice of friends and loved ones I gave you another chance as much for the boys as anything as I felt they deserved a father. Plus I was terrified of going it alone. You swore it was over. Perhaps it was for a time but over the next 12-13 months my suspicions grew until I could no longer bear to go on anymore and I chose to learn the truth in the most brutal way possible. I will never forget that night when I found the two of you together and I realised my marriage was over for good. I was stronger then and I could cope (just) and that is when my love for you truly began to die. As I said to you in the days following “I love you but I respect me more”. And I did. Just!

    The next few years were very painful as you went about your life adding to your burgeoning family on almost an annual basis until there was no more room for the boys it would seem. They suffered greatly as did I as we did not even have a friendship left in the end. The extent of your lies knew no bounds and the boys eventually felt abandoned by you ultimately choosing to no longer visit you at the home you shared with your new partner and your new three children with her.

    My capacity to trust again was shattered. Multiple failed relationships thereafter ensued over the years since. Whether poor choices on my part or saboutaged by me it’s unclear exactly but in any event most lasted only a few months thereafter reinforcing my negative beliefs about men. It was only the services of a good counsellor that began to rebuild what was shattered by you. A painful process in itself.

    I tried over the years to be everything to the boys to compensate for your relative lack of involvement but in this regards I failed time and time again it seems burning myself out in the process. It wasn’t my job to be their father it was yours. Your partner’s hatred of me put paid to that though.

    I wax exhausted and resentful of the life you took and your having managed to offload responsibility onto me as they had no one else to turn to. I pretty much gave up even trying to have a private life. Depression (a low grade of it) thereafter ensued on and off for years.

    The irony is that come their teenage years and you are all they care about it seems or at least the eldest one does for now anyway The “Disney Dad”. You get the best of them. I look back and see the martyr I became and feel very sad for the lost years and I realise how a part of me continued to be burdened by your self-absorption many years after our divorce. That until recently I have struggled to negate your energetic impact. Yet no more. I’ve been reborn. I’m now free. After all these years …

    I saw you today at handover and felt nothing other than bewilderment as to what drew me to you in the first place. You are just someone I used to love. You taught me a valuable lesson though. Or rather lessons. Don’t ever sacrifice your dreams for someone else. Don’t ever make someone else responsible for your happiness. And most importantly don’t ever allow anyone to control you.

    What I needed to learn, a bit like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, is that I never truly lost myself. I was there all along. I chose to become a martyr. In doing so I chose to remain “dead” inside. Dormant. I can choose to wake up instead. It is safe. You aren’t in control of that I am. And now I can trust myself to love again making a much wiser choice next time of someone who understands that love is a verb too not just a noun.

    Your former loving wife,

    Paula

  27. Dear Christopher,
    It has been ten years. Remember how you couldn’t write your goodbyes to me? I understand now, because my words are not enough to say how much I love you. Words cannot endure, nor bear the agony of your absence. You are too good for words, for adjectives. If I could just show you…you would see your beautiful daughter packing for college- yes, she’s going, and she aspires to study law like you. If you could just show her…you would teach her how to fight the right battles with the integrity that you carried. If I could show you, you would see how kind and sassy and quick-witted she is- just like you. If I could show you your beautiful son, you would be overwhelmed. He is such a non- conformist- always innovative in his thoughts, never afraid to speak his mind, confident beyond his years. He is his father. He is his mother. If I could show you the lives that you and I created together, you would be humbled like I am by the creation. You and me- no doubt- we were quite the team! I hate this life without you, but I love this life because of you. I would repeat losing you a hundred times to have experienced you and to share my life with our amazing children. Thank you my love! And as for me, you know how I am. I am good. I am fighting a good fight and I am strong. I even do CrossFit. I am not afraid to take risks, and I owe that in part to you. As far as love, I have loved again and I will again in the future. But right now, that’s not my priority. The kids, my family and friends, my career- I am content with this presently. If I could show you, I think you would be proud of me. No, I know you would.

    I love you,
    Little Ally

  28. Robert,

    Each day when I get up I miss you so much, being with you for the thirty two years was wonderful, we had our ups and downs, but because I was stubborn sometimes. We would laugh because you said you met me and your life was never the same, the 15 years difference never meant anything to us. I wasn’t ready for you to leave me just yet, everything happened so fast that year (almost two years). Finding out that you had brain cancer was such a shock to me, we never had any reason to think you were sick! I sit here crying and remembering how strong I had to be for you and not let you ever see me tear up because I knew it would crush you. Taking one day at a time was all I could think of, I wanted to spend every minute with you but not crowd you. Remember when you left with the truck ~ trailer attached just to go to the store, that scared the heck out of me, I had to call around looking for you! I had all our friends out thinking you would have forgotten where you lived? and when you did come back …. you laughed and said you just went to the store! All I could think of was did you hit anything, your peripherly vision was not working anymore.. you took out the neighbors mailbox and didn’t think anything of it, and neither did he… he said it was ok, because he cared so much for you?

    I wasn’t ready to retire but did so I could spend more time with you although working from home was easy it did get hard to work and take care of , but you left before we could spend the time together. I miss our time taking the month to go back New England, seeing your family, although I have been back once to stay with your sister whom I love! She brought up so many of the memories we had made while there. She wouldn’t let me stay in our room we stayed in for so many years being there, she made an excuse that they were fixing the windows and it was too cold in there now.. I know she did it out of love and didn’t want me to be sad…

    I have my good days and my bad days, for awhile I was visiting you every week at the cemetary and then tapered off because it made me so very sad, now I go only once a month..I see your pictures every morning and say good morning and what a great day it will be..

    The kids are moving on with life, Summer and Brian have fixed up their kitchen, I know how you had said when they moved in you wanted to go and help and see their new home, but the doctor thought it was best you didn’t make the trip to Oregon, it would have been too much, and everytime you brought it up I made an excuse so you didn’t feel sad..I didn’t lie to you I wanted you strong it would have been a long drive and you needed your strenghth. Trevor and Erin had their baby, it is a boy, he is now 18months old, he has been through alot in his life so far, he had to have an operation on his skull because the soft spot had fused together but he is a trooper and is now up and running around, he is so big, he weighs one pound less the Ellie-Mae who at 4 is 37 lbs! He is gonna be a big boy! Cash is doing good, he still talks about you and Trevor takes him and Ellie-Mae to see you so they can put the American Flag near you. Summer says Lucas talks about the truck alot when he or any of the grand kids see an orange truck they say “there’s gpa!” Violette and Junebug were here during their summer break that made me happy.. I miss having our times with them together as do they.

    I have volunteered at a family shelter and it is very rewarding, I am trying to keep busy, spending Mondays and Fridays with my mom and dad, they miss you too. I know life goes on but for right now I feel the emptyiness and am hoping it will not to much longer. I wake up and want to feel whole again, but there is an ache in my heart that won’t go away. I will one day feel not like myself because a part of me has died but will renew it with different feelings. You will always be in my heart and I will always love you more, (each night before bed you would say goodnight I love you and I would say I love you more and you would say I know.. lol..) I had to always get that last part in.. and you would give up so we could go to sleep!

    Love you more always,
    Yvonne

  29. Dear Raven,

    Eight years. It’s been eight years since you were taken from me, from all of us, but it feels like eight minutes. Writing these words feels like a wound being reopened, but at the same time deep down I want to say these things to you. Indeed I need to.

    As you know I’m not a religious person, but I cannot believe that you are simply gone. I’m writing these words in the hopes that I am right. I even (and I know you’ll get a kick out of this) watched a documentary about theories of parallel universes, where there may be other versions of Earth out there somewhere. I started crying as I watched, because it made me happy to think that there is a possibility, however small, that there is a universe out there somewhere, where you and Rain are alive and well.

    I’ve thought of little else but you, especially on your birthday. I’ve tried so hard to keep my promise to you, to never stop, to keep going no matter what. That said, I’ve had my moments.

    So many times I’ve wanted to stop, wanted nothing more than to hold your hand one more time and know that everything was going to be alright. I’ve wanted to, but I haven’t. For a while, Rain helped stay my hand. She and I became incredibly close after we lost you. Your parents ‘adopted’ me into the family after your death, and with Rain I gained a sister I never had. You know how much it meant to me to have a family for the first time in my life. When we lost Rain in the accident, I fell apart. I promised her – I promised you – that I would keep her safe, but I let her down. I let you down as well.

    You know me well enough to know how things played out. I spent years blaming myself, never allowing myself to be happy, always keeping people at bay, punishing myself for the crime of being alive. The only thing that kept me going was the hope that someday, I’d earn your (and Rain’s) forgiveness.

    Now here we are, eight years later. I’ve made real progress, even healed a little. I still have nights that I wake up crying, and there are still the nightmares, but I also have the memories of the 3 1/2 perfect years we spent together, and the night you said you’d marry me. I cherish every last moment we had. You were never perfect, and that’s why you were perfect. I’m ashamed to admit I’ve actually tried dating again. It was a mistake. I was lucky beyond measure to have met you, and though I never, ever deserved it, I was fortunate enough to have earned your love. You are my soul mate, my love, and we will meet again.

    Not long after you left us Rain asked me what I would do if I could have 5 minutes with you. I said, “Give 3 of them to you.” There is some peace to be found in the knowledge that you and she are together again. Though I miss you both so much it hurts, I know how much your death tore Rain’s heart out.

    I love you Raven, every minute, of every hour, of every day. Writing these words has been far harder than I thought it would be.

    I said these words at your funeral, and I will say it again now, in public, so the entire internet can see it:

    Goodnight my love, the brightest star in my sky. You will sleep for a time, and when you wake, I’ll be there.

    Ken, your ‘Lonely Satellite’

  30. James

    Even as I type this letter to you , I’m not sure about it, if writing it & posting it will help. My thoughts and feelings are all a jumbled mess. and I was never able to just put my thoughts and feelings out there. So much has changed in the 3 months since you’ve been gone.

    I’ve learned to do things I never thought I would, some I enjoy and some I hate. I’ve had to learn how to ask for help and anyone who knows me well , knows how much I hate that.

    Pieces of me break everyday sometimes several times a day, I just have to pick them up keep moving even though most days I would just like to bury my head in the sand.

    The children have been remarkable. The one thing I know in all of this is we have some amazing children. They have handled themselves which such grace and courage. I know you are proud of all of us.

    God Bless & Sleep in heavenly peace.

    Love always
    Jenlyn

  31. Dear Kathy
    It’s been almost three years since you left us. It’s been even more because of the terrible disease alcoholism. We exchanged vows of for better or worse and in sickness and in health til death shall we part. But I don’t feel like we parted. I see you in my dreams like you are right there. The boys miss you and even though they have a hard time expressing it I know deep down they loved you just as much as you loved them. Certain songs or a movie or seeing another couple enjoying themselves brings me back to you and reminds me just how much I loved you.
    I’ve been lucky to meet someone that I know you would like. She loves me and understands me plus gives me the space I need to grieve your passing. She has been a real inspiration and I don’t know if if I would be in this place without her. I feel you have sent her to me. Know that you will be forever in my heart. I have lasting memories of you but I also know I need to move on with my life.. God tells us that if we believe in Him, He will take care of us when we pass over. I truly believe he is taking care of you now like I took care of you here.
    Rest easy my love and dance with the angels. Infect them with your smile. You were an angel on earth now you have your wings. Please also watch over the boys. They need your guiding hand from the heavens. You did well

    Please know this. It was not your fault and I do not blame you. I am not angry with you but rather love you as I always have.

  32. My sweet baby CJ
    You are the best gift I was given in life. Everything that happened before you would not compare to the moment I gave birth to you. You were born 3 weeks early and only weighed 4.15 lbs. And my heart never knew that it could hold that much love for such a tiny little being. For 3 months and 25 days my life was complete, my love for you was beyond any other. For the first time ever I knew what true love was. I was in complete awe of you. Every little thing you did amazed me. May 13th 2014 my life changed again. You were taken from me. People say “God needed you. ” But I don’t understand that, I need you more. I’m broken and shattered. I can only barely get through the days. I wish my days away so I can hold you again. I know that must sound terrible but you are my pride and joy and living without you is pure hell. You are in heaven being held by angels and Jesus and family members that you would have otherwise never met and I’m here suffering. All I get to do is wonder about the moments that we are missing out on. I Love You My Son my Magoo, my sunshine. I miss you more than words can say. Impatiently waiting to see you again. Shine bright my star. I LOVE YOU FOREVER AND ALWAYS. To heaven and back again. May my love fly to you each night on angels wings. You will forever be my always . Xoxoxo xoxoxox love your mommy.

  33. My love, my heart,
    It has been three years and eight months since you left and I miss you with all my heart and soul. I don’t know if I was childish enough to think that life couldn’t touch us or just plain clueless. I thought if we lived good lives, we would be ok. I didn’t realize that it was a child’s dream. I quit living that day. I laid beside of you in that bed and whispered how much I loved you and that I knew you didn’t want to leave. I had to tell you it was ok to go and that our three beautiful daughters would be here with me. You knew I was there. When you took your last breath, you turned your head and opened those beautiful eyes and looked at me right in my eyes. It was the most beautiful feeling in the world and I know it was a promise that you would always watch over us. I exist day to day and try to keep busy enough not to have time to think and remember. At 61, there is no starting again. I will stumble on until that beautiful day we meet again. You are my soulmate and my dreams.

  34. Hi mom,
    I can’t believe that it has already been 9 months since you left this world. I miss you every day and not a day goes by when I don’t cry for you. Its slowly sinking in now that you are really gone and that my life and the rest of the family have to learn to live out the rest of our lives without you. You were taken so suddenly and we never had the chance to say goodbye. I don’t have many regrets about the time that I had with you here but I do wish that you were here now and not missing the miracle of your first grandchild being born next month. I have tried to be brave without you here, its been hard, and there has been so many things that I wanted to talk to you about and share with you throughout my first pregnancy. I never imagined that you would not be here for this. I know that you had to have been a part in this miracle finally happening for us, otherwise why would it happen now after seven years of trying and only two months after you passed. I want you to know that we are giving her your name, because you were my best friend and the most amazing woman that I had in my life. I will tell her all about her grandma and how special she was, I want her to know you through us. I am trying to stay strong mom, for dad, for my sister and for the rest of our family. I’m not as strong as you and while I know that I have grown as a person, as a woman, as a wife, sister, daughter and friend since you passed it feels so empty and meaningless without you here somehow. I wait for you to visit me in my dreams, to give me signs that you are here with us, I’m always looking for you around me. I hope that you are happy and that you are with all those that you love who have passed away before you and that one day when I am ready to be called home that you will be there to hold my hand and take me with you. You are our guardian angel now, and while I feel pain in my heart and emptiness in my soul I hold on to the faith that one day I will see you again and that you are always here surrounding us with your love. I love and miss you mom. Your baby girl, xoxo

  35. Shattered. Doesn’t quite fill the bill. But what lies beyond shattered ? That’s where I am. I hate my life now. The emptiness. The quiet. So goddamn quiet. We fought so hard, for so long, to find each other. To be able to be together. We weathered awful storms, individually and together. Then, we HAD it. We had all those little things that seemed important. It all lined up. Just like those stupid lists you always insisted on…lol. Then, BAM. Over. All of it, OVER. It still sucks the wind out of me after 14 months. We were blessed. We knew we loved each other. We had faith in our love. I was miserable for 20 years. Then, like a ray of light, you made me realize what it felt like to really be seen by someone. You. Saw. Me. And despite my many flaws, love me boundlessly. So, I guess I am greedy for wanting more than just our glorious 3 years. Too bad. I can live with it. What I cannot live with is not having you by my side. But, suddenly and tragically, your heart had no more beats left. You know, it’s odd, I used to be one of those annoying “huggers”. Now, I don’t want anyone to touch me. It feels foreign, to be touched, by anyone. I have even found myself pulling away from those who just want to convey their concern or love or whatever. I feel empty. Is this what a pumpkin feels like after Halloween is finished ? Hollow and drying out. Good for no other use. I hope you remember me. I hope you are waiting for me, when my time comes. I miss your face, punk. I miss your everything. Keep watching over me. Even though I am completely making a mess of everything. All my love, All my life….still your girl, mj

  36. Reading these, only the first few, opens the wound up, and it has been 11 years this sept. 3rd. There is never a day that goes by that I do not think, of my late husband. Yes, I have moved on, and gosh yes, the first 4 yrs. were the roughest. I still miss him, and have remarried after 5 years, but no one ever compared to what we had.
    I cry as I even think about it. I function, with, the knowledge, he is watching over me, and is cheering me on. I used to go sit at his gravesite and talk to him. One day I had sat down, and a nest of Fire Ants, started stinging me. I do believe it was him ,telling me to move on. You always carry them in your heart, and mind, they are just in another place. I laugh, and cherish, the funny times we has, and no one can tell you what to expect, just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and it foes get better.

  37. My dearest Daved,
    Not a minute goes by that you don’t cross my mind. It’s been almost 8 months since you left us. There are times it feels like a long time and there are times it doesn’t. The day you died runs through my head often, I remember every little detail. I left the hospital a broken woman, we had so many plans after you recovered from your surgery but now it’s all gone. I am taking everything one step at a time and doing what’s best for me and the kids. It been stuff we had discussed so I know you are up in heaven proud of me. That makes things easier. I hear your voice everyday when I am second guessing my decisions or doing something you used to get on me for. Until we met again my love.

  38. It has been 3 years and 4 months since you left me my dearest Don. My life was so empty those first few months, it was like I was in a haze. Through church, support groups and the wonderful friends i made through them, I began to find purpose in my life again. I have been volunteering with both and it has brought joy to my life again. i have also begun a new relationship and found love again. I know you would be happy with my life now. I will always love you and carry you in my heart.

  39. Oh My Love, I miss you so much. I long for your phone calls, your touch and your presence. I know I was always the Strong one, I took care of everything, but I don’t wanna be that anymore. I want to be Hugged, feel your breath on my cheek and know all is well. I had to make changes, letting others into my life, no more “honey do” lists awaiting you, no more making your favorites sitting on the counter for you to “graze”. I so miss the sound of your footsteps, the smell of you shampoo, and especially your aftershave. I have accomplished so many things and grown. We were growing old together, planning for those years on our deck/chairs and watching the moon. We did not have a chance to say Goodbye the day you died, just the night before and I truly know You would not have left me, you had no choice, it was a part of The Plan. I know God has helped along the way and you are often looking over my shoulder (the weed eater started on the first pull, I fixed the well, I climbed up the ladder and shoveled snow off the roof) some of the things that always Worked for You. I am so Thankful you took time to explain so many things (and I really was listening) and pushing me to do things, cheering me on “You can do it Ma”. I will never be the same person I was before that Jan 27 you left for a new adventure without me. Somedays, My heart breaks into tiny pieces and Others I can truthfully say I am Happy. Your Sons miss you and it breaks out hearts to talk about you and our loss. The Grandchildren are growing. I planted a garden this year looking over my shoulder for you to come wandering in looking it over. Your yellow rose bush bloomed bigger than ever and I cried thinking of the day we planted it. I wore out the Don Williams cd playing it over and over and I can finally hear “I can’t help falling in love with you” without sobbing and our song ” Have I told you lately that I love you” still tugs. Thank You for pushing new people into my life and Always know You are My Love. I love you Buster Maynard. Please take care of yourself. Love you always Your Wife.

  40. Randy, I miss you so much. It is almost 12 weeks since you slipped peacefully away and the cancer won. The photos, stories and memories keep me going. The love that was shared before you left was a silver lining. I know it’s not goodbye, but “I’ll see you later.” But it is still such a loss. The kids are doing good, but they miss you, too. We had the “after party” you asked for and there was laughter and stories like you wanted. You would have liked it. I’m doing okay. Learning my new normal and getting comfortable with it. I dread the winter, as I hate it and you won’t be here to talk to, share with and get through it with me. You would be proud of some of the things I’ve tackled, but I worry about being strong enough for the unknown challenges yet to come. The dogs are close…Zorro stays very close because he still doesn’t understand what happened to you. He is my shadow. I love you.

  41. Hi Daddy,
    Yep, it’s me. It’s been a little over 2 years since you’ve been gone..not a day goes by that I don’t think about you. You’re always up in that little spot in my thoughts and you just hang out there. I like that.
    I’m not gonna lie, your tough Ice Queen sure melted down after you died.
    Sure, I had to take care of a lot of things. Not just money, house, business….but me and thebeasts had to figure out what the hell was going on. I remember the primal screams the tears that just flowed, or threatened to flow at any given moment…
    I don’t think I was much good for anything for quite a while. Our friends bailed. The kids went back to their lives, and here I was…alone, missing my best friend and trying to hold on to OUR life.
    After you died, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. I was pretty sure I was going to drink myself to death and the dogs would end up eating me because of hunger. Days went by and no one called…my interaction was with people at Church. But that was just Sunday. The rest of the week was mine to wander aimlessly.

    Oh, I spent too much money, on tru stupid shit.
    Then I bought the house, sunk a bunch of $ in to it…
    I had dreams of what life here, minus you, was going to be.
    None of those plans came to pass. No one comes over, no one shares the days with me. No kids,no grandbabies…
    You know, its our dream house, complete with a super nifty pool.
    I guess one thing I have learned, in spades… is how to live without. Without you, without the friends I thought I had, without the kids.
    It’s made me stronger, to be sure. I am glad all your traveling taught me to be self sufficient, and self confident.
    Well, fast forward to today…
    You wouldn’t recognize me, physically, emotionally, mentally.
    I have lost almost 100 lbs, I work out… life weights, run… and I eat good.
    The fly in the ointment is I still, when I drink, I drink too fuckin much.
    I do have friends, new friends, widowed friends. We have this special bond. no judgement, lots of laughter and plenty of love.
    People think I have a lot to offer. I lead now, I volunteer now, I get involved in life and in things that I think are worthwhile.
    I think you’d be proud of me. The shitty part is that had you not died, none of this would be happening.
    Ironic much?
    I miss you to my toes, I love you to the moon. I am working on my new plan…I think you’d be pleased. Mama is gonna have her an adventure.
    I will talk to you soon.

    I love you – Me 🙂

  42. my husband cheated on me I know I am not sure how to go on and let go cause dont understand how I can forgive and he wants nothing to do with me unless I can give money. it hurts to know that I may not feel love again how do you let go when your heart dont want or know how to

  43. Gayle,
    Wow 13 years ago I watched you take your last breath , as you did I slid down the wall into a heap on the floor wailing gut wrenching tears for you, oh how I died inside that day. The early days and weeks even months were as if I was walking invisibly through my life. Our love unrecognized unimportant to the world. I grew bitter, very angry that our 22 years together was mistreated by so many people we knew , our loved ones, my employer, even the school that our youngest shared child went to mistreated her grief because they could not conceive her loss of you as losing a parent , her Mommy number two . So much has changed for the Gay community and it continues to change . We could be married now ! As I believe you know everything that has happened since you went on to your next adventure I will tell you how I felt when my mother and sister didn’t come to your funeral or to me at a time I really needed them to or the way your family treated me after you died or the way my employer treated me ……back then I was crushed and hurt and lonely, I felt as if I had nowhere to grieve the loss of you. I was treated like I was not human with emotions and feelings devastated that I was fired because my tears for you three day after the funeral “brought down the moral” I am glad it was me to have to be the one to find out how much society looked past us in our time of loss. I wish I had had the strength back then to sue my employer. Instead I took the unemployment and joined an online grief group , I found others and made some friends that I have seen in real life and remain in my circle of friends but mostly on line. Yes I thought I found love again too, but that was not to last although we have lived together all this time out of necessity and I am scared but also excited that the decision to get my own place was made and acted upon. Sara never got better she has borderline personality disorder , three children later, I lost her to mental illness and my heart aches everyday for her children and the loss they endure , I am a mess emotionally myself and have been all these years fearing the call that our daughter is dead. You were very close with Sara you are the only second parent she truly knew, her father just abandoned her and I am sure losing you was very hard on her. I didn’t do well without you, I really shut down and isolated myself from just about everyone once I could not work anymore . It wasn’t good for any of us you left behind. I was so pissed at you at one point , there you were off swinging on a star while I was left behind to manage with no home , no money, and no help I have to laugh at myself , I know you didn’t want to go and that it was not a choice you made and you surely didn’t want for me to go through this all feeling so alone. I had some good years in between the really bad years. I think of you and I wonder if all that has happened would have still happened if you were here, I like to imagine it would have been a whole lot easier to cope with all this with you by my side. All the giving up I did would not have happened , you were my life you saved me you validated that someone could actually love me , I never knew love as I did with you , the years we had together were indeed although not without struggles the best years of my life and I thank you for giving me that joy and fulfillment to remember . I am struggling today…. it is so hard to rebuild a new life and now that I know that I do and have found the people and the tools I need to rebirth myself into the life I need to have after my life with you I think I can finally see some light entering my life after the darkness that was left after your death. I love you dearly and I miss you with every bit of my heart please help me see the light that I know is out there in the universe that you are a part of help guide me into the light of my life anew ………
    with my heart and soul,
    Bev

  44. Larry, it’s been 8 years now since you’ve left us. So much has changed in all of our lives, but so much remains the same. The boys (now men) are 19 and 22, and I am proud of the wonderful people they have become . The other day a neighbor told Jonathan that he reminded him of you, saying he could see you in his smile and his actions. What a wonderful compliment ! Both boys are in college, and although they have had some struggles , they are doing great! Single parenting has been tough, but I am proud of the job I’ve done. I’ve been working on another masters degree ( in special education ) and am almost finished . I’ve been ruining and hiking, and have done 8 half marathons and done 5 of the 48 5000 footers In NH so far!. I’m moving forward step by step. I haven’t yet found love again , but hope it is in my future . As time goes by I realize how special you were and how much unconditional love you gave me and the boys . I realize I’ll never find someone like you , and didn’t know how good I had it way back when! I’ve learned so much about myself through all the years of your illness and since you’ve been gone . The biggest lesson that I need to remind myself daily is…I can do anything !! Thank you.
    Love forever,
    Cyndi 

  45. Hi,
    How I felt when you died? shocked, even though everyone saw it coming and we fought so hard that last year to try to prevent it..yes, I was shocked. I was not ready to be alone. I was also scared. I was really afraid I would lose the house, that I would not be able to keep it together financially…but mostly I was sad. A deep and dark sadness, not sure that I really wanted to go myself, except I had my son here and he needed me. He needed you, too, and I still have not really filled that void for him. He’s a man now and I’m sorry you aren’t here to help in the way only a man can do. But I have gone on. There are people that believe I haven’t because I still mention you and things we used to do, but that was just such a big part of my life for so long, it’s just what I have to share you know? You would love our grandson, he has been a bright spot. Yes, I am doing well. I have not really found another man, but like when I met you, I’m not really ‘looking’…I am hopeful I will be able to fall in love again. I miss you, thanks for loving me – those honestly were the best years so far…..
    me

  46. My husband will be gone 11 years on September 06. That may sound like a long time to some of you but to me it’s like yesterday. We were 36 years old and had two boys then age 7 and 17. They have grown up to be wonderful men. I couldn’t be more proud of them both. There have been so many events and changes since he’s been gone. One of the first biggies without him was my oldest sons wedding, then my youngest graduating and going to college. I have two beautiful grandchildren and yes these are all wonderful and exciting changes in my life but they are also some of the saddest. Watching my Son marry his beautiful wife in a fairy tale wedding broke my heart. I cried through the entire service thinking how unfair his daddy wasn’t there to see him.
    Then my youngest son graduated with top honors he received a full scholarship to Berry College. He was so handsome standing up there getting his awards and diploma. He looks just like his daddy and again I cried because this son had told me once that he was beginning to forget his dad. I felt like my heart had been ripped out. He’s such an intelligent young man who has the potential to be what ever he chooses and again his dad will never know.
    Then the hardest one of all our two beautiful grand babies. My grandson is three and my granddaughter is one. They are two of the most beautiful loving babies I have ever seen. My husband loved children and we so much fun. He loved life and was always doing something new and exciting with our boys. I have always been the serious and safe one. So yes I look at those babies and I cry thinking how unfair they will never know what a wonderful Poppa they had.
    I know thinking and feeling this way doesn’t get me anywhere but I can’t help it. I’ve take medication, see a psychologist and have read everything I can get my hands on that might have the answer. When am I going to move on????? Never it seems I don’t think I’m willing to start the grief process over. It just seems easier to stay stuck in this angry messed up place. I seem to have put so many walls that most people believe I’ve became cold and bitter. That’s fine I can live with that as long as I never have to feel the pain I felt the day my husband passed away.

  47. Brandon,
    It’s hard knowing that you’re really gone. It has been a few weeks… I miss you dearly already. You weren’t just my cousin but my best friend too when we were little. You and I used to play so much in the tree house and fight over who was going to play the Game Cube first. I remember at the skating party in like 4th grade, someone was picking on me and I was crying in the corner and you asked what was wrong. I told you, then you took my hand and your words were “Its okay, you are better than them! Just get up and show them that you can do so much better! You are a beautiful girl and deserve the world. If you can stand up to these people that are messing with you, you can overcome ANYTHING you want to in life!” That’s just what i want to do! I want to make you proud! You were everything in one! My friend, my partner in crime, my cousin (favorite at that), and best friend! We used to do everything together. I still remember when you crashed your four wheeler into that tree by my house.. Your four wheeler went right up it and you jumped off just in time! For one day I wish you were here so i could tell you i love ya and you’d give me that big bear hug that you always used to give me and tell me you love me too! :'( I wish you could come hold my hand and tell me its going to be alright that everything will be okay like usual.. But I havent seen you in 5 years or so… It was long over due… Now i cant say hey and hug you anymore when you and your parents come up.. I cant say good bye anymore.. Its to late. I wish i could go back in time and find you before this all happened! I cry as i type this! I love you cuz. You’re forever in my mind. R.I.P. Brandon Michael Curtis! We Love you!

  48. Dear Mick
    I honestly thought we were meant to be, that you were a gift to me after many years of unhappiness with my ex-husband. And you said I was your One, everything seemed to click into place after being friends for so long. But you never seemed to want to make time for me or for our relationship to move in so that we could spend more time together. And when the crunch came, it was clear that you didn’t love me as much as I loved you because your actions didn’t match your words. It has been so hard, I have been so devastated and I still find it difficult to comprehend that there will be no ‘you’ in my future. But I have survived the last five months, I am still standing. Moving on is slower than I want, my heart is still hurting rather than healing but it will just take time. I know I am strong enough to get through this and build a different life to the one I had envisaged for us. I will be fine in time. Steph

  49. Kevin a million times I have wondered what IF. Thanks for loving me when I needed it most. Thanks for the songs we shared, the texts and the late night conversations. I picked you from the beginning! You are the one I wanted and I’m sorry it wasn’t meant to be. I’m happy you get our baby to hold in heaven. I miss you smile your presence and I would give anything to kiss you!
    I miss you so much it hurts to breathe, to think I will never see you in this life is almost to much to bare!

  50. A year & a half ago I lost my oldest brother to a severe stroke, he was only 58. He was our rock & I miss him so much. Our mother never got over losing him, as any mother wouldn’t be able to do. We watched her grieve & suffer daily. She often spoke of going to heaven to be with him, but we were selfish & wanted her to stay here with her other seven children, twelve grandchildren & twenty seven great grandchildren. The good Lord had other plans for our mother. She left the earth to be with my brother & other family members on August 28 this year. I miss her so much and I still try to call her daily like always or go by the nursing home after work. I remember when my grandmother (her mother) died & bow mother grieved & rely never stopped grieving for her. I wasn’t ready to let her go, but I know she’s in a perfect place in a perfect body now. I love you mother & I miss you so much.

  51. Its been almost 5 months since we lost you.. i can remeber it like it was yesterday. Ill never forget how empty i felt, i was in complete shock. You were only 22 and our son wasn’t even a year old yet.. we were supposed to spend eternity together and make this little family of ours bigger. Now, its just me and our little boy. All i can day is thank you for making me into the person i am today. If it wasn’t for you, i woldnt be able to make it through this.. im staying strong for our son and im slowly but surely trying to figure out who i am as a person. I love and miss you so much jason, rest in paradise baby❤

  52. Mr. Perfect,

    As I sit here in this moment, one year ago, in this hour, we shared our last goodbye….our last I love you…..our final kiss. My heart was glowing at the start of another perfect day in our lives. A day to rejoice as we prepared to tell the world the joy our love had created. My heart could not imagine or comprehend the depths of torture it was about to endure only a couple short hours later. At the moment my phone rang, my defenseless heart stopped and my world forever changed in the blink of a moment. I think of that moment and wonder how something so horribly life altering can happen faster than my first sip of coffee that day, but that is what it was….merely a blink of a moment.

    That one moment has shook me uncontrollably for the last year. It has taken my every strength and holding onto our love to get up and face the dawn of each day. For so long I imagined as I stood here at the end of this great marker, I would feel a breath of fresh air. I thought that if you make it through the first year, you would find a way to breath easy again. After all, so many say the first year is suppose to be the worst. As I sit here, I still struggle to catch my breath. I fear this common thought will not hold true for me as I stare down the tunnel of the next year ahead. This past year my mind has lived in a near constant blur between the shock of it all and the addition of our child into the world. I fear both my mind and heart have not yet begun to process the full absence of you, as you were frequently absent from my daily life. This year was merely a countdown with no Homecoming to follow.

    In my life, there will not be just one year of firsts to get through…there will be lifetime of them as I watch our now 6 month old child grow. There will be countless moments where your absence will catch me off guard and my heart will feel the freshness of a new wound. The loss of you will forever impact our lives as you will FOREVER be a part of our hearts.

    As I reflect back on this past year, I know you are smiling down at the kindness and comfort so many have brought to myself and AJ. You spent your whole life being the nice guy and being there for those around you whether you knew them or not. Your greatness has brought shear reflection on how AJ and I have been taken care of. Your life and love have left an imprint on so many. Thank you for sharing the wealth of your heart with the world. I feel richer for having lived in the light of your love. I will use this love to guide me through the journey ahead as you would want me to. A man does not become a hero for the way he died, but for the imprint he left on the world. You will forever be my hero.

    With every beat of my heart, I will love you…
    Love always,
    
Your Princess

  53. Szia Ádám!

    Ez már a második levél, amit írok neked a szakításunk óta. Hány nap is telt el azóta? Nem számolom, nem is akarom.
    Szóval mit is akarok mondani? Először el sem akartam hinni, hogy vége. Nem is mondtam el senkinek. Csak magamban őrlődtem és szinte felemésztett a bizonytalanság.
    Aztán beszéltem veled. És végighallgattam azt a keveset, amit mondani tudtál nekem.Nem volt sok, de épp elég volt. Az a hang…és az, hogy még annyit sem mondtál nekem, hogy sajnálod. Azt hiszem ez volt a legrosszabb. meg persze az, hogy nincs lángoló szerelem! Szerelem…ezt a szót nem is használtuk egymás között szinte soha.
    Szóval elég nehéz volt. Sokat sírtam utána. Egész hétvégén egy roncs voltam. Magam sem értem, hogy pénteken egyáltalán hogy voltam képes bármire is. Hihetetlen, hogy milyen erőm van, nem is gondolnám magamról.
    A hétvége is nehéz volt. Sírtam, magamat hibáztattam, letagadtam az egészet és nem akartam elhinni, hogy tényleg vége. Aztán kezdett jobb lenni. Legalábbis úgy tűnik…bár lehet, hogy csak a munka és a programok terelik el a figyelmemet rólad. Még mindig nehéz. Nem áltatom magam, még nem tettem túl magam rajtad. De vajon honnan fogom tudni, hogy már túltettem? Ha már soha többet nem gondolok rád majd? Vagy kapni fogok egy jelet?
    Közben azon is gondolkodom, hogy mit is éreztem irántad valójában. Vajon tényleg szerettelek? Igen, azt hiszem ezt biztosan kijelenthetem. És tudod mit, talán annyira szerettelek, hogy el tudtalak engedni. Annyira szeretlek, hogy nem akarom korlátozni a szabadságod még egy gondolat erejéig sem. Mert jogod van a szenvedélyhez és a szerelemhez, akárcsak nekem. Azt nem értem, hogy nem tudtál belém szeretni, hiszen olyan fantasztikus vagyok… De komolyan. Mint ember, mint társ, mint nő..és lehettem volna mint anya és feleség is melletted. De ez már soha nem derül ki.
    Tegnap eszembe jutott, hogy már nem vagyok az a nő, aki melletted voltam. Furcsa, de abban a pillanatban, ahogy kezdett tudatosulni bennem a szakításunk, rögtön megváltoztam. És azóta csak formálódom, változom. Nem tudom, hogy mikor teljesedik majd be ez a változás, egyelőre még tart. Azt hiszem neked/benned már soha nem tudnék úgy bízni, mint amíg együtt voltunk. Mert hidd el, ezt a szakítást én nem vártam a részedről. Én nem hittem volna, hogy te ilyet teszel velem. Én megbíztam benned. Feltételek nélkül! De ez is egy újabb lecke: soha nem tudhatjuk, hogy mi van a másik fejében és hogy mire is képes valójában. Soha. Tulajdonképpen még magunkról sem tudhatjuk.
    Azt, hogy miben változtam meg és mennyire, még nem látom. Csak érzem. És érzem, hogy lassan, de felszínre fog törni. Egy új nővé válok, akit te már lehet, hogy soha nem fogsz megismerni. És sajnálhatod. Sajnálhatod, hogy elvesztetted azt az embert, az a lelket, aki voltam és akivé válok.
    És hogy velem mi lesz? Hálás vagyok azért, hogy megadtad azt a lehetőséget, hogy megtaláljam azt, aki szívvel és LÉLEKKEL is tud majd engem szeretni. Néha már azt érzem, hogy tényleg jó, hogy szakítottunk és hogy így kellett történnie. Néha már látom a pozitív oldalát a dolgoknak. És tudom, hogy ez egyre gyakrabban lesz így.
    Hiányzol. Hiányzik a tekinteted, az ölelésed, a nevetésed, a szófordulataid. Nem érdemes ámítanom magam. Elvesztettem veled valamit, ami jó volt. Nagyon jó. De te is legalább ugyanennyit vesztettél velem. Néha bele kell törődnie az embernek, hogy nem lehet minden az övé, amit szeretne. De ezekben a helyzetekben is meg kell találni a boldogságot és az örömöt és más módot kell találnia arra, hogy elégedett legyen.
    Te egy fantasztikus ember vagy, de sajnos nem az én emberem. Vak vagy, hogy nem látod, hogy milyen értékes vagyok, de nem tehetsz róla. Neked is tanít ez a szakítást valamit. Talán pont azt, hogy sokkal jobban kell vigyáznod azokra, akik szeretnek. És persze én is tanulok valamit. Hogy mit, az még nem világos…mert szerintem rengeteg minden lesz…gyűjtöm majd őket és listát készítek róluk.
    Még sok mindent tudnék mondani neked és fogok is majd. Majd írok egy újabb levelet és addig teszem ezt, amíg azt nem érzem, hogy már mindent kiírtam magamból és egy betű sem maradt bennem.
    Addig is pedig csak azt akarom mondani, hogy szerettelek és ezért hagylak menni. Légy boldog és teljesedj ki. Legyen olyan az életed, amilyennek szeretnéd. És legyen az én életem is olyan, amilyennek szeretném.

    Csók
    Maszat

  54. My second letter
    Dear Russel,
    It has been over two years since you died. The cancer took you so fast, it does not seem possible we even live through that frightening time. Now it does not seem possibe that I have kepy on living until now. Ever since you left I cannot settle down. I continously look for more trips, more change, more anything to keep me busy. The problem is I have found a new love and this constant need to keep moving, not to settle in one spot, is keeping us distant. Right now even, I am in Rome for the second time in two years. Am I running away or running toward something? I still do not know. I think I am doing both and the problem is I think what I am looking for I already have, but I do not know how to stop. It is like I am hell bent on destroying my life and am waiting for someone to save me, but I know that only one who can save me is me. I do not even pray anymore, I am having a hard time connecting with God. There are times when I miss you terribly, then there are times I remember that we struggled as a couple and I wonder what I think I am missing. I also know, that you did not fully become you until you started to die. Does that happen to all of us? Do we really just struggle through life just to fully realize ourselves when we are dying? I hope I can stop struggling, I want to stop struggling, but I want everything to be RIGHT, and it is not right, was never right really and I do not want to die without having what I feel is right. What is right? Peace I suppose. Yes, I just want peace, the kind when no matter what is happening I feel peace in my heart, peace that all will be okay in my world. Maybe that is my prayer now, not excitement, not comfort, not health, only peace so when I do not have the others, I still have peace that it will all be okay. I am not sure why I am telling you all this, probably so you know I am still trying, still going forward and still striving to find what it is that will keep me living. I suppose I have to go through these things to Journey through the the other side of grief, but it is painful. So know I still miss you sometimes, and I still do love you, but now, right now all I am looking for is peace. I do not know if you can help from where you are, but if you can I will take the help. Your Wife, Kristin

  55. To my beautiful Buster,
    It seems weird to write you a letter since we talk every day. Next week it will be 8 months since you took your last breath and I’ve been having trouble breathing ever since. In the last 47 years, since I was 17 and you were 21, we went through every emotion together. From fighting like cats and dogs to wanting to spend every minute together and everything in between. I don’t know what to do with my days baby. They’re so long. Surely there are more than 24 hours in a day since you left.
    You meant so much to so many people and they’re all having a hard time too. Everyone misses you terribly. I know you’re proud of Tony and Lisa. They’re doing everything they can to help me and we talk about you all the time. We share all the funny stories and we laugh while we cry.
    I feel you with me every day. I feel your arms around me. I feel your love. But I miss you so much. I miss our conversations. I miss our trips. I miss our laughing. I miss your strength my Fonzi, my Superman, my “go to guy”. I’ve loved you since the first day I saw you at Dairy Way when you jumped over the hood of Mary Lynn’s car and tore your pants and I love you today and all the tomorrows to come.
    p.s. Sorry about all the crying. I know you hated it when I cried, but the tears just will not stop.

  56. Dearest Bruce,

    It’s been nearly four months since you’ve been gone from me. I was with you when your spirit left and so was John. I swear I felt you leave and I couldn’t believe it. Sweetie, I miss you so much. I sometimes can’t believe you’re gone and I’m here in Boise, a city that is not my home. I have Pete and my darling grand kids but its not the same sweetie. I am so lonely, horribly lonely and my heart aches. After you died, Peter and Penny remain in my life but the rest of the family dropped me , even your dad. I don’t dwell on that too much. It’s not that different than when you were here.

    Life is kind if hellish financially and you did leave me in a bind. I blame myself too. We got lost in this crazy system and now I could lose the house, even the car. I am full of anxiety because its just me to pick up the pieces, no one else. All of my friends are long distance and they do try to help. Kelly and Lisa have their own problems nd Laurie never does really come through for me. I need to go somewhere where I feel good. I wish you could help me with this. I think I want to go to the oregon coast where I can look at and smell that ocean smell. I’m tired of doing things alone and I’m so mad at God for taking our beautiful life and breaking it into a million pieces. I’m frustrated still that I couldn’t get those doctors to listen to me about ataxia. I don’t always feel this eway. I get glimmers of hope but I’ve lost you Bruce, my soulmate and I feel it in my gut and my heart. It hurts a lot, I also feel guilty about beingpissed off at God. I’m so tired all of the time and depressed. At least I have Teddy, Zoey and Niko! I don’t know what I would do without them. They’re a connection to you.

    I continue to love you so much. We gave each other everything. I always had hope that you would get better sweetie right up until A few days before you left. I pray that you’re okay now, that you are in a place that’s reconnected you with everyone who has left. Sometimes I think I can do this and sometimes I don’t. I have to go on. I want to be happy again. I love you so much and I hate grief. Mornings are the worst time for me. I wake up in full panic. Today was a little different. I felt okay but then I got a call from a bill collector. I keep saying. I’m sorry I have nothing, no assets. My husband has died. She was very nice but then again I don’t trust anyone.

    I believe you can see me and I believe you know I’m trying a new thing AGAIN to try and move forward. You know I have the biggest desire to go to Southeast Asia and teach but I can’t tell anyone because they all think I’m nuts, but I know it comes from their own fears, not mine.

    Please help me if you can. I need to laugh again and I need my heart to start healing just a little bit so I can fulfill some of these dreams.. Bruce you will never leave my heart. I don’t know if there’s anyone who has loved as deeply as we have, but of course there are others that do. I know that right now I can only help me and I had to get away from some of the toxic people, even some of your family members but you know who they are anyway. I feel comfort that you are in a beautiful place with your mom, my mom and crazy dad, Jamie willan and Jamie, your fabulous dog, PJ, Annie, Charlie and Lillian and on and on.

    I know it’s only four months and time will help a little. I promise you I will keep trying no matter what. I have the tools. You gave me the tools. I love you sweetie! Jan

  57. It has been 1o months since you pushed me away. Only 2 months since I learned the reason you pushed me away was because you wanted to be with someone else. That was the second time you did that to me, pushed me away to pursue other relationships.

    I don’t know why you couldn’t just be honest with me and tell me you weren’t in love with me. Why was that so hard for you?

    The worst part is you blamed me and my issues for our troubles. You claimed I didnt “let you in” and wouldn’t “open up to you”. But you know that wasn’t true. I shared everything with you. I told you everything I was working on in therapy. I shared with you the potential diagnosis I was pursuing. I took you to my meetings with my nutritionist. I told you I resonated with some truth in the ALCOA meetings I attended. How could you say I didn’t let you in?

    The truth is you used all that as weapons against me and brought them up to tear me down. And now I know why. You just wanted to date some other dude.

    How could you do that to me? It just wasn’t you who was ripped out of my heart. I loved Casey as if he was my own son. I helped you care for him. I changed his c-diff infected and colitis filled diapers. I held a bucket to catch his vomit when we drove him to the ER. I cradled and soothed him as the nurses and specialists tried and tried to get an IV in his veins. I rushed to the hospital at nights, weekends and rush hours to stay be by your side with

    When you pushed me away you ripped him out of my heart, too.

    Why did you do that to me? If you weren’t in love with me, you should have told me.

  58. THE LOVE OF MY LIFE, DAYALAN,LEFT ME AFTER 30YEARS,TO BE WITH JESUS
    I MISS MY HUSBAND SO MUCH,I CAN NOT LET GO,SO MANY QUESTIONS ,SO MANY WHAT IF.TO ME HE WAS THE STRONGEST MAN ON THIS PLANNET.
    JUST 49 YRS OLD,HES WORK WAS NOT DONE YET,HE STILL HAS TAMMY WHO IS HIS BABY,SHE IS 18 AND STUDDING LAW,HE WAS SO PROUD OF HER,SPOKE ABOUT HER ,WHERE EVER HE WENT,SHE WEEPS EVERY DAY FOR HER DAD,SHE LOVES HIM SO MUCH.HIS OTHER BABIES MISSES HIM SO MUCH AS WELL,AMELIA 29,TRISHA 25,WE ARE SUCH A CLOSE FAMILY .
    THOUGHT DAYALAN AND MANDY WILL GROW OLD TOGETHER,LOVED HIM FROM THE AGE OF 14,MY FIRST AND ONLY LOVE,LOVE HIM SO MUCH,IF I COULD MARRY HIM ,IN MY NEXT LIFE AND THE NEXT LIFE , I WOULD BE THE
    HAPPIEST WOMAN IN THE WORLD.PLEASE LORD JESUS MAKE DAYALAN MY HUSBAND IN MY NEXT LIFE.THE GREATEST LOVE AFFAIR EVER.SO SUDDENLY YOU LEFT,SO MUSH TO SAY MY LOVE,ITS ALMOST A MONTH ,STILL IT FEELS LIKE JUST YETERDAY,CRY MYSELF TO SLEEP EVERY NIGHT,HOLDING ON TO YOUR SHIRT,CAN HEAR TAMMY IN HER ROOM WEEPING AND CALIING OUT DADDY,PLEASE COME BACK,DADDY THIS IS ALL A BAD DREAM,JESUS PLEASE GUIDE MYSELF AND MY FAMILY,WE NEED YOU LORD JESUS AMEN.

  59. My darling Daniel,
    I know I said I would understand if your pain got too much and you couldn’t do it anymore but I didn’t mean you could do it. I still have visions of finding you and it hurts so much. I can’t go into that room under the house anymore, we all skirt past that closed door but the house itself is still our home where our memories of you are better.
    I hate that the last words we said to each other were harsh and that I went out, the endless torment of wondering if you’d still have done it if i stayed home 🙁
    I hate that i found that last message on your phone and that my grief is tainted by the devastation of knowing you had started up that affair again. I know you were so desperate to do anything to not think but my hatred and bitterness towards her are complicating my already confused grief. I know you didn’t love her but it makes me feel less somehow, I also hate her for not stopping you when you sent her the photo of the noose, I hate that she is too self centred to think of my children and do something.
    The 2 younger kids sleep with me every night, we need the security of each other and I cannot imagine this bed on my own.
    We laugh sometimes and remember good memories, sometimes I feel more relaxed because the stress has been lessened and i no longer live in fear.
    I miss having someone to share the little joys with, to change light bulbs and mow the lawn, to share intimate moments and unspoken jokes from years together. I hate that no one knew me as well as you did and now that’s gone. I hate that I feel like this is somehow my failure and that I deserve it.
    People say how strong I am and i wonder what they see that I don’t, are they just being kind ? I have seen so much kindness in these past 9 weeks, it has amazed me and humbled me. the kindness of strangers and friends, so much good- it so sad that it came at this terrible cost.
    You always said i was the kindest person you ever knew so maybe i do deserve the kindness. I miss the good times with you when you said beautiful things which built me up.
    I hope you are free of your terrible pain now my love, I hope you have finally found the peace you longed for, I am just so sorry it wasn’t here with me.

  60. Dear Wayne,
    It has been a little over 3 years now since you died from the brain tumor. There is a young woman in the news lately who has the same kind of brain tumor, who has elected to end her own life at the time of her choosing so she will escape the horrid death you had to endure. Yet you escaped. I had to go on living. I took care of you 24/7 for 10 months as you died, but I know I got off easy compared to a lot of widows I know whose mates died from this monster.
    At first I just wanted to sit in the house and stare at the wall. Then I had to go to work in your shop to help keep it running. Then I ended up buying out your partner because he wanted to sell and retire. I can’t believe I am doing this. I have spent the last year trying to make it work. Not sure at all yet that I will be successful, but I am trying because I believe in your vision. I know I am helping a lot of people and it is good for me to have a mission.
    I am now the primary caregiver for both my folks. Both of our kids are now parents. Can you believe Caleb and Jenny have twins? They are over a year old now, and the little boy reminds me so much of you that it sometimes hurts me to look at him. Rozie has a little girl now. She is such a great parent! Caleb is too. They both learned so much about good parenting from you. I am trying not to lean on them emotionally.
    I have dated and even loved one guy quite a bit. He helped me move forward but was not an ultimate match. I keep remembering how you said you just wanted to live long enough to ruin me for anyone else. Perhaps you did. Yet, at 62, I feel I have a lot of life left to live and hope it will not always be alone. Have investigated dating sites and will probably start going to a different church soon.

    I still play a lot of music. It is great therapy. We played at a fall festival Sunday evening. A very small girl came up and “danced” to our music. It made everyone smile. Your little granddaughter Reagan does that. She has red hair and blue eyes! Amazing.

    You always made me laugh, every day. I miss that. I need that. God has been good to
    me, but life alone is really scary. Thank you for being such a good man and a good husband. You are a hard act to follow! Love always.

  61. Dear Daddy,
    Today marks the 2 year anniversary of your death. It’s impossible for me to even grasp the concept of it still. I woke up today at the exact time 2 years ago that mom called to tell me that hospice called that you passed. No one has said anything to me today about it… either they are too scared or don’t know what to say. All that keeps going through my mind is that 2 years ago you left, 1 year ago mom came home under the care of hospice, and now I am alone without either of you. I feel so alone. It’s so hard for me to cry, for me to speak about it, and for me to even think about it. It’s impossible for me to get into your car still that Tim now drives. The 2 times I’ve had to I hold back the tears. I hold on to the thought of you and mom together now and not in pain. I still can not bring myself to look at the video we took or the pictures mom took… I now understand why she did it, although at the time I didn’t. I have so many regrets and I know you wouldn’t want me to have any… I can still hear your voice… I can still hear you say hey kid… or hey little girl… But I would give it all to hear you say I love you one more time.
    You would be so proud of Josh! Oh Daddy he is doing so well! He got A’s and one B on his report card, he is dating such a lovely girl, his last football game is tonight (ironically), and then we start wrestling. You would just be amazed at how tall he is too and how much he looks like the YOUNGER you HA! He doesn’t talk about it but he misses you and mom so much. It’s very hard on him and I try to get him to open up and sometimes he does… And he’s driving now… we joke all the time about how we wish you were here! We know that you would be taking him out none stop. I’ll be honest it’s really hard having you and mom gone now. It’s lonely having no family. But I have Tim and Josh and they are enough until I see you both again. But the void is so big! Tim tries to help but it’s hard for him to fully understand and trust me I’m grateful he can’t understand this pain and void.
    I miss you so much! Because last year we had mom and we were helping her with her illness I didn’t really have a chance to stop and grieve like I should have so now it’s like a ton of bricks. I’m trying so hard to be strong like you both would want me too! It’s so hard though…. So very hard!
    Tim and I still laugh though… I just said to him the other night “Well I told Daddy not to die on my anniversary and he didn’t…He died the day before so atleast he kept that promise” 🙂 That Friday night…the last night you were really able to hold a conversation you did promise you wouldn’t pass on my anniversary and you didn’t… but I didn’t realize that the day before would be just as hard… We laugh because we remember the smile on your face when you said you would try your best not too…
    I hope you remember me telling you that I loved you, I hope you remember me telling you it was ok even though I really didn’t mean it but knew it’s what you needed and I was being selfish, I hope you remember Josh being there telling you he loved you, and mom telling you she loved you, Tim telling you he loved you, and Brown Dog… oh Brown Dog barking!!
    Daddy you will always be my first love! You will always be my Daddy! I will always miss you more than words! I am fighting each day to figure out how to go on without you and now with out mom! I’m angry with you both for leaving me but I understand you both were in pain.
    This morning when I prayed I asked for Jesus to hug you for me since I couldn’t do it myself!
    I love you Daddy! I love you more than words!
    Love your little girl
    oxoxox
    P.S. Sunny side up

  62. i lost my son to suicide on feb 5th 2014 he was in jail and hung himself the paramedics were able to get his heart started again but he was on life support i had to make the hardest desion in my life to take him off life support but he was brain dead noone should ever have to live like that on a machine he was 95 percent brain dead so no functions at all it was so hard to watch my baby take his last breathe i feel so alone without him i do have three other boys who all resemble my danny we all miss him dearly how do you go on without your child how do you celabrate holidays and birthdays without your child a piece of me is missing im still trying to figure out life without him its so hard though i keep his memory going i talk about him all the time and look at photos but my heart is acheing for him i hope one day my life will change. i love you daniel rip my son

  63. It has been 4yrs since you left us. I felt like the world collapsed over me, what was going to be of our children, of myself without you. Life just got unexpectedly way to complicated.
    After spending 14 yrs with you, almost half of my life at that time, I felt like my life was destroyed by death and Nights. Indeed nights became my worst enemy, I was afraid of going to sleep and be gone like you did.
    Daniel will come up with questions, he fear what more changes his live will have to face. He was very quiet and won’t say much about your death. He was mainly quiet, his personality after all.
    Sofia will come and share her dreams with you and the messages or kind words you will tell her at home or school. She kept dreaming of you coming back for her birthday. From time to time will tell us how lonely she felt, like she did not want to play with anybody and just wish her dad was there with her to play.
    Losing our puppy, well you puppy 2 months later was very hard for the 3 of us. It was hard to believe that my 3rd kid was gone in front of my eyes but it was an eye opener to many whys I had about the way you were gone.
    To our son, it hurt him tremendously. His best friends have gone one after another one. He became afraid of me leaving them. It was so hard to promise I was always going to be there for them when life has showed me you never know when your last day is.
    I went back to work and felt like I was paid for crying. It was painful to look at my phone expecting your phone call and know it was not going to happen.
    Fridays were not the same. There were no plans to make just stick to our regular (games and practices) during the weekends.
    My struggle to be mom and dad started to grow. Come up with bills; take over your duties, learn about the entire tasks that I will mainly assign to you and continuously wait to hear from you. I became obsessed about life after death.
    It happened; you convey a message and could not be clearer. Everything will be alright and we will be a team not matter how far you were. Next thing I know, I lost my job but by then I trusted your words because you never failed me. You were my best supporter and fan of all times.
    Things got little bit complicated with unemployment, mortgage, etc but thank God Little by little I found the way out of all my stress and debt and Our kids have all what they need.
    We moved to a smaller house, we all became more active at church; our kids have grown tremendously: physically and spiritually. Daniel love the fact that he is Taller than Dad!!!
    I have faced many challenges as a mom of a teenager. We have gone over bumpy roads, unfortunately our straight A student is not longer that but little by little he is growing and hopefully realizing the importance of education and good grades. He started speaking to me in English in front of our friends (like you asked many times) and he switched to a single sport like you suggested to. You will be in so many ways proud of his choices and some other times proud of his way of solving or facing his difficulties. His heart is as beautiful and sweet as yours.
    Our daughter will have your heart melted with her dance skills. Meanwhile our boy is our best and favorite athlete, she is truly our artist. I think about you a lot of times and how proud you will be if around, seeing our shy girl giving it all at the studio. She loves to shake it!
    I started to run and it became a challenge after a challenge. It went from 5k, to 10k and now training for my 1st half marathon. It is a great me time and I feel proud of my completed runs. It is a new hobby that I enjoy.
    Believe or not clean my body really well. I don’t social drink as much as I used to. After all, I don’t have anybody to drive me home. The kids now laugh when I said that we are going to a party, mom: be careful so you won’t get stomach sick.
    I have tried to start dating but for an odd reason both times have not worked. The most I have dated has been 3 months. I still pray GOD for completely healing or to find the one for me. I am sure you will be happy to see me re do my life but well, hopefully that one person is somewhere and eventually will cross my path.
    You know how much I believe in Angels and throughout my life angels have proven me their existence and I think of you about as one of them. You are our mediator, guardian, supporter, our long gone love but never forgotten one. We know you are in a better place and look after us each and every day. We miss you and have you in our prayers every night. We made up a prayer just for you and Tony. Sadly some memories have faded but some other times I get impressed by memories brought up especially by our little girl.
    You will be surprised with all the things I have learned around the house. Sometimes I even imagining you laughing when I tried to repair things and I have no clue what I am doing. Sometimes with success some others I asked for help or just leave it alone.
    You will be proud of the power I have developed to take decisions, plan vacations, expenses, set goals, etc. I am not the person I used to be. Sometimes I ask for second opinions but mainly I have learned to enjoy taking my own decisions, making plans. I miss you sometimes but I also know you will be there to say, if you knew the answer why would you ask for an opinion.
    I’m praying GOD for healing and for him to take care of me and our children. He is so far the one who feels my heart and continuously feeds our hope that we will meet again. Our Rock!
    Some days I think of the day we will seat and laugh about many things I have experienced since you are gone.
    I know you want for me to be happy, to enjoy life, to care about myself and our kids, to establish priorities and finally let you go. Sometimes feels like life gets easier but then I have set backs and I miss you deeply. I’m sorry and I promise you and believe me I am finally trying to learn to live and laugh instead of letting the time go by.
    We are learning how your life did not end, it just changed. (Te queremos, adoramos y Amamos cuidanos desde el cielo y descansa en paz) We love you and miss you, until we meet again…
    Your Princess
    Paula.

  64. To the guy I thought was the one. There were signs from the beginning that you were not ready to date. I didn’t heed them enough because you were the most normal guy I had dated since my devastating divorce years earlier. I allowed myself to trust again, completely for the first time since my divorce and for that I do thank you. I should have listened to your words and acted with my own best interest. I realize now no matter what I did it was never going to be enough for you to be able give me what I wanted because yiy weren’t there. You gave me all of what you could of yourself, but it should not have been enough for me. I see now that I deserved more. I loved you for all that you were. I didn’t love myself enough to realize that I couldn’t change you or make you want it, it had to come from you. I know you loved me and feeling like I was never going to be loved again by a man, I put too much stock in that. The first time I should have continued on after us breaking up. But, I didnt. I gave you another chance. I can’t regret that because I would have never known what “could” have happened. I don’t hate you anymore like I did those first few months. I miss our friendship and more. But, I know my life will go on and it will be right with someone else. I forgive you. I forgive myself. ~A

  65. Dear Sue,
    It’s coming up on the anniversary of your passing. I hate that day. I feel alone and sad and can still barely talk about you without breaking down. I want my sister back. I want to re-do things and help you get better. I didn’t do that. When you died, my whole family was gone. I am left here without the people I grew up with. When you left it was like they all left again only all at the same time. No one is here anymore.
    Now I have a grand daughter! Did you know they named her after you? Oh I can just imagine how touched you’d be about that! I tell her about you and I wish you were hear to see how smart she is, how she loves books just like you did. I wish I were closer to them and I wish my son would have grieved for you….
    Almost 10 years have gone by without you and I am still ripped up. I miss you and want to be happy again and not feel so alone even though I am not. One day I was going through your stuff and I thought “what would Sue think about all this stuff thrown all over”…and I opened a box and there was a big photo of you laughing with your mouth wide open. I liked that.
    I am sorry I didn’t do more to help you get better and not die. I just couldn’t put myself in that spot and I feel guilty about it. I hope you forgive me.
    Love,
    Your little sister, Krissy

  66. Lenny, I just miss you… You laughter, your eyebrows, your hugs, your drumming. Your love. I wish you didn’t go so suddenly. Only a few days after you asked me to marry you. I will love you forever!!! Thank you for being you with me. The time we spent together will forever be in my heart. I wish I could have told you so many things before you left me. I would have stayed up all night with you if I knew it would be our last night together. I hope you are in peace and there is no more pain. ~forever my love

  67. I want to tell you how it has been without you here the last 4 months. It’s been quiet. Although people have been in and out, it’s been lonely. I talked to you and talk back to myself hoping it’s really you responding. I cry everyday because I want you here and I miss you. There are days I wish I could just go to you. This past month I became a lot stronger and realized you will not be back. I realized I have to stay strong for my children and grandson. Everyday is a struggle to do this. But I keep going trying to escape every tear and remember that you always wanted to make me happy. Starting fresh is hard, but I will start a life without you. You will see, more adventure, spirit and positive thoughts. I will take each day and grow. Like a child stepping into a new life. I will be opened minded and make each day count. I know that’s what you would want me to do. The way you loved me will keep me strong forever. Our life together was wonderful. You will forever be in my heart.

  68. It has been 15 months since you gave up on me and walked out on your family and home. You said your feelings for me were gone and they were never coming back. I never thought you would be a person that I would have to struggle with not hating. But then you walked out and almost immediately “started” dating an old girlfriend from the past (I’m still not convinced that was when things began with her). And then you totally confused your children by forcing her presence on them just two months after their parents were no longer together. And then you adopted a totally indifferent attitude to how your actions affected anyone other than yourself.

    My world and my heart shattered into a million pieces. I couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t get through a day without sobbing (not just crying – ugly sobbing) at least three times. I couldn’t look our children in the eyes because I felt so guilty about what had happened to them. And then, one day, I got out of bed, not because I had to, but because I finally felt as if I wanted to. One day, I only cried once; and then I didn’t cry at all. I was able to not only make eye contact with my children, I was able to have very frank conversations with them about what they were feeling and how we could positively deal with it. I have finally found my voice and my backbone; I no longer let you walk all over me. I have been able to give voice to my feelings of disappointment, bitterness, and betrayal. And I have finally decided that I have wasted enough time worried about what you will do or what your response to your children will be. It is time to move on to bigger and better things.

    If you were to sit down and have a frank conversation with me now, you wouldn’t recognize the person I have become. I am strong and confident. I am not afraid to speak my mind. I have learned to live alone. I can repair things and put things together and even open stubborn jars by myself. I have learned to manage and save money. I have reached out to strengthen old friendships and meet new people. I have even been on a date. I am no longer angry – I have just decided to clean up the messes you present me as they come. I have finally forgiven you – not because you asked me to, but because I can’t hold on to the anger any longer without it destroying me. I’m sure I will have to forgive many more times in the years to come, not because you will deserve it, but because I must forgive if I expect to be forgiven.

    Do I miss you? Of course. We spent 16 years together and learned how to be adults in each others’ company. The majority of my adult memories are tied up with you. I miss your voice in the den and your easy laugh. But I don’t miss being made to feel worthless, useless, and unwanted, no matter how unintentional it may have been. One day, either on this side of heaven or the other, you will realize what a mess you have made of things and the mistake you made. And that is enough for me to be able to move on to this next, new chapter of my life where I can finally say with confidence that I am my own woman.

  69. Dear Dad,

    I wasn’t ready to let you go.

    From the moment you told me what you wanted was a new heart, I knew you were leaving. I wasn’t ready.

    Even as I held your hand and felt the spirits come for you, watched your breathing slow because you had kept your promise to see me that day. Even as I tried to forgive you for all the things that had happened between us when I was the one who needed forgiving.

    I was so not ready.

    I tried so hard not to be angry. Not to feel betrayed. To look for the lessons and be able to serve with them.

    I raged at God and cursed him for taking your life from you after you had given it to him. I almost stopped sun dancing because the Grandfathers had not helped you. I hated Christ for taking you away from us.

    My heart broke so much that it took me a year to realize that my marriage was not salvageable. Even when I exploded at Maria a day or two later, it wasn’t clear to me.

    I know you watched it all because I could feel you there. You heard my cries and told me everything was ok. I am sure that you touched me, once.

    My identity started to slip away, piece by piece.

    First I lost you.

    Then, when I was given perfect clarity that it was never going to work, I left Maria and spent more than a year seeing Emma four days a month. It was excruciating.

    I did something I never thought I would do. I left the Sundance in the middle of my commitment because I was shown that it was not my home.

    I was terrified and felt very alone. I had lost you, my wife and daughter and even the spirits I prayed to. I would cling to anything that made me feel connected.

    I betrayed covenants to try and fill the void I felt. I almost started drinking again. I got involved with people that were not good for me for no reason other than they would give me the time of day.

    You left me with no fear of death. I longed for it. Ached for it. Anything to stop the pain. Emma probably saved my life during that time because I knew she deserved to have a father.

    So I started to get up.

    After feeling like everything in my life had been torn down, I began to rise again. I fought back against the dark. I promised God that if I was going to die, I was going to die clean. I walked to the gates of hell and began to dismantle them.

    I was baptized and received the Holy Ghost. I received priesthood authority. I began to see why I was here and why I needed to go through the dark night of the soul.

    Your name was the first one I took to the Temple. I will never forget the power of what happened there.

    I began to do family history work and it calmed me. Knowing that work serves so many people helps me to persist when things are hard. I talk to them sometimes, as I talk to you. I feel them praying and supporting me on the other side and it gives me the strength to persist.

    My heart continues to break, over and over, as I learn and grow. I am becoming more Christ like every time I go through this. The refiner’s fire works on me and in me.

    I spend half of my time with Emma now. She asks about you when we talk about family. I explain that you had to go and be with Jesus. Her growth is one of the greatest blessings in my life.

    I have dared to want more again. More children, more family, more happiness, more service. These desires are good seed and it has flourished in the ashes left by my former life. Like the lush vegetation that grows after a volcano erupts.

    Out of desolation comes life.

    There’s still so much to learn. I have started to see how much I have waited, and stayed in a holding pattern. Waited for a relationship to make me whole. I understand now that that’s not how this works.

    “Build it, and they will come” not “They will come and build it”.

    I did something brave the other day. I admitted that I needed help, and I accepted it when offered a chance to engage in a 30 day program to get past grief.

    I changed my name when I was challenged to do it. Andrew is a warrior’s name, and there is a reason you gave it to me.

    I even bought an audio copy of Dune so I could relearn the lessons there. There are so many tiny shifts in that book it’s amazing to me.

    It took me a long time to admit that I had been blown apart, that things were not healed. Starting to dig back through my identity is difficult. Realizing that it had taken a shape I do not want was heartbreaking and frustrating.

    Knowing now that I can rebuild it as I see fit gives me the power to do so.

    I am not healed yet, but I will be.

    I am not ready to bond with a woman yet, but I will be.

    I am not the father or husband or friend or disciple yet that I want to be.

    And that’s ok.

    I will not stop, quit or relent.

    I will never surrender or dine at the table of our enemies.

    There is no force on heaven or earth that can dissuade me from this path. There are many that support it.

    I believe in the total victory of the light, and I will be a part of that.

    It still hurts being apart from you, Dad. I wish we could talk again.

    I will see you again someday.

    I love you forever.

    Your son,

    Andrew.

  70. Mom – it has been four and a half year and a month today since your grasp around my neck and my back lessened and I laid you back down on your bed as you took your last breath.

    I once told you I would break into a million little pieces if you “left me” here on earth but what I didn’t realize is that you would never “leave me” – somewhere somehow you were ALWAYS with me. I saw you in the clouds, I beard you laughing on a star and dancing on one too.

    I miss your laugh, the reassuring comfort I felt when you smiled back at me and nodded – you made everything seem so simple – you always had the answer.

    You left me with so many questions that I needed YOU to answer but in small ways you were everywhere – you’ve been everywhere with me – helping me, stealthly and obviously hunting at the answers to my questions.

    You were my rock for 19 years of my life and damn was I lucky – these past four I’ve had to take over the steering wheel because those first 19 was a hell of a ride –

    Like you said, you were one hell of a driver – I miss you more and more each day – but I still hear you laugh, your kisses upon my face, and your arms wrapped tightly around me – you will always be my rock.

    You are the best there ever was.

    Philip

  71. Dear love of my life

    If my love could have saved you you would have lived forever.
    But your heart broke and so did mine.
    Surviving you has been a tough discipline.
    I promised myself to find you and we did.
    How privileged am I.
    I miss everything about you and mostly the chance to make you happy.
    But when it’s my time to go and you welcome me to the world of light
    It will be magnificent.
    I love you forever.

  72. This is more from than to – it was my journal entry shortly after my husband died.
    Maggie’s Journal
    April 9, 2014 “Carl’s Visit”
    Today his spirit man stands in the doorway of the new house she purchased shortly before his death – he reflects on her, his love for her and their life as he helplessly watches her grieve.
    She had moved back to her home town to find comfort in old friends and extended family because they both knew that she was losing him and as always, she was planning and putting that plan in place. It was a plan that would care for them both – a plan that would help her to not be so very alone when he was gone – a plan for a future without him. He’d known the watching of his illness was breaking her heart and he could not help her. He had once been her strong and determined and gentle lover and supporter – but eventually he could only look at her with vague eyes and shaky hands but he knew, and she knew. He knew, although he no longer articulated his understanding. Alzheimer’s, the very word brought anger to his mind and heart. He would sputter and talk what sounded like nonsense to others but in his own mind he knew very clearly what he was saying. He wanted to take her in his arms and tell her he still loved her and he always would. He wanted to plant kisses on her neck and tease her and grab her into his arms and dance her around the bedroom, like in the old days. But, not yet…
    He watched her, sitting at the computer with tears streaming down her cheeks. He and His Lord had both counted her tears. There were so many, how could one woman cry so much he wondered. In his spirit he was telling her that he still loved her, that even though he could longer call her name and express his love to her in the ways of the past, he was still her beloved, inside he was the man she had fallen so deeply in love with all those years ago. He wanted to tell her that she would be OK. That he knew that she was strong and God would care for her now, as always and that life would go on without him and that in all things to come he would still love her through it – even though his physical presence was gone – his love would live with her almost as palpable as the wind and the cold and the warmth of the sun – he would be there too. But, not yet…
    He wanted her to know that now, in this place of joy and love and healing it was OK. That he was OK. That he was healed and someday, when her days were finished he would be there to joyously greet her and he would show her those things of heaven that are only imagination to those yet to follow. He would tell her of his love and how grace had made it possible to live through the worst of life and that trust is really all it takes to go forward. He would take her once more in his arms and she would be in her beautiful red gown with her youthful black hair cascading down her back and they would dance. He would show her – someday. But, not yet…
    For now he stands in the doorway and watches her. His love pouring out and his heart holding her close, someday she will know but not yet…
    She rises then, wipes her tears, straightens her shoulders, and begins her day…
    So it Goes, Maggie Honnold

  73. You are my rock. Whenever life threw me a curve ball, you would coach me on how to hit it, or how to survive it hitting me. I needed you, and when I saw the biggest curveball of my life, your death, I was forced to face it alone. I didn’t do so well, but I survived. I spiraled out of control for a while, and when I came out of it, life threw me another curveball that sent me spiraling again. I swung at that one, but missed completely and it knocked me to the ground. Years have gone by and you know the choices I have made. You also know how sorry I am and that I am finally back to my feet. Its been 10 years, and I still miss you everyday, but I am finding new guidance and mentors. I am learning how to cope with life, no matter what it throws at me. I am learning to let go of the things I can’t control. I am also learning that I can’t really control much. Lol.
    So in your departure, yu have taught me the most important of all… To grow up. Thank you. I know I still have tons to learn, but I feel like I am on a path of enlightenment, and I truly believe that I have come through the darkness and will be following a brighter path from now on. Your words of advice linger in my mind, but the lessons I have learned on my own over the past 10 years have been invaluable. My mistakes have taught me lessons that I needed and may not have learned any other way.
    As much as I miss you, I thank you for letting me learn these lessons on my own. I hope some day we can talk about it and Ihope you can forgive me and that I can forgive myself for the bad choices I have made. I haven’t done a lot of things you couldn’t be proud of, but there are a few that I am not proud of, and I hope wherever you are, you can see the change inside me.
    I love and miss you more than ever!

  74. Dear Carey, You were the love of my life. I watched you fade over the years from a vital handsome, charming man that swept me off my feet, to a sick feeble man. Time after time after time, all the trips to the hospital, I thought I would lose you, and my mind could never grasp that you really might DIE. Even after you went into Hospice, and I sat there and watched you take your last breath, I could not grasp it!
    I’ve made some terrible mistakes. Everything we built together is gone. I can’t believe how much my life has changed without you in it. My family thinks I should be over it, and move on…….they don’t understand. So I spend way too much time alone. Remember all those times when you got home from work before me, and I resented your taking my ‘quiet time’ – my time of day when work was done, but before I had to start dinner, and chores. Well, now I have TOO much quiet time. Oh how stupid I was! I took you for granted. I didn’t have to worry about how to pay the light bill, and whether I could afford to have TV service, or how I was even going to eat.
    Yes, I tried dating and made 2 terrible mistakes, so now, I’m withdrawn into myself even further. I’ve had days of thinking I might just end it all, but then I realize that I’d be doing to my sons and grands, what your dying did to me, and I don’t want to cause them this kind of pain EVER!
    I’ve never spent this much time alone in my life. I want to sleep it all away some days. I do have some good days, where I get myself up, try to exercise, stay active. Then I have very dark days, where I cry all day long. I go back to the town we lived for 20 years, for my Doctor appointments and I find myself driving by our home we lived in for over 15 years, and it makes me come unglued, but I can’t stop myself. I didn’t realize I was living the best days of my life in that house with you.
    I don’t know HOW to go on. I don’t have you here to tell me what to do! Yes, I know I’m a smart, normally very independent person, but I don’t know what happened that THAT girl, because I’m just a shell of who I WAS!
    I know you would not want me to be like this. I’ve become a hermit. Friends ask me to have dinner with them or do things, and I just don’t want to. They don’t understand. I feel like everyone is pushing me to do things THEY want me to do. I’m trying to find myself…….but I think the old me is gone. You took her with you.
    I know you’ll always be in my heart. I can’t imagine another man in my life. I’ll forever be comparing them to you. One person I dated got so frustrated with me……….he said that you ruined me. Well, he’s right. You ruined me for anyone else. You got all of me, and left me with nothing except my sons and grandchildren, who are busy living their own lives. I’m a 5th wheel……..I don’t belong anywhere. I don’t feel like I have a home anymore. I know it’s only been 17 months since you went away, but it took a year for me to realize you were really GONE forever, and could never come back to this earth. I can’t go visit your grave…..you’re not there! You’re in my heart, and soul and mind. Right now, I don’t have room in there for anyone but you.

  75. Dear Dan-
    This wasn’t how it was supposed to be (initially)… but now – I can’t imagine being anywhere but exactly where I am…

    Rewind 3 years… It was only my second day back to work after my maternity leave… our baby girl M was only 11 weeks old. I wasn’t supposed to come downstairs after getting ready for work to find you… your sons (N was 11 – and V was 3 at the time) – were not supposed to ever have to see me perform CPR on you… That morning haunts me like nothing else I could imagine. I was filled with fear and hope as the paramedics, doctors and nurses worked on you. They allowed me (and your parents) to come back to be with you… you were already starting to feel cold – and then I heard them pronounce the time of death and at that moment -my world shattered.

    How could this possibly be? We’re only in our 30’s? We just welcomed our baby girl in to this world. We didn’t know you were sick, or something was wrong. There were no signs or warnings… it just happened to be that at that moment – you left our world… without a word or explanation. Without a goodbye or one final “I Love You.” You were just… all of a sudden… gone.

    The days and months that followed your death were so incredibly painful. Not only did we lose you… your son N was taken from our family. His mom said “he’s no longer part of our family,” and he was never allowed to see us again. We were all devastated. How was I supposed to tell our 3 year old son that not only is his daddy gone, but now his brother is too. V was so angry – so upset and withdrawn. We were all drifting through time, only to feel loneliness, pain and sadness.

    I remember sitting at your grave-site every day for months that followed your death… I’d cry uncontrollably. How did I ever have that many tears? Holidays came and went – I can’t remember anything about them other then the emptiness of your chair, and the absence of joy. I tried to put on a smile for the kids – but it broke my heart to know that you weren’t there for these moments… and that you won’t be there for their milestones.

    Somewhere within the first year, I started working on putting my story in to a presentation that I was giving to 200+ people at one of my annual conferences. I was terrified to speak in public. But the overall message of my talk was “public speaking was nothing compared to what I had already faced.” And it’s so incredibly true. Along the journey of prepping for this presentation, I began to transform and find strength. I started to become a new person. So many of my old qualities, but suddenly I was finding this incredibly desire to be stronger, be more confident, be happy with who I was and what I had been through – and be happy that I have two beautiful children that you provided me with.

    Along the transformation – I decided to move and start somewhere fresh for the kids and I… Or at least return “home”. My faith was tested greatly. How could a God take you away from me so early? How could God take a father away from his children, and our whole family? I was completely lost, angry, broken, and questioning my faith. I started to return to church regularly because that seemed like the right thing to do – for the kids and I. I started reading the bible more stumbled upon one of my favorite scriptures at the time Matthew 5:4 says “blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.” Having suffered your loss, I was overwhelmed with the outpouring of support and kindness from all those who surrounded me, especially my church family. Little did I know that returning home meant discovering other people in my life, and growing old friendships.

    Now let’s fast-forward to present time… Would you ever believe that one of those friendships turned in to a new love? Would you believe that here we are three years later, and I’m remarried and happy, and my new husband and I are expecting a child together? Our children that YOU and I created, now refer to him as Dad. We talk about you often; however the absence of your physical presence has shifted “Dad” to someone new. They love him so and look up to him so much – they are incredibly happy children. V still misses you and his big brother N, and talks about you frequently. Even though your body is not there, you definitely have a presence in our home.

    It’s such an incredible bittersweet feeling to know that we had gone through such heartache and pain by losing you. But now our family has been made whole again – and you’re constantly watching over us. Was this the plan all along? Was this the way it was supposed to be? Is this the path God had truly intended for all of us?

    I miss you greatly, but I honestly can’t say that I would change anything. I’d love to see you – or hear your voice – but I know that’s not possible. Perhaps in my dreams maybe? I will always love you. But my heart and soul has shifted to my new love. I am incredibly happy, and so much in love and excited about the journey God has me on now and look forward to the future. My new husband and I are happy – truly, wonderfully, and honestly happy and so much in love.

    Thank you Dan – for giving me 11 years of happiness and two children. Thank you for loving me with all that you were. Thank you for watching over me and guiding me through grief, and for helping me to move on. I always thought that you were the love of my life… but came to realize that I was wrong. I was the love of YOUR life. My life still continues and I have learned that I have so much love to give, and I intend to do just that. Live fully and love unconditionally!

    Love always,
    Michelle

    • Dan was so lucky to have a wonderful family while he was here. You are an amazing wife, mother, daughter and friend. I’ve seen all sides and know how strong you are. Thank you for sharing and giving hope to others, they can see life does go on but those memories will last forever.

  76. I have decided to stay strong without you girls, when you all left me I was empty, hopeless, I cry all the time wishing you were all here with me, even though I moved on I did that just to accept fate, I hated life for taking you away but now I have choose to stay strong and I will make it.
    Still love you all my friends….
    And will never forget you…..
    Our dreams….. and those times we spend together.
    D.O.V.

  77. Bryan, my love. It’s been a little over a year since you had to leave me. In some ways it is just now sinking in that you are actually dead. Not just away. I’ve been lonely. I have my parent near by and our son with me, but nothing feels the void. I used to feel like I was a great mom, but this past year I seem to be having a hard time. I let him play more video games then he should just because it gives me a break and makes him happy. I want him to be happy. He is growing up so fast. The vice principal of his school commented to me on how much he has changed – it made me sad because you are missing it. I am changing. I coached soccer. lol I’m taking classes again and working a part time job. But I still have moments where I cry for you. You were such a large part of my life. You were my saftey. I miss you. Our son misses you.

  78. Dearest Michael,
    So weird to write Michael again. I guess Michael was my term of endearment and for some reason I’ve been referring to you as Mike. Maybe that was because i have had to talk about you, but I have not been able to talk to you… at least not face to face. I’m thankful for the relationship we have now in the Spirit. So good to feel you alive somewhere. You were always so full of life. To see you that night on the driveway, lifeless, was surreal. I knew you’d gone to be with God. He told me that he had you and so I was at peace about that part of it, but the untangling of our souls from each other was excruciating!!! The best way to describe it comes from one of your favorite movies “Braveheart”. I’m not quite sure what happens in this part, because I always close my eyes during this part. This is what my mind pictured. The enemy wanted to kill Mel Gibson, but they were going to torture him first so they cut him open and pulled out his insides. He’s laying there caught somewhere between life and death; awake, but he’s going in and out consciousness. The pain almost more than he can bear. His body is torn open and his life is being pulled out of him. Horror. Torture. That’s what it felt like when you died, like the enemy cut me open while I was still alive. He stuck his cold hands into my warm heart and started pulling your love out of my insides… only your love didn’t come out clean and intact like Mel Gibson’s slippery organs. No!! Your love was so deeply rooted and wound around and interlaced with mine that it literally was “tearing me apart”. It was violent. Not YOUR death; you died peacefully. You just went to sleep. No pain. One minute here and then gone. No, your death was violent, excruciating, unrelenting, ruthless, and torture for ME. You did not hurt…just you’re leaving did. The ripping didn’t stop for a long time. It seemed that every day there was more of you being extracted from inside my being. At some point, every day, I almost died. The pain was too much. I felt caught somewhere between life and death; not really dead, but not completely alive either. Your leaving happened so fast, completely unexpected. That was part of the violence. It felt like torture everyday and again the next day more torture, until the enemy pulled every part of you out of me. Somehow I lived. The only way I even survived it was God. He told me that He had me, He had our two girls, and He had you. When I say that Jesus is my life…that is literal. I would not have made it through without Him. Now you are not in me anymore, but I do feel you all around me. Watching over me. Watching over our girls. Today I hear you changing my name. I am no longer Kristi Smith. Now I am Braveheart.

  79. Steven,
    I love you, I miss you so badly. As you noticed yesterday I still honk the horn and say “Happy Michigan honey!” when crossing the state line. I thank you for listening to me when I was stuck in traffic yesterday. I doubt if I will ever be able to move on without you.

    To the second guy I had dates with : I made some comments and did some things you did not like so you had to walk away. With that simple e-mail statement you called it over. I was alone all over again. You had made me feel loved and cared for again. YOU walked away, so simple, no problems. Things could have changed but you didn’t have the guts to have a conversation with me to tell me any of these things. I was widowed. I watched my husband fight for his last breathe for over 14 hours and that changed me. I don’t take people for granted as easily as you do. I wish you well I know you are moving on. If your 3 marriages before this are and indication, I hope you learned something from them. If the past dictates the future, you will get messed up once again.

    To the second guy I dated : Everything was planned for you to come to Indiana to get me, last minute you got sick, I get it. I got there myself. When I asked for time to get comfortable around the area you got upset. I didn’t get a job the first day I was there and no I did not “jump your bones” the minute I got off the plane. Your family was the priority not mine or my friends. And that stomach you said was so ugly you couldn’t take out in public is now gone. I’ve seen your fiancé, what do you tell her??

    To anyone reading this, I apologize for the bitterness. I would never will death on either one, karma, now that is something else.

    This is how I really felt writing this today. Tomorrow may have been a ccompletely different letter.

    Monique

  80. Hello Christina.. I have been doing a lot of thinking and writing in my journal trying to figure out which loss I should address first. I wrote down all the losses I have had since the first BIG loss in 1993. But they all seem to intertwine into each other and can’t seem to pick just one so this is what I came up with. Hope it isn’t too long to be read or to understand.#1 my mom’s death in 1993- Why didn’t I help you more than I did? Your leg injury was bad and you took care of 5 handicapped kids plus your own 3… that should of helped you more than they did. Speaking for myself I was a selfish 20 something kid who had other things to do. Why didn’t I see how much pain you were in? After all this time I still haven’t mourned your loss. I haven’t grieved for you I kept myself busy trying to be you and take care of your(our) handicapped kids. But in trying to run thru everything I badly injured my left arm at work and created my #2 loss. The loss of my left arm and hand in 1994. Damaged all muscle, tendons and nerves in my arm and had 3 surgeries that did not work which led to my #3 loss. The loss of my foster brothers.The state said I could not care for my 3 foster brothers and they had to put them in group homes. But since they lived with us for over 25 years they let me find there new homes. It took me 2 years but I did find them nice homes to live in. After that my younger brother moved in and was using drugs and stealing from my home and my fiances’ tools. #4 loss he walked out on me and #5 loss I had to sell my childhood home. Where all my good memories of you are. That leaves me in 1999. #6 loss my father died in 2000, right after I moved in with my new boyfriend. My dad never told me he loved me or was proud of me. #7 loss my younger brother died from his drug use. Should I have tried harder to help him? I helped my 2 handicapped brothers(that my parents adopted) but didn’t help out my blood brother. Just cut him off for stealing so much money and so many things from me. I just gave up on him and walked away. #8 loss was really bad. Steve who was the love of my life.. stopped wanting me ..kept pushing me away. But I made excuse after excuse as to why he was acting like he didn’t love me. For years I kept still making excuses and he gave me no explanations. Said nothing was wrong, it was all in my head.. I moved out to the couch- he didn’t stop me. #9 loss My arm injury was getting worse- The doctors said I had Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. There is no cure but one day you could wake up and it would just go away–(well from 1994- present) it hasn’t gone away. But I had to cut my hours at work from 8 to 6. Without pay… While going thru my own injury I was still taking care of my 2 adopted brothers, David and Terry. David was a very sick and fragile boy who had severe chrones disease(bad spelling oops). Many doctors said he would not make it through surgery but one doctor convinced me he would . So I approved surgery. In hospital I couldn’t give David the amount of care he needed, had to trust others to help–they didn’t he jumped out of the bed looking for me. I had just gone to the bathroom, got a cup of tea and had a cigarette gone for about 20 minutes. Due to him jumping out of the bed he fractured his hip. Now another surgery to put a plate and screw in his hip– all because I wasn’t there to give him proper care he then wound up with phemonia. I had enough of the hospital hurting him so I took him home. Now I had David and Terry at home, working 6hrs a night at my job- relying on home health care aides to care for them while I worked. He died at with me due to a relapse of the phemonia(spelling again oops)#9 loss David died. I lost my entire reason for being here. #10 Lost my heart, #11 lost my soul he took them with him when he left me. I was left with all the pain(amplified x 10) while still had to care for Terry and hold down my job. #12 loss of my job 2007. Pain in my arm and hand was so intense dr. said no more work… My job denied claim to leave so no workers comp disability approved which leads to #13 loss of money to pay mortgage which lead directly to #14 loss. In 2008 Steve told me he hasn’t loved me for the last 8 years or so-But stupid me still thought I had hope of working it out! I started looking for a place for Terry and myself to move to but funds were low, due to paying his mortgage, and I had no credit because everything was in his name. I noticed I was forgetting a lot of things and my lips were going numb. Had no concentration #15 loss found out I have been having mini-strokes for a few years (total of 5 so far). #16 loss of security. Since I stopped paying the mortgage Steve was suppose to be paying it… found out he wasn’t and the house was going into foreclosure. #17 Loss of hope(2015). Truth is I have lost everything. #18 loss of the ability to know lies from truth. #19 loss of my left foot.. August 2015 diagnosed with Peripheral Neuropathy of unknown origin.. Went from using wheelchair to using a walker and now a cane. Still have no use of left foot– They said maybe RSD spread? Now it is March 2015 and for some insane reason I am still here. I have rescued 8 feral cats and I believe they also rescued me.. My mother passed away at the age of 53… I just turned 53 in November… Back to #1 loss still trying to mourn the death of my mother… Am I going to die before this year is over? Just as she did, Alone but remembered and loved by many. That were never there for her except when they needed something from her. Yes, I am still living her life.. People do the same to me.. I know it and she knew it too. But we helped anyway– wanting or expecting nothing in return. Guess my first letter should be to my mom… where to start… She was my best friend/my everything.

    Love and Peace to you all,
    Linda

  81. I lost my husband on February 28-2015 to CANCER to this monster call sarcoma on November of 2013 he was diagnosed with this CANCER he had chemo radiation nd then came surgery on October of 2015 this monster return this time it came in full force took my honey with in 3 to 4 months it was the worst day of my life I lost my soul mate my bestfriend my everything is like I cant function without him I love him so so much 38yrs seems like yesterday I no he’s in nd better place where there’s no more pain nd suffering but I can’t deal with his lost I carry nd pain in my heart that there’s no words to explain it my heart ache so much I feel so lonely and lost how much it hurts to lose nd love one especially when we did everything together how does this pain goes away oh dear lord help me I no Yu needed nd angel in heaven nd yu truly pick the right one but yu took him to soon from all of us but whom am I to say this only yu dear lord knows why I love yu honey forever upto we meet again rip my love sleep in paradise Abraham Trevino
    2-28-2015❤️

  82. The Letter
    April 20, 2015
    There really may be two letters … or more. But for now.
    When you left us- we grieved. We hurt and it was not safe to hurt. No one would understand why someone would hurt from a loss that was so necessary. It was obvious from everything that you said and did that you did not want to save our marriage. I actually had to protect myself from your anger. You threatened to kill me. So, a restraining order. You had no idea what to do with your emotion. I guess that is the biggest legacy of being raised in an alcoholic home. (Or perhaps other type of dysfunctional home) is that you do not know how to deal with emotion. I even wondered if it was safe for you to know where we lived. But, in time, you found where we were. But no visits but one that I remember .. not thinking that there were more.
    Why grieve for this … this pain. Seeing your anger? What possible good in that? Because, before the anger, there was some love. We were married 8 years. Honestly, I did not want to ever believe that you were the monster that you had become. I wanted you to only be the good person that I liked, the one that played the guitar and the accordion. The one that could rebuild our house into a home. The one that could make a child’s playhouse in the back yard for Kristina. The one that could go to Lamaze classes with me. The one that could understand my desire to be home after working and managing a health spa. The one that rejoiced with me over the flowers that I brought home from the flower shop I worked in while pregnant with Kris. The one that rejoiced in the new son we just had, Dana.
    The impossible vomiting loss. Why you would not want to be there for the first meals, first tooth, first walking steps, the first song … the firsts of childhood with these two jewels. Nor did you want to
    Give to their care.
    I only wanted the pain to stop. My attorney did not help. She did not understand. We barely got through it all. I still do not understand why, in all the pain, you would need to blame me as well as take our marriage away in the same breath. This grief, I have gotten over but … it does make life sour in some places. Because now I know that this sort of horror does happen. I lived it. And I recognized it when it happened to others. And, I grieved with them … for them.
    I came to know Jesus Christ through all of my pain and the joy of His salvation and the great grace to be able to read His word. You did not share this same peace and forgiveness and hope. Your own horror was compounded by the losses and decisions that you made over all the years of your life.
    When your Dad, Skip, died … I so wanted to be there. I wanted to say “Thank you!” to his heart for receiving my broken soul into his home and rejoicing with me over Jesus and forgiveness. I was so sorry for my part in the divorce. You know he suffered for his alcoholism as you suffer with yours. Why can I have such grace for him and so much pain for my own Dad … it is a mystery. Perhaps it is because of his kindness to me … then. When Jesus was so new to me and Skip received me with gentleness and told me to share my good news with everyone. That he grew up in a Christ Centered town, Muskegon Michigan. I think that Skip sang Praises to God in Russian while in Russia. I am a romantic at heart and I wanted healing for the whole family but it was NOT to be.
    When your mom, Ev died. NO ONE KNEW. It was the saddest thing for Kris to find out on the internet. We were afraid of her actually. There was so much love for her, but not sure how she would respond. Things did not feel safe and certainly not safe in regards to you. She was so kind when my Dad died. I loved that she came to me and offered me gentle little articles from the paper or from her ladies’ group. When I had visited in the past she was kind and understood … even offered to help with my Dad and his controlling difficult ways. I am sure that I myself gave her the power to give me fear. That is one reason I felt so much grief with she died. Couldn’t I have overcome my own silly emotions and visited her? No money but wasn’t it worth it somehow? Could I not have said the kindness she shared over the years had meant so very much to me? Could I not have shared a cup of coffee and laughed with her. She was so good to my brother Ronny when he lived with my Dad. I could not understand how to take care of myself with my Dad. It was really hard. I could not understand Ronny. Mostly, I could not get over my Dad’s abuse of Ronny when he was small and how I felt it was the reason for Ronny’s schizophrenia.
    My father was impossible when we were small. Maybe we could have ALL gotten some help and it might have gone another way. But, we didn’t and it didn’t … and we all were deadly hurt by it. I was deadly hurt by it. You were too … YES – we ALL needed recovery. Every single person. WOW.
    I lost my art when our marriage ended. I lost the poetry. I lost the drawing. It all died with your loss.
    I have moved on. Of course it has been from 1982 – May 19 – when you left. It is now April of 2015.
    A different world. I went to BSF and learned about the Bible. I joined a great church and got involved in a great many Christian things. The kids grew up … barely. I was not a knowledgeable mom and they had to be raised by an unrecovered Adult Child. Yet, I looked for help everywhere – almost no shame in always asking. I am certain that Tom and Dad were unabashedly embarrassed by me. I went back to school and got a degree … not in Bible which is what initially I wanted … but in Social Work because I knew it so well. I have been called a gifted counselor but I know that it is only my own grief that I understood what I was hearing. Now, I don’t do any of that work, I feel so inadequate – recognizing my own failures. I am not sure if that is the direction that God would have me go.
    I told you about Jesus when I came to know him and you said that He was probably real. You said that probably you did make the wrong choice in Jehovah’s Witness. But, you did not open your heart to Him. It is sad because I think that He would have made Himself known to you.
    After one of the many counseling sessions I went through once our marriage was over, I felt so different and clean that I tossed all of the books of poetry that I wrote to you. I tossed the art. I have since collected MANY very empty books of drawing paper. They are all empty for the most part. I do pray that my passion returns as the Lord wills. For years after our marriage was over I cried every night. The kids had to listen to these sobs. Then my parents also divorced. Your parents moved to Florida. Dad moved to Florida too with your folks. It was a very strange and eerie time. I am not sure why this is in the paragraph with the art but it is. I am not sure that I will ever be able to say how big the loss of our marriage was and then subsequent losses and then in moving to Crevenna that I had suddenly gotten the plague and no middle class person wanted to visit or know me. The combination was almost impossible to bear. I have learned in my current neighborhood that the phenomenon of people not caring for neighbors happens other places too.
    I hope that you have found some joy in your life. That you do finally heal. I forgive you for the pain that you caused me. I do. I could not have gone on unless I did. Of course that does not change the very real choices that I have had to make because you were not there; the real choices because your grief and anger never resolved.
    I did remarry. Robin’s second husband. He was kind to her in her long illness with Lou Gehrig’s disease. He is also a recovering Adult Child of an Alcoholic father … whew. It means a ton of recovery work has to happen – else life is a bear. And that is being nice! He is also very wonderful as a friend. The girls did not stay close, which I feel sad about. They were so special to me when they were small, encouraging me to want to be a mother – do you remember? I was genuinely looking forward to having them in my family. Rachel was born to Robin and Harold when we got married. 1975. Rebekah was born in 1976. Wow – Rachel is 40 this year. Hard to believe. Their kids are growing too. Robin’s grandpa was an alcoholic and he abused her and her sister – caused a bit of grief for her and her family. The girls never did get over the loss of their mom. They also got caught in a lie that their grandmother Lois told about Bruce and I. That Bruce was unfaithful to Robin while she was sick. Not at all true. He/they did have to recover from some affairs earlier in the marriage but not then. Hard that Robin faced that in both of her husbands.
    Harold was unfaithful from what Bruce told me. He was also an alcoholic. You too – both of you had the same ailments. What a mess! I never did know how many people you slept with when we were married. It would be helpful in some bizarre way to know. I know that there was the one who worked at Dart Drug – you told me just before we got pregnant with Kristina – right? There was one when we lived in Burke – were you going to see her when you left on that May 19th? I know that you were going to a bar. But, there were girls at the bars – I just don’t know who and how many. Were there any children produced outside of our marriage? Besides, Elaina. To be fair, I got pregnant the night before our divorce hearing. I have named her Suzie. Rusty almost forced me. It was a bad time, and I should have just said “NO!!” Anyway, I worked in a Crisis Pregnancy Center for three years because I agreed with God that abortion was wrong. I was 6 weeks along when I had the abortion. I never dated Rusty after that and I also did not date really. Once my Dad died – something inside me changed and I felt free to. I also knew that I would be moving out of the bad area we lived in. That stress was real. It was good to get away from it. One other huge issue was my Faith. I needed to know from God that it was okay. 1Corinthians 7:15 said that it was. Plus, we would not be in the sad place … but Bruce came to see me even there. He was not hindered by my location. He did not judge me by ‘outward appearances’, and I appreciated that.
    Since you have not gotten healing for all of life’s hurts, you have been a difficult if not impossible person to have a relationship with. I have to say that getting over our divorce was one of those hurts. It was for me. There are children and grandchildren that you never knew. I suppose it was good that Kris and Dana met you in their teens. Everyone needed counseling to process it, however. And, maybe even some protection from your anger. Did you know that Kris had to run to a local church to have support? I am not sure if Dana found a place to go … it was sad. I know that you struggled with your Dad’s violence towards you but it would be better if the buck stopped there and you did not share it with our children.
    Dana has learned healthy ways to deal with his pain and anger – he punches a bag and works out. He used to be a kickboxer and into mixed martial arts but after a broken ankle has not done that again. He also used to drink and play competitive pool but has given that up since his best friend got sober. He has so much to be proud of now in his life. Your absence from his life was devastating – if you were whole. Your absence from Kristina’s life was also devastating but only if you were whole. They did not miss the broken you. The addicted, abusive you. That person is so destructive that he is better off away from anyone he could destroy. Kris sees in her husband as he relates to their children what some of the gifts of having a father are. Brad is learning but has learned some tender things that she appreciates and wishes that she had had.
    You will never be able to read this. Your emotions would take over and you could not receive it. What a loss. Listening is hard sometimes, I know.
    You used to call yourself the Agony and I was the Ecstasy – this is a closing letter. God Bless you and Good bye.

  83. And here I sit, 223 days since you left us. The last three weeks have somehow been bearable. I have stopped the uncontrollable daily sobbing, now its just small tears, the ones that well up in my eyes and spill over down my cheeks when I think of you, and how much I miss you. Like now. I’ve done so much, you would be so proud of me. At the same time I can barely get out of the house, I don’t know how to do “one”, I belonged to “two” for 13 years. We had a family, we shared all the responsibilities, and now its hard to do “one” sometimes.

    I wish I understood more, maybe time will tell me. I am so sorry you had to go.

    You would be so proud of your baby boy. He misses you so terribly, tries to stay tough, but he can’t do that all the time. I try to remind him what an old softy you really were behind that he-man exterior. ” Its ok to cry”, I tell him.

    I am so please I found this blog, I would not have been able to put into words what I am currently going thru, but yes, its re-entry as one. Its foreign to me, I don’t know how to do it, I am afraid to do it. If I could just get outside alone, I know it would be ok.

    Routines? Oh, I’ve got them down pat…school drop off, Mass, work, supermarket. But its the things that I don’t do everyday that paralyze me. So here I sit, cleaning, or doing laundry, or obsessively watching Netflix, anything really, just so I don’t have to leave the house alone and do something. I’m just not ready yet.

    I miss you and I love you until forever!

  84. We started talking in November 2008 and finally met for our first date in December. You were quite the talker and had a wonderful sense of humor. We hit it off and, in a very short time, decided to date exclusively.

    On September 11, 2010, you asked me, in a most romantic way, to marry you. In spite of my doubts, I said yes. I did love you.

    Over the next few years your jealous rage began to take over, even though I never did anything that would ever jeopardize our relationship. I was faithful and loyal through every ordeal. I lost friendships because you saw things that weren’t there. I let you dictate my life.

    On February 25, 2012, we got married in front of my family in San Diego. It was a joyous occasion. I thought our life together would be wonderful.

    Over the next few years I continued to live in fear of your rage, even though I never did anything that would cause any damage to our relationship. I often said to you it was the jealous, rage-filled ones who were the ones who did something to destroy a relationship. You never responded. I still trusted you and never doubted you were faithful to me. I was the only woman who would put up with your unkindness. What you portrayed in public and what you portrayed in private were two different personas. I stood by you. Your friends and other family never knew how cruel you were to me. I didn’t want my son, whom you loved like a son, to know either. Although, as he got older I know he couldn’t help but observe it.

    You continued to tell me you loved me, buy me gifts, do things as a family. When you died unexpectedly on June 20, 2015, my world was turned upside down. I had to plan something I hadn’t planned on doing for another 30 or 40 years. I thought my major grief was losing you to death, but then I discovered something I wasn’t even looking for.

    The day your phone service was to be shut off a conversation you’d had with a woman on What’s App popped up on your phone. It was all a complete lie on your part, but you were cheating. If I had ever done anything like that to you, you would have walked right out of the door and never looked back. That’s when I checked your email and facebook messages. So many others! Plus dating sites! One site that encouraged affairs! If nothing else, I’m vindicated. You were the one cheating and I trusted you. I was the faithful one and you didn’t let me even breathe.

    Am I still grieving? Yes. I loved you in spite of your flaws. Am I angry? Absolutely. You did me so very wrong and I have no way to confront you with it, plus I had to put out thousands of dollars for your service because you refused to get life insurance. In your mind you were invincible. I feel cheated in so many ways.

    I will get my life back and it will be better than it has ever been. I learned exactly the kind of man I don’t want to be with and the kind of man I deserve to be loved by and to love. This letter is my way of moving forward. I’m here. You’re not. I get to live and that is exactly what I am going to do for as long as I can. I will live, laugh and love again.

  85. Dear Bill,

    It is 4 years (??) since you left me after blowing through all my money and abandoning me while I put my life back together after cancer. And after I uprooted myself from my independent life to move to the country and become your wife and stepmother to your four children.

    There! I said it. The words that make me look foolish. Before I could only write the words that expressed empathy for you. You were a widower. You were sad and you found happiness again with me, you said. Your children appreciated my care and nurturing. Your mother saw my influence on them and pronounced it good. You were my family, I stepped up to the plate when you lost your job and house in the Great Recession. You did marry me even though you did it out of obligation and duty after I had helped you so much. But you ran out of steam. You wanted to stiff me (you said to my face when I was too exhausted from cancer treatment to even see the future).

    Yet I forgive you. You did the best you could. And I am very sorry you still struggle with your sorrow at the loss of your first wife. I am grateful for every smidgen of love and learning and growth I experienced with you. There was a lot packed in to those few years we were together.

    You might not know me now. I eat paleo. My hair is red not the middling brown you seemed to prefer. I get lots of complements on the color from strangers. I’m writing a book. I have my hands of the tail of a great business that completely suits me. I have my antiques. I’ve made so many new friends — good ones. I lived with international students for a time. I am comfortable in my own skin. I don’t struggle.

    I plan to marry again. Being married to you healed some wounds and deepened others….I healed them all.

    I am excited about my future. I wish you only the best.

  86. Letter to Ad

    My love, my one and only, I still cannot believe that you are not here with me anymore.
    End May of this year, we got the message that you had lung cancer and 3 months later on July 27, around 1.45 am you left me. I knew it, when you went to “the other world”, because I was awake and I had a strange feeling in my stomach, I was restless and I thought I heard outside the wind blowing. And then….. the phonecall from the hospital. They said, you died peacefully. I don’t know if that’s true, because earlier that night you asked the nurse several times for more oxygen, she told me. I wasn’t there, so I will never know.
    In the morning when I wake up, there are always memories of those last 3 months we shared together. I try to think of more happy things but in the mornings I just can’t. Because of Doodles, our dog, I have to go out of bed, to take her for a walk and that’s a good thing. Then I feel a little bit better. I’m coping, but I miss you in everything. I want to look at pictures and video’s of you, but when I see them, I must cry. Your clothes are still in your closet, I can’t put them away. In one way or the other I gives me also comfort to be around your stuff. That’s also why I like to be here in our house, even though our family and friends live three hours from here. Last year in April we moved from Holland to Germany. This was our new life, new home and now it’s just my new life and my new home. Everybody thought that I would move back to Holland, now you’re not here anymore, but if it’s possible, I would like to stay here. I don’t know if you can understand that, because last year I told you, that if something would happen to you, I wouldn’t stay here on my own. But I love the woods, the mountains, the nature. I’d wish you could help me with building my life here and that you would be proud of me. But I have to do it on my own now. Thank’s to you I’ve got great help from your brothers and friends. I will cherish them. Baby, baby, baby, why did you have to go?? People told me, there is a reason and purpose why you left me after just 7 years together and that your death will not be for nothing. But I don’t know. After my first marriage, which wasn’t so good and then 9 years on my own, you were the one I’ve waited for all of my life. We were so happy with each other. And I know this is also a gift, that I had the opportunity to meet my soulmate and spent 7 beautiful years together. But then on the other hand, now without you, my soulmate, the pain in my soul is so heavy. I just hope, I get the strength to make something of the rest of my life without you. Forever yours, your wife Angela

  87. Joey,
    Four years ago you went on vacation, to be back in two short weeks and it has been four years. I’ve heard losing your best friend leaves a hole in your heart. Mine was shattered into small pieces that fell to the bottom of my feet.
    I could tell you that I stayed in bed for three months. That your daughter, who was going to graduate high school with an associates degree almost did not graduate high school at all. Worried about her mom. Your son wanted to leave the military. He did not. He did what you told him. “Don’t cry, stay strong”. He was lost. I could not help myself let alone help our children. I could tell you that we tried counseling and it sucked. I could say I started working and that lasted about three months. I could tell you that your kids became strong. But you know this because you are with us.
    I see it at least once a day by the dimes you leave me. The dimes you leave the whole family.
    Your daughter is really kicking butt in school. 4.0 student. But then again you know because she found a dime next to her barbers chair.
    Your son got married to the love of his life but once again you left that dime in his shoe. He also is serving his country and flew a flag in your name for a day but, yep, another dime right outside his door.
    I’ve had to learn to change my oil, use the weed eater, mud some walls, fix an O2 sensor in your truck, can’t forget the tiller, put up christmas lights, just to name a few things. I’ve been playing in a band. One of my passions, as you know because that’s how we met. It is a lot different music than I am use to. A lot harder but I am doing great with it. I am so happy when I am behind those drums. I still get nervous every performance but then again I keep a dime in my bra right next to my heart. Thank you for leaving them around for me.
    Our son told me that you do this to remind us that we are all 10’s working on becoming 11’s. I tell myself that everyday.
    I miss you so much. Some days it shows through my tears, some days it shows through other people’s.
    I have been able to pick up those shattered pieces of my heart and put them back together. It is all together finally but there are still cracks. Scars is what most people call them.
    I am so lucky to have two of the greatest gifts you could have ever given me. Our son and our daughter. Our son acts just like you. He is strong and he makes us laugh and he makes us feel safe. Our daughter is the perfect reflection of you. From the cowlick in the front of her hair to her toes. I get to hear you through our son and see you through our daughter every single day and for that I am just grateful.
    Living without you is the hardest thing I have had to do and it is a continuous struggle but to honor you it is also the most rewarding. We take unplanned family trips. No destination, no timeframe, no ideas what we will do. It would drive you crazy being the planner that you were.
    Just know Joey, I love you with every fiber in my being. I miss you even more than that. I still talk to the moon most everynight.
    Keep those dimes coming!
    Steph

  88. Beloved,

    It will soon be 8 months since you made the decision to end your life.

    Your note blamed me for your unhappiness. Now, your family blames me for your death. They are unable to see the Jekyll/Hyde personality you tried so hard to hide. They are grieving you by putting you on a pedestal. I have distanced myself from them as much as possible.

    I have worked hard to clear away all of the “stuff” you hoarded so well. I held an auction and made a good chunk of change off of it. Your garden area has been tilled under and seeded. During the summer months, I spent the majority of my time cleaning up outside. I’ve lost 25 pounds.

    I closed the Schwab accounts and rolled what money was left into my 401k. I can only hope and pray I will have enough to retire. Who knows if it will be 66, 70, or later. So far, I am doing okay financially. Your leaving this earth also took one third of the income I previously counted on.

    I am adjusting slowly to living without your presence. The past week or so I have committed to being a survivor not a victim. Although you are always there in my thoughts, I’ve decided you can no longer dominant them. If I do think of you, I want it to be more of the good things and not the bad. Considering the past 12 years, this is easier said than done. We’ll see how it goes.

    Your sons and I are doing our best to forgive you. Also, I am trying to forgive your family. I think it’s going to be an ongoing process. As I said when we scattered some of your ashes, I hope you have peace and contentment.

    MJ

  89. MJ- I’m very tired & weak due to a serious medical problem. I just joined this site & got the book. I wanted u to know almost nothing exactly a year ago I lost my mom to suicide (I’m an adult). I hope there will be more here on suicide, because as u know it’s traumatic enough losing someone to natural causes, but suicide adds a lot of additional issues. My mom blamed me for her attempts when I was 3hours away. It tore my family and friends apart. I feel I buried part of me with her. But since finding this program, it’s the first thing that’s made sense to me. So I’m hoping it helps ppl who are survivors of suicide loss to. 8 mos is pretty much considered nothing, but I know how hard it is to feel stuck in endless grief & confusion. I hope u have a second first. They chose death. We didn’t. We have to go on somehow. I haven’t known how but hope this helps. My deepest sympathies, S

  90. hye baby my love my soul u left me i dnt believe u really left me .its 15 days almost today .my heart not accept it dat ur are not more.u nve left me alone u ll cme back i believe on u .u don’t want to leave me alone its only 9 month we married and 9 years of our relationship.i want to die wid u .i miss u evry single sec of my lyf i wait for u until my last breathe i m damm sure one day u ll cme and say me u also dnt want to leave me .i ll love u until my last breath i knw its nt in ur hand to leave me par baby my shona i knw u also dying in the heaven without me i knw u cnt live widout me a single second . smday i ll find u and hug u and wanna to tell u hw much i miss u hw much i luv u .ur my lyf my baby

  91. Terry
    It’s been 2 years since you were taken from me. I’m trying so hard to live up to your example . For 30 years you supported me, helped me, made me a better, more competant person. All through your belief in me. Your belief in me made me able to do things I never would have thought I could do. I miss you so much sweetie! I have to move ,as this house we built over the years is too much for me. Selling our house and buying a new one is so hard , but with My sisters help I’m managing. I’m starting to sleep better, and rebuilding my life. I don’t dream of all the things I think I did wrong when you were sick like I did at first. In my heart I don’t want to start a new life. i fight the thought of how did it come to this, I’m not supposed to be without you. But you wouldn’t like that. So I’ll keep going, and the kitties and I will move and if I keep acting like I’m ok then maybe one day it’ll be true. Ros misses you, and my new cat Smaug would have been your cat, you would have adored him. I love you sweetie, forever

  92. dear “bubba”- i’ll never forget when you and i met christina. we had such fun in conversation having some great laughs. never in a million years would i have believed that this is how i’d be re-connecting with her. we miss you so much. we think about you every day, with the boys & the land you loved here, our excursions, heath (foxtown, skiing, so much), loving to cook, etcetc. everything crumbled and i’m doing all i can to get the boys into a grounded space. years later and it is still so hard. it’s all i do- everything is for them. i don’t really have a life outside of that. like many people, i wonder when things will ever get better. we love you- “scruffy”

  93. Hi Baby,

    It’s almost 5 months now. I had to move out of our home and go through all your things. It about killed me – but you know me…I’m a strong woman and I will get through this too. But dang why did you have to go? We were just getting on a role. You were so happy with your new career, our kids were blending, and as always we were madly, passionately in love.

    I hope you weren’t in pain and scared when you died. I am sorry I wasn’t at the hospital when it happened – the one day I go home! But the nurses and doctor said it was best I didn’t see it happen – 45 minutes they tried to bring you back. It would of been torture to watch – so it is best.

    You were smiling in your hospital bed when I finally got to see you. Even in death your smile couldn’t be held back, all through your paralysis and trauma – you smiled. You are so amazing – always positive and fearless.

    I imagine you walking, running and dancing with me again. No more pain baby –

  94. Dear Brian,

    I miss you so much I can’t even explain to you or any one else. There is a huge void, a giant hole that aches in my chest. It is the space that you occupied in my heart. Everyone keeps telling me that there was nothing else I could have done, but I can’t believe them. I feel like I let you down, that all I was doing wasn’t enough, and I am so, so sorry I didn’t figure out how to do more.
    the scariest part of all this is that I not only lost the love of my life, but my future, at least the one we had planned together. Now I feel so alone and unsure of what it’s going to be like and how I will fit into the world that you left behind.
    I still cry everyday. I go to work and take care of myself the best I can, I take walks, take my vitamins and eat well. I still go to pilates. I am seeing a therapist to try to help me and I still see Lynn about every 4 weeks. I think she has helped me the most. Grace comes home from school almost every weekend to be with me.
    I finally painted the bedroom. I like it alot.
    I miss you more than words can possibly describe. I want to hold your hand and touch your face and kiss you. I want my spot on your chest when I go to sleep. I want you back. I love you, for real, baby, with all my heart

    Kelly

  95. To my baby boy M. 7/14/16, who left this world on February 17, 2016:

    They came to haul your workshop off yesterday, thankfully it was all over by the time I got home from work. There’s a giant empty space in our yard now, which matches the emptiness in my heart and soul. I’m just barely beginning to accept your death, my sweetie. This is just the most awful thing I’ve been through in my entire life. I still feel like an alien watching the humans live their lives. I’m just going through the motions of being alive right now. Everything hurts.

    I’ve stopped counting the days, because they just go by. This Sunday will be rough, because it’s the 5 month anniversary of your passing. I don’t expect you to reappear in my life, but part of me harbors that fantasy. I’ll go talk to the pastor about how to get over this, because I’m missing you terribly, as I’m sure you know. I am glad that you went before me, because I don’t even want to think about how awful you would have felt if I died first. Also, no one else on the planet is qualified to take care of you, just me!

    I’ve started a new job and that gets me out of the house. I have the kitties to take care of, and my job, now. I’m faking it there, too, but sometimes I do really laugh. That feels good. I’m working with a good group of people, and it’s close to home, so I won’t have to drive far in the snowy New England winter.

    Today is rough because the yard is so empty. I miss you my beloved. There will never be another like you. I miss your hugs, our talks, our music, they way you kissed me every morning and how you rolled over at night and hugged me. I miss how I fussed over you and took care of you. Nothing compares to you, my love. I can cherish the good memories of us together. I will miss you until the day I finally join you again. I will see you again, with your golden wings, because you are an angel now, I know. But not yet.

    Love and hugs from your wife,

    Alison

  96. Dear Mom, 12.5.16

    It has been almost seven months since you have passed to be with Dad and Diane. I still find it so hard to believe.

    I so miss the closeness we shared – all the time, even though the seasons changed. You and Dad were always my cheer leaders, my support, my confidants. You always provided a listening ear and such wisdom to gleam from. I so miss that from both of you.

    As we near Christmas, I have such an emptiness not having you here in your chair, watching us put up the tree and all the decorations. I miss your smile – even towards the last days of your life, you always smiled and loved everyone so very much.

    It is odd, even though I knew the time was near, it came so suddenly. One day it seemed you were “okay” then within weeks you were gone. I celebrate that you are now with our heavenly father, Dad, Diane and Sean and those who have gone before me – but the loss is still great.

    I miss caring for you, I miss holding your hand, I miss watching over you, as you watched over me for so many years in my upbringing. You and Dad were the best parents anyone could have ever asked for. So much has changed here now that you both are in heaven. I find an emptiness I did not know. I am trying to learn how to fill that emptiness by enjoying other things, but it just isn’t the same. As time passes I know it will get better, but even going to church I have streams of tears rolling down my face. Odd enough, you would think that attending church would bring me peace, which it does in some ways because our faith is what is so strong in our family. But it also brings such dear memories of all we shared in our faith. Singing in the choir, prayers, Sunday lunches, the church family of where we use to go… so many memories. Yesterday, I attended church and felt a special closeness to you, Dad and Diane. I remembered when we all sang in the Church Christmas performance and just all being together during this time. I hope you felt it too Mom, up there in heaven.

    My heart sings out to you… I wish I could hold your hand just one more time and hear what you so frequently said to me in the last months… “You are my buddy buddy… I love you.”

    I love you Mom and miss you and Dad and Diane dearly.

    Your daughter and your “Buddy Buddy”,

    Joni

  97. My sweet girl, it’s only been 5 weeks since you left us. I thought we would have more time!! You fought for a year, and what a brave, courageous, positive fight it was. I knew at some point I might have to prepare for your loss but I was praying so hard that you would be one of the “radical remissions” we read about. We are all trying to get through each day without your phone calls, skypes, Phoenix weather reports and pictures of Gwennie. I wake up thinking about you and go to bed thinking about you. Sometimes I think I’m going crazy! You came into this world 2 months early, 39 years ago, and left years too early!! I’m trying to be strong and so is Kel and Dad, but it’s difficult without you! You were the light and the hope that as a family we could overcome the “beast”. If I could have switched places with you so would have. You still had so many things you wanted to do. We’re trying to find our new normal, but it will take time. I miss you sweet girl!! Love Mom

  98. I wrote a letter to my Husband, Alex, shortly after he passed away on my own blog. I’ll post it here:

    Alex,

    You taught me that no matter how broken my wings were, I could still find a way to make them fly. That the sky was the limit, and not even that. You told me every single day that I was a badass, that I was perfect, that we were a team and could do anything we put our minds to together. You also taught me that I could do whatever I put my own mind to and that I didn’t need you to make me whole.
    You taught me that I am not worthless. You taught me to find worth in myself and to demand that others treat me with the respect I was due. You taught me that I did not have to respect others, their opinions, or their thoughts and ideas without question or without pause. You taught me that their opinions of me had no baring on me and that if nothing else, I should never believe their thoughts on what I was supposed to do with my life.
    You taught me patience, to take a breath before I reacted, and to remain calm in situations where I had no control. You taught me to let things go and to try as hard as I could to understand where other people were coming from. You taught me to judge less and listen more.
    You taught me how to live – how to look at a situation and say “fuck it” to my own mental road blocks to why I shouldn’t do things that made me happy. You taught me how to see the world better, how to engage better, and how to forgive more than I did before.
    You taught me how to love. Truly love. You taught me that love is never, ever, ever about what you say but is always about what you do. You taught me that showing you love someone comes in many different forms and facets, that a simple “text me when you get there” shows more love for a person than “I Love You” ever could. Love is never about money. Love is never about possession. Love is never about who gets the last word and who is right or wrong. You taught me that I was loveable simply by loving me the way that you did. For caring about what happened to me, both in the past and moving forward, and working hard to combat the awful things I’d been told to accept about myself for as long as I can remember. You taught me that in the darkest of times, in the scariest of situations, I could rely on others who wanted nothing but the best for me. You made me trust, again.
    You also taught me the value of my own opinion – that I had absolutely every right to feel the way I felt and to speak up about what I thought was wrong. You gave me the permission I never knew I needed to just be Myself. To be authentically myself. You told me that you always knew who and what I was but that you knew it would take time for me to see it for myself. You guided me, but never pushed, and allowed me to blossom into my personality for the first time in a very long time. You engaged me in debates, you taught me everything you could think of, and you TALKED with me about why I felt so strongly about certain things but couldn’t care less about others. You valued me.
    A long time ago, my Dad told me to find someone worthy of me and to never settle for anything less. I knew in the very first few days of being with you that I had fulfilled that promise.
    I told you once, not very long ago, that I felt that you had “settled”when you decided to be with me. I remember you looking like I had slapped you..not because it was an insult to you but because you could not believe for even a second that I would believe that of myself. You told me that if you ever heard me say that again, we were going to have problems….that you had never settled, that you had never found anyone else like me, and that you loved me.
    You taught me to be the best version of myself. To love myself. To admire myself. To see myself through your eyes and let the world see how amazing I could be.
    I’ll carry that that with me forever ♡

  99. To my dear sweet daughters Cathy, and Jenny,
    I have had the hardest time over the years to get over your deaths. And I still can’t , I feel such a huge void in my heart for you both and want to be with you so very badly. Cathy, we’re raising your daughter Harmony the very best we know how , she’s the spitting image of you and she’s going to be a high schooler next year. She sleeps with your picture every night. And Jenny my dear, Corey has taken things so very badly and we have all tried to help him ,but he doesn’t want the help, so all we can do is give him the love and stand behind him.
    You both are so very truly missed in our lives and I talk to you both all the time but I don’t feel your replies to me . We love you so very much , life just hasn’t been the same since we lost you.
    All our love , Mom and Dad

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Christina Rasmussen

Welcome to the Message in a Bottle page, here you will find wisdom, truth and tools for you to start over. Make sure you sign up at the top to be sure to receive it in your inbox every Friday.