It's been about 3 and half week since you passed. I wake up and some days and I feel like you are just away on a business trip and should be back anytime soon, and on other days I feel completely empty and emotionless inside - just numb. On the days where I feel like nothing's wrong, I'm just going about my day like normal. But on other days where I know my life isn't "normal" anymore, the pain, loneliness, and emptiness is so raw and deep - almost unbearable and all I want to do is scream and cry out your name to come back to me - to hold me one more time and tell me that everything is going to be okay. Most days, I just feel like the world is going on as normal while mine is just standing still. Everybody is whizzing by and I feel like I'm standing still and all I want to do is hit rewind or fast forward - anywhere but here. It either never happened or I just want the pain and emptiness to end. I look around and all I see is a life that will never ever be again. Everything happened so quickly that I feel like I didn't even get a chance to reach out to try to grab it before it shattered all around me. In just 20 mins, my entire world turned upside down and I feel like i'm in some alternate universe - earth 2, just waiting to return to earth 1, where all is as it should be. Where you come home from work and try to sneak into the house and scare me while I'm cooking dinner. You either scare the shit out of me or I catch you sneaking in and say, "I see you" before you can even scare me. I miss the days when we sit and make fun of each other, laugh, and talk about our day while we are eating dinner or when we are watching TV or when you tell me to relax while I'm busy doing something around the house and / or nagging at you for something.
Everytime I close my eyes, I see your face smiling at me. I go to sleep every night hoping you come to visit me in my dreams. The other night I dreamt I was watching a movie where the two lead characters lost their significant other and they meet and fall in love since their past connected them. But I couldn't remember how they met so even though I was 2/3 of the way through the movie, I rewind it to start from the beginning. Then you walk in and ask me, "what are you watching?" I start telling you about the synopsis, "It's a story about a football player who loses his wife and he feels that he is being punished because he didn't help a father who was begging for his help with medical bills for his daughter who had cancer." And as I'm telling you the synopsis, you tell me that you've heard of this story and you start finishing my sentences as I'm telling you the story and then I abruptly wake up. I wake up and open my eyes and it takes me awhile to even realize I dreamt about you. When I finally realize you visited me in my dreams, it brought a smile to my face. The dream was really quick and we didn't get a lot of time together, like the first dream I had after you passed but I know you are probably trying to figure out this new super power of yours before you can visit me longer in my dreams. I'll be patient and enjoy whatever time I can spend with you in my dreams and take whatever I can get (I know, I’ve matured quite a bit since usually I would be complaining that you weren’t doing something quick enough or fast enough.)
A friend said, “The world doesn’t stop for anyone or anything, you have to choose whether or not to move forward with it.” He is right - I can't expect the world to stop for me, I just have to find my footing so I can start moving forward with the world again. I know it will take time, but I know I will get through this. I love you so much...and until I see you in my dreams again.
I can’t do this--I just can’t! It’s too hard. I can barely function as a person. I’m scared of everything; just the thought of going outside gives me anxiety. Whenever it hits me that I have to fend this world alone, without you, I just freeze up and get sick to my stomach, and I feel like I’m going to explode. I don’t know when I’m going to break down and just start crying. I can barely breathe; I can’t even fathom being home by myself. I miss you so much. I just feel so empty and want this pain to stop!! I can barely stand it. I love u so much-- I can barely believe you are not here with me. The thought just makes me sick inside and the pain in my stomach just makes me want to burst. I want to scream, yell, throw something but nothing comes out; only tears of pain and sadness and disbelief. Where are you? Come back to me. I just want this pain to end. How can you leave me to fend the world alone like this. How could you do this to me?! I just don’t get it. I miss you so much. I feel so alone and empty inside--numb. I’m walking around just a shell of a person. It occurred to me that you are now in ashes, and I’m here hurting so much without you. It just doesn’t feel right to be living when you are not here with me. It happened so fast that I didn’t even get a chance to try to grab it before it shattered right in front of my face. You kept saying, “I’m going, I’m going,” and it was frightening me. I just don’t understand how you can just wake up one morning and drop dead for no reason. How? I don’t get it?! We still had so much more to do together. 2018 was supposed to be our year; our year to be better like you said. Everything was supposed to be better. This is a freaking nightmare that I need to wake up from. Please, just come home to me so we can laugh and make fun of each other again. You have all these chores that still need to be done like putting up the hooks in the closet and putting on the faces of the electrical outlet in the craft room. Why is this happening to us. I just don’t get what we did to deserve this?! Why?! I just want to scream but nothing comes out. I don’t know how I can go on without you. You were my whole world. We don’t deserve this. We didn’t even get to say goodbye. I keep playing it over and over in my head and I just don’t get it; you didn't even get a chance to fight for your life. You were such a gentle soul with so much heart (my sister said you looked tough on the outside but was all mush on the inside.) How can the universe take you away from me so quickly and so suddenly and without any cause or explanation. I didn’t believe it then, and I still don’t believe it now. My heart is aching right now and I know I told you I would be strong but I’m just so mad; so angry that this happened to us. We were just getting the hang of marriage. Now when I say, “I love you, babe!” Nobody responds to me - there’s just silence, emptiness - nothing. I’m trying to be strong but it’s been hard. I just feel so empty and alone--and scared. Scared and frightened to even imagine a world where you don’t exist and we aren’t together. It’s like my heart is being ripped from inside of me and there’s no reason to live any longer. Sometimes, I feel like I’m just going to explode because the pain and emptiness are just too intense, how can anyone live with this much pain and anguish. It’s just too unbearable. We’ve always joked that we need to find some religion in our life since we were both are so scared of death that we needed something to get us through this life without fearing death. But now, I’m no longer scared of death because I know I get to see you again. Or maybe we will be reborn and meet each other again in our next life. Can you imagine us being the children of millennials? Oh man, that will very interesting. Hopefully, by then, the world will learn that “new age” parenting doesn’t work and we won’t all get trophies for just participating in our next life (I know how much you hated that!! hahaha) I love you so much babe, please come back to me! I want to see you in my dreams. Please come back to me!! I can’t bare this pain. Please don’t leave me here all by myself. I feel so alone and scared. Scared to even take one step forward without you in my life.
Letter #1: where the journey begins (written within the first 4 days after he passed and read at his memorial service)
I miss you so much. You are the love of my life - my great love story. There is this poster I purchased when I was in college by photographer Robert Doisneau called "The Kiss by Townhall" that hangs in our house. It's a poster from the 1950's of a couple kissing in the bustling street of France. The couple is standing still, in each other's embrace and nothing mattered except them and the love they have for each other as the world is bustling around them. It caught my eye and took my breath away when I saw it on the way to class one day. It was the love story I wanted for myself, where nothing mattered and love was able to triumph and conquer all. It had always hung predominantly in my room since college and I've carried it with me ever since. When we moved into our first house, I again displayed it predominantly in our living room (of course without asking you). But overtime, I thought about taking it down since it was something that was just mine and maybe it would make more sense to put something that that was more representative of us since it was our living room, but you told me not to take it down and that you liked the poster exactly where it is. So, it remained there the entire time we lived at our first house and it was the first thing I hung up in our second home. Again it’s predominantly displayed in the entry way above the bench you were skeptical that I could reupholstered by myself from watching a youtube video, but of course you were always supportive of anything I wanted to do even if you didn't always believe in me, you always indulged me. So, you took me to the home depot and helped me buy my first power tool so I could prove you wrong (which as you know I always loved to do). Now when I look at that poster, I realize that I did find that kind of love story when I met you--even if I didn't realize it until now.
Like I said in our wedding vows, "I don't believe in fairytales, but what we’ve built and created together over the years comes pretty close." You were my tall, dark, and handsome knight that rode up in a white horse and swept me off my feet. We loved each other on our best days and especially more on our worst days. You are my rock, the anchor that holds me steady. The calm when the storm is raging around me. I can’t even imagine a day without you--let alone the rest of my life. You made me so happy and we had so much love and laughter in our home. You made my heart so full and complete. Sometimes I would pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming, but it was all real. I have always felt that my cup has runneth over with you in my life and that I was the luckiest girl in the world to have found my true soul mate to take on the world with. We still had so many things left to do together and we had so many plans of what we wanted to do with our lives and with each other. Now these plans will go unfulfilled, we were robbed of our future together, and I will have to walk this road alone in the next journey I'm about to embark on. But, I will be strong for you and I know you will always be by my side holding my hand and giving me that warm beautiful smile of yours that just melts my heart.
I’ve looked back on our life in the last few months and I feel like the universe was preparing us for this moment but we just didn’t know it. We were the best versions of ourselves with each other and we had so many deep and philosophical conversations about us and our love (which is atypical of our never serious and always joking household). A few weeks ago, when we were watching TV, I turned to you and asked “how much do you love me today?” And your response was, “you can’t measure the depth of my love for you.” And I responded back with “What the heck are you talking about? Of course you can! Whenever I ask you this question before, you generally put out your hand and tell me, “Today I love you this much,” or sometimes you say, “Today, I only love you this much.” And then you responded with, “Today my response to you is that love is a feeling that cannot be measured and that my love for you is too deep to even consider measuring.” I laughed at you and said, “You are so weird today.” I look back now on these types conversations and understand that the universe was preparing us to say goodbye and having the closure one would need to overcome such a sudden and tragic event. I promise to be strong and continue to focus on all the love and laughter we’ve shared, and on the days I can't, I will let you and our love carry me through.
Before you passed, you griped both my shoulders while you were on your knees fighting to breathe and just stared into my worried and frightened eyes. I know all you could think about was me and what was going to happen to me--even when you were fighting for your own life; all you could do was think of me. I stared back at your worried eyes with only fear and terror as tears were rolling down my eyes. We were both speechless. I know it wasn't the goodbye we wanted, but in my heart, I know you were trying to let me know how much you loved me and how sorry you were for leaving me here all by myself to fend the world alone. My heart aches and yearns for you to hold me one more time. Just one more hug, one more kiss, one more i love you; just one more moment, one more day, one more year--just one more of anything. When I saw your lifeless body in the hospital, I just wanted to hold your hand and lay down right next to you so we both could wake up from this horrible nightmare. But, I truly believe that in life, we have a designated time frame we are here, and when it’s our time to go, we go. We don't get to choose when we come into the world or when we leave it, but everything in-between is for us to decide and to manifest our own destiny, and I know you did. You lived the best life you could and we had an amazing life in the short period we had with each other. You are loved by so many, and your beautiful smile, boisterous laughter, and charming personality could win over anybody’s heart, even my 84 year old grandmother adores you.
I know that right now it's been very hard for me, just getting out of bed and leaving the house has been very challenging, but I just want to let you know that I will find the strength and courage to stand on my own two feet again and celebrate your amazing life and our beautiful love story. The first night without you, you visited me in my dreams, and you looked happy and safe. I still continue to feel your presence and I know that your love continues to surround and consume me. I will find the strength and courage to take each moment and day one step at a time. Please continue to visit me in my dreams so I can tell u how much I love you, and you can smile back with that quirky smile of yours and say, “I know.” But babe, i have a score to settle with you when we see each other again. Just a few weeks ago, we were joking around about something and I told you that I would kill you if you ever made me a young widow. So babe, you better brace yourself for the reckoning that awaits you when we meet again. I promise you, it will be a good one because you know, I never leave a score unsettled with you.
I close with this quote from an anonymous source:
“the only way to get over a death is by seeing it as a life completed, instead of a life interrupted.”
I love you babe! You will always and forever be in my heart.
A grieving widow who is trying to find meaning and purpose from her tragic event.