The Letter I Wrote To My Lost Love

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My path to restoration is paved with family, friendships, and the healing power of my grief group. In the safety of my group space, we get each other’s pain on a level that is forged by our devastating loss. We are bonded in yearning and lamentation on a deep level that is both distressing but also immensely comforting. We are halfway through an 18-month commitment and a few weeks ago, we were faced with a heartbreaking task. Our assignment was to write a letter to our loved ones, telling them why we miss them, touching on special memories and thanking them for the glorious times we shared. C’mon! Is there enough Kleenex to cover this one? I still can’t look at a picture without Niagara Falls cascading from my eyes. Then a few weeks after that, I was given the task of writing a letter from Peter to me which was less devastating but still required multiple snot rags. Each member of our group dutifully wrote and sobbed our way through the readings. Our mutual feeling of comfort was a miraculous way to heal and feel that in our shared loss, we could move forward as one with a little help from some very caring friends.

Letter to Peter from Laurie:
Dear Peter:

I am sitting here in grief group. There’s a sentence you never thought I would utter! I am miserable that losing you brings me to this place, but in the sanctity of my group I feel comforted by our shared sorrow. I have to quote Sting and say I miss you with every breath I take. I yearn for your comfort and your presence and I despise the loneliness in which I am shrouded daily. I miss your key in the lock, I miss your smile, I miss your humor, I miss your support, but most of all I miss your touch.

Our son is amazing. He has stood by my side and you would be so proud of him Petey. My friends have been my guiding light. They care for me and comfort me, checking on me daily and it is lovely that our friendships have grown.

Who knew I was a writer? Sure I could write a recipe but now I have found a way to shout to the world about the pain of grief. Your heart would be bursting with pride at your Laurie finding a path through her grief by being honest in her prose.

I realize that I have to break through the threshold of life and find a new way to exist as just Laurie and not Peter/Laurie. You were my soulmate and although we talked of your loss, the reality never seemed palpable. The shock of your death and the resulting loneliness kill me. The intense feelings still overwhelm me in the car, in the shower, or whenever I need you to hold me. But, I do stand on the doorstep of life and peek out to see a ray of light in the distance. It’s not a pretty sight, but by taking small steps forward I hope to embrace my new normal. If I dare to look ahead, I am too frightened but one day soon, I hope to again cherish the word “anticipation,” and look forward to living a life that gives me pleasure. And one day I hope to see a picture of you and not weep at your beautiful face and oh, that gorgeous head of hair.

With all my love, Laurie

Letter to Laurie from Peter:
Dear Laurie:

Oh man do I miss you. I miss seeing your face first thing in the morning and last thing at night. But I want you to know how very proud I am of how you have handled this loss. You have learned how to deal with the finances and do it better than I ever did. You have stayed in our house and mastered the pain of my loss there. You have rallied your friends and shared your pain openly, and they have consoled you. You have forged an even tighter bond with our son and your love of the grandkids has kept you comforted and full of laughter.

But, most of all, I have read your blogs and can chronicle your growth. From the day I died, you spoke openly about the pain of grief telling the world you wouldn’t take this tragedy lying down. Your voice on the web has enabled you to move forward but more importantly, others say you “give voice to their pain.” I am so very, very proud of what you have become. I know that when I died you felt like half of you was amputated. You were my “better half,” but I always knew you were whole inside and I am most proud of the full person you have become. Know that I will always be in your heart. Please keep me there and use me when you need to find solace. You gave me a keychain that I kept always with an E.E. Cummings quote “we are so both and oneful.” Now you are oneful, but on your own. Live my darling and be that good person I treasured all the days we had together.

Love, Your Petey

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