It's an obvious exercise, but it's a good one. If you want to know what you're thinking and what you're feeling, writing is one great way to figure it out, and writing a letter to your dead husband or wife can be an excellent way to put it all out there. After all, who was once your most trusted friend? Who did you talk to about your most important thoughts and feelings? Well, you can still do it (although, sadly, it will be entirely one-sided.) Never mind about that.
It has been 5 years and 8 months since you died. Such a long time ago. It feels different today than it did a couple of years ago. I'm not sure how I feel about the distance that has grown between us -- the distance of years, and time, and experience -- my years of living while you have been dead.
I used to spend so much time wishing you were still living on this earth, still my husband, still a father for Natalie and Alec, still here to share a certain life we had made together. I wished that what had happened to you and to us had not happened. I was really very afraid.
I am still afraid sometimes, but not nearly as much. I also know that I can't live in a wishful state, wishing for something that will never be. I've worked from the very beginning on acceptance. Acceptance has been my mantra so that I could go on living without you.
You feel so far away from me. I've had to make too many decisions without you. I've had to go it alone even though you were once my most trusted, most loved partner and friend. I've had to go it alone.
Sometimes I feel sorry for people who are lost and asleep, who don't realize that they need to live without imagining that there is a better, different, more interesting place to be than right here and right now.
Sometimes I am afraid that I can't keep you alive enough Ken. Whatever I can do, it's not enough. You deserve so much more but you got exactly what you didn't deserve. You got to die.
I'm lying. I do wish you were still here. But there is nowhere to go with that wish. Nowhere to go. It's like wishing for my own immortality.
I'm sorry that you aren't with me or your children anymore. I'm sorry that your story had to be a tragic one. I'm glad we chose one another from the moment we met. Thank you for choosing me. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for giving me your wonderful family and for making two amazing children with me.
We didn't finish our story with a satisfactory ending. I hated the ending of our story but the beginning was wonderful.
Goodbye for now Ken. I am so sorry to leave you.
- Jill Schacter
- My wonderful husband died when I was 44 years old. Being widowed this young happens to less than 3% of married people. Writing through this loss one word at time helps me understand what I've lost and helps me continue to grow. It is how I have gradually recovered from such a severe loss. Research shows that you can benefit from taking just 15 minutes a day to write out your deepest feelings as a way of healing. On the right side of this blog, you'll see a tag for Exercises to Try. If you need some help knowing how to use writing to help heal yourself, I suggest you start there.