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Boxing Day


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My tear ducts finally opened today. Writing this note to Bill helped the process. It's personal, but I felt I wanted to share it. It's long, but perhaps some can relate.


Today is Boxing Day, 2007. My first Christmas without you. I’ve just described it in an email the best way I know how. We had a wonderful family Christmas, a lovely Christmas Eve church service, and delicious food. I read scripture in front of church for the first time. I could feel your support saying, “just take it slow.” I feel connected to people and loved. I feel hope for the future, even if there is no detail within it. But everything is de-saturated without you. You brought the vivid color to my world, and to so many others. I sometimes am so wrapped up in my own loss that I forget how many other people miss you so deeply. I wonder if you have any idea. I wonder if you had any idea before you left us that an unfillable void would remain in your place.

Thank you for the picture and note you left for me. I try to imagine what that must have been like for you to do. To think ahead and realistically know there was a chance you might not be here this year. To do that and still maintain the hope you had will always amaze me. To think of me and want me to have not just a loving reminder, but a message. I’m proud of us for embracing Christmas last year. Remember we bought the decorations for our beautiful new dining table? You always chose the nicest things. Then we kept the tree up for weeks! Played Christmas music endlessly. And planned Christmas this year in England. Oh, how I wish we were there today.

To you I owe so much. So much I never got to tell you. I owe apologies. I owe thanks. I owe generous deeds. I owe time. I owe uninterrupted movie nights. I owe you help with the house. I owe you hope. I owe you understanding. I owe you encouragement and compliments. I comfort myself knowing you feel the same back. That you were nowhere near “done” growing with me. Nor am I with you. How is it that you’re gone nearly six months and I am continuing to learn about this thing called “love” that we embarked on all those years ago? I’m still learning what it means to be married. What “till death do us part” actually entails. Except that it goes beyond death, doesn’t it? You will always be my most favorite person. I can say that without a shred of doubt. Within the disappointments and silly arguments we had. Within the plans that didn’t happen, and the ways I can still feel hurt. And within the great hope we had for our future and the endless love we had for one another. Your face is the most beautiful. Your smile the brightest. Your eyes the window to love. Your heart my home. Your love the most treasured of treasures.

I will never say “goodbye” to you, my love. I will try to learn to say, “I’ll see you soon.” For in heavenly time, it will be soon. But even that is too hard today. My eyes are tired, my stomach over-worked, and my head a little fuzzy from an extra glass of wine last night and too much coffee this morning. But my heart is as sober as it can be. And my heart misses you more than even I can bear to feel.

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I am touched you chose to share that within our community, such private and personal thoughts about you and Bill. I know you don't feel strong, but, you have an amazing strength "about you"... you have given so many the courage to take one more step forward when they felt they didn't have the strength left anymore. Thank you for being YOU.

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