A letter to my husband following his one year anniversary.

Babe,

I know you hear me when I talk to you, sometimes I can hear you talking back in my head.  So, you’re probably wondering why I’m putting all this in writing when you can’t read it. All I can say is it helps to get it out of my head and there’s so much I want to say to you. I didn’t get to write you a Valentine’s Day card this year.

I’m not sure that you’d even realize that Friday was the one year anniversary of your passing.  I’d imagine you’re in a place now that may not have a concept of time at all, let alone one that is based off how long it takes our planet to circle just one of the stars you now get to dance among.

For those of us left here to face this world without you, it has been hard. I couldn’t imagine how I would survive a day without you, let alone 366. It was a freaking leap year to boot.

The best analogy I’ve heard is that it is like losing a leg.  At first you just need time to let the wound heal.  Scab then scar over.  There’s not much else you can do during that time but just get through it.  Eventually you can learn to walk again.  It takes more effort than most people will ever have to put into any single task they undertake.  There will be progress and setbacks, highs and lows, good days and bad days and a whole lot of pain.  But those with the courage and the perseverance not to give up will not only walk again but they will run, they will dance.  They will go on to live a beautiful happy life despite the challenges that will become routine.  But the leg does not grow back.  They will never fully recover or be whole again.  The loss is permanent, it is not something you get over in time. Time does not heal all wounds.  Time gives you the opportunity to learn how to live despite the wounds.

Baby, I feel guilty saying this, but I feel like my time of just letting the wound heal has come to an end, and I’m ready now to learn how to walk again.  I gave myself a year to just survive.  To get through every “first”. To let myself wallow and let myself feel every ounce of the pain.

And despite the fact that I know you would want me to move forward, part of me feels like our love was so special that I should gut wrenchingly mourn it’s loss until the day I die of a broken heart and finally get to see you again.

But omg babe it is so exhausting. I have cried every single day for a year. And it is absolutely exhausting. I’m so tired of being miserable every single day. I’m so tired of getting up everyday and simply trying to get through it.  I cannot have grief be my full time job anymore.  It has been in the forefront of every one of the 525,600 minutes since you left. (OK I just relied on the RENT song and not through math for leap year).

I know that it will never go away. And learning to walk again will most likely be a LOT harder than just laying around letting the wound heal.  But I’m ready to try to do things for me.  Baby steps.  I’m not even talking about dating or getting back out there yet, I’m talking more about taking the time to live my life to the fullest.  Do things I’ve always wanted to do. Play piano. Write a novel even if noone reads it. Get healthy. Travel.

I want you to look down on me and see me living life for the both of us.  I want you to be proud.  I don’t want to make it to heaven someday and have you tell me how you had to watch your leaving me so soon sentence the rest of my life to perpetual sadness.

Baby I’m gonna need all the help I can get though. It is so not easy. One day you’re treading water and the next the waves hit you out of the blue and you feel like you’re drowning.

Your anniversary was one of those drowning times.  And to be honest it was more so Valentines Day this week and the night before the 17th that were the hardest.  Thinking of our last Vday. Our last date night.  Our last days together.  Those last moments where you held me on your arms and gave me your last kiss and told me you loved me for the last time.  Reliving those memories a year later was brutal.  I did not handle it well lol.

But I did it. We did it. Your family has been amazing too.  And we survived the first year without you and mixed in with all of the sadness of these past couple weeks has been relief and a sense of accomplishment. I am so proud of us. Noone ended up in jail or got fired!!

I’m ready to do more than just survive. I know it will be a long slow fought battle and it’s not like I can snap my fingers and be happy again with where I am in life.  It is still going to take a lot of time, and a lot of work on myself to get there. But I know you will be with me every step of the way cheering me on.

Baby I love you with all of my heart. Thank you for giving me so much love while you were here that it carried me through the dark moments of this first year.  Thank you for loving me in a way that most people search for their whole lives.  Thank you for giving me the kind of love that I can be grateful to have had at all, the kind of love that makes every ounce of this pain worth it.  It is the life vest that keeps me afloat when the waves hit.

I miss you more than I can even describe.  I miss you in a way that makes your chest physically feel hollow and empty.  I know I won’t ever stop missing you. In the blink of an eye your 20 year anniversary will come around and I’m sure parts of it will still feel like yesterday even then. And I will miss you then like I miss you today.  But by that point hopefully I’ll have learned not just how to walk, but how to dance again.

Xoxoxo xoxo,

Katie

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