Dear Dead Husband

Dear Dead Husband, 

I will begin by saying that I cant believe thats still a thing. You being dead. Im kind of over it, if you want to know the truth. At this point, I feel I have learned all the life lessons I can possibly learn about death, Ive taken the pain and found the funny, and Ive used my grief to help others. What more do you want from me? Here's the thing. The "you being dead" part of this whole mess, I can live with it, I suppose. It's the whole "forever and ever dead" part that I will always find horrific. 

Today is no sort of special day. Our wedding anniversary is coming up at the end of this month, on October 27th, and that is, of course, on my mind. I do find that our wedding anniversary is by far my hardest and saddest day. Even sadder than the anniversary of the day you died. You are dead every single day, but we only got married on one day. And still, more than eight years after your sudden death, I dont have a clue what to do with that day.

Sure, I will make my yearly trip to NYC, take the train out to Long Island, go sit by the rocks on the bay, next to the venue where we married, and where I put some of your ashes. I will talk to you and I will try and feel you close, and I will honor our special day and our love. I will be with you, together. Alone. That is all that I can do. 

And if some people want to roll their eyes at the idea of me doing that, or don't understand why I still do that, or how much it means to me to still do that, even though Im now 2 years heart-deep into a beautiful and loving relationship, then I don't really care. It's not about them. It's about us. Me and you.

 YOU understand. It's our day, and it will always be our day, and I so very much want to reach the point where I can recall the pure joy and love and magic of that day, without immediately feeling awful and intensely sad at the thought of you still being dead. I have not reached that point, and Im not so sure that I ever will. Marrying you was the best thing I ever did, and the sadness overwhelms me on our wedding day, and leading up to it. 

So today is no special day, except for the countdown to our magical union, and just another day of many, that you are still and forever dead. 

The Yankees are in the playoffs. Game One is tonight, and I miss you and so badly want to watch with you and hear you comment and laugh with me. If they make it to the World Series, I will be in NYC that week for our wedding anniversary, and then watching without you while being in NY will probably make it even sadder. I don't know. Lately, in this eighth year without you here, I am missing you differently. It feels deeper, more profound, and more permanent somehow. I dont know how to explain it, other than to say it has been way too many years since I have seen you or joked with you or watched our Yankees play. I have never felt guilty for living life while you are dead, but I have felt profound and growing sadness at the idea of me living and experiencing all of life, while you will never have that chance. It hurts me to my core to think about that, and that specific pain and reality seems to expand for me each year, because more life-stuff keeps happening, and you keep on missing it. 

Its not fair that I get to experience great love again, and you don't. It makes me cry just typing that. Its not fair that life itself was stolen from you, and that you remain in pause mode forever. you are a soul, a spirit, a force of energy. I know that those pieces of you never die, and that you live on in the hearts and memories of everyone who loves you and tells your story. I know all this. But it doesnt help. Sometimes it just doesnt help, because Id so much rather be going to Yankee Stadium with you for Game 7 of the World Series. Instead, I will sit on some rocks and try to feel your presence in the wind blowing, the trees swaying, or the water swishing. I will try to get through another milestone, and another ordinary day where I have the honor to live life, without you. 

Showing 8 reactions

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  • Janice Hart
    commented 2019-10-15 20:32:33 -0700
    Kelley, none of us would ever roll our eyes at anything you do relating to Don and the life you shared. We all have special dates that mean so much to us. Too bad if other’s don’t understand it, they should be ever grateful that they don’t!! You might think you will be visiting your wedding venue alone, but in truth, many of us will be walking there with you in spirit.
  • Ann McGrath
    commented 2019-10-15 19:42:08 -0700
    Amen sister
  • Vartan Agnerian
    commented 2019-10-15 18:11:06 -0700
    Oh so very true’ Dear Kelley Lynn ‘such clear description of all the painful emotions we face as widows’ at different times on the path of widowhood all by ourselves’ and YES’ as the months roll by’ somehow " the missing is differently’ it feels deeper’ more profound’ and more permanent " … Simply by God’s grace from one day to the next’ … Laura
  • Lynda Birmantas Beam
    commented 2019-10-15 18:09:20 -0700
    That just makes my heart hurt, I’m 63 now. Jonathan died at 48 and I was 60. I come from long lived parents, I have so much time probably left to wait till we are together again :’(
  • Trudie Moses-Sandberg
    commented 2019-10-15 17:42:14 -0700
    We all are standing right there with you. I lost my husband suddenly too in a motorcycle accident on his way to work one morning. Another driver pulled out in front of him in a suburban. He couldnt avoid the impact. That will be 7 years ago October 23rd. Anyway, yes we all see the eye rolls or the facial expressions that say, “there she goes again with another story, another memory” etc. We will live on with our lives doing the things, experiencing life they never will. ‘They’ can’t understand our pain or our need to speak the names of our husbands and the loss of the life we planned together. They dont know because they haven’t experienced it, yet. God’s blessings on you and everyone else here today.
  • Anonymous
    commented 2019-10-08 08:39:52 -0700
    I totally understand you spending your wedding anniversary at your special place, alone, with your memories. As Don Y. commented, most of us who walk this path would never roll our eyes at that. My husband died 6 years ago and I still intentionally spend our wedding anniversary alone with memories in honor of the wonderful marriage that we had. It would feel disrespectful to do otherwise.

    I love the phrase “you remain in pause mode forever”!! My husband also died a sudden unexpected death and that is exactly how it feels. His life just suddenly ended, prematurely, in the middle of so much life going on around him and continuing on without him. “Life stuff keeps happening, and you keep on missing it”. Your words are spot on. I desperately want to hit the start button again to let his life play out fully, but there is no closure to that kind of death.
  • Shellie Bryant
    commented 2019-10-04 11:42:30 -0700
    This is exactly how I feel. He should BE here. I hate that there is a growing list of days, weeks, moments, months he is missing. I am so tired of not sharing all the things, and it’s only almost 3 months.
  • Don Yacona
    commented 2019-10-04 10:57:26 -0700
    I and most who walk this path, will NEVER roll our eyes at you going back and sitting at that venue. You’re doing great.