Monday, August 30, 2010

Five Years

Hi honey,

As I type this letter to you I am wrestling with the fact that you have been dead for five years. Even though I have lived without you for 1,825 days...every once in awhile I still feel I could turn over my shoulder and you would be there with a big grin wondering what I will think of your latest joke.

You would be amazed by the growth in our families this year. Your brother George is a Grandpa twice over, and my brothers and sisters have given us three new babies to love. I can imagine you running away from anyone trying to get you to hold a baby for fear of "breaking the little thing." Despite your fear of all things baby, your love of family and friends was a constant in your life. Many times I still miss the generous way you would lend a hand to anyone you loved who was in need. I even sometimes miss how long it took to go grocery shopping with you since we inevitably ran into someone you knew from somewhere...and then a half hour converstion would follow figuring out how, when, and where.

The kids have become adults in so many ways. They are changed by loving and losing you. Sometimes this makes me terribly sad, and other times the changes in them make me terribly proud. Each one has developed a level of compassion uncommon in people their age. Your death was felt in so many communities; I still meet people who have stories to share about ways that you made a difference in their lives. When I walk away from these conversations I hope you are somewhere near by blushing at the praise lavished upon you.

I am getting married this year. Michael is amazing, very different than you but like you as well. The thing I admire most about him is his ability to be himself. He doesn't try to be you, nor is he threatened by my love for you. He is uniquely Michael, and grateful that I have the capacity to love someone as much as I love you. This is a gift I can't adequately describe, and I feel very blessed to have him in my life.

This five year anniversary has been hard for me. I miss you in so many ways, and carry with me the fact that you loved me, and that you chose me. As my life moves into a future that I am excited to embrace, I need to say out loud that you come with me wherever I go. My heart has expanded to include so many new people, and at the same time the place that has always been yours remains.

I love you,



  1. Michele, you mention how special Phil and Michael are. But I wanted to tell you how very special YOU are ... that is the reason why you were blessed to be loved by them.

    Although I feel sad that you are finding it very tough as you approach the 5 year mark, conversely I find comfort in the fact that you still love Phil so powerfully and that you have the security and trust in your relationship with Michael that allows you to do so freely.

    I am thinking of you and sending you love and light to get through the following two months and I hope that you make time for yourself while you need it, because you give so much of yourself to us, the widowed, and here in the UK, there is one widow who is so very grateful for that.

    Love to you,
    Boo xxx

  2. It will be 5 years for me too this week. Congrats on your upcoming wedding.

  3. I second Boo's post...Phillip and Michael are very smart men. Love you much, Mom

  4. I third Boo's post. You are wonderful Michele, and it's no surprise that two wonderful men fell in love with you. Thank you for all you do for all of us out here. I hope you have a beautiful wedding and I look forward to seeing pictures here. You offer hope to so many of us in need of hope.

  5. Thank you for this post, Michele.
    I think it made many, many people smile.
    I look forward to hearing about the wedding.

  6. Michele,
    thanks for sharing your very personal feelings, what touched me the most is that you teach us when you open your heart fully to love, you are capable of loving again and again and it it obvious you surround yourself with love. So very happy for you.

  7. I, too, lost my husband 5 years ago. And, like you, I will soon be getting married. Your last 2 paragraphs are right on correct. Thank you so much for putting my feelings into words. My best to you and your family.

  8. Michele: My husband died almost 5 years ago, and I feel all those conflicting emotions that come with honoring Ken and continuing to love here in the present moment where we know from experience just how precious and fragile it all is. Thank you for sharing this. I wish you every happiness with your new husband.

  9. Michele, thank you for being so honest with you posts. They have helped me so much in my journey and given me hope that I cam find someone as special as your new man, because I think most people just do not get it- that you will always have a special place in your heart for your late husband. Have an awesome wedding and honeymoon.

  10. Boo has a wonderful way with words - I couldn't have said it any better, either. Michael is an exceptional man to be able to recognize and appreciate your endless capacity for love. Hugs and love to you both!

  11. I LOVE THE LAST PARAGRAPH and need to remind myself of this always. The more I read about Phil, the more I think he and Don would have been great, great friends - had they known each other in some weird parallel universe somehow. They have so much in common!!! So many of the little things you describe about Phil, are also very Don-like. Im sitting here shaking my head yes to all of it. So honored to know you, friend .........