A Love Letter

a love letter
I can never tell you in person how I feel. I can never make amends. These words on this page are what I would say if you were here today.

The last thing you remember of me is the person I was at the end of our marriage. I wasn’t as kind or as understanding as I could have been. If I hurt you, I’m so sorry.

From this place, out in the future and off to the side, I see things differently. I understand now I never knew who you were. Even at the beginning of our relationship, I never found out what you thought. There were too many questions I was afraid to ask, too many topics that were off-limits and too many feelings I never shared with you.

I made you into the person I wanted you to be, without taking into account you might be someone completely different.

It turns out you were different. And I blamed you for that. I blamed you for being you and not the person I wanted you to be. I’m sorry for that. It wasn’t fair.

I was wrong for you and I couldn’t see it because I was too busy imagining you as the ideal husband and trying to be what I thought you wanted. A foolish endeavour, especially when I never even asked you what you needed. I am sorry that you didn’t get to spend your short life with someone who was right for you. I stole that away from you.

I had no idea what caused you pain or what brought you happiness. I was too wrapped up in myself to notice your struggles. The silences were easy for me because I didn’t have to have a difficult conversation. I’ve called you a coward; it turns out the coward was me.

I am sorry for my lies, my pretence and for misunderstanding you. I regret that I never communicated my deep heartfelt truth to you. I’m doing that now.

I can’t imagine what it must have been like for you to struggle with a mental illness. I will never know if you had it your entire life, but if you lived for forty years with that kind of pain you must have been so brave. If you’d decided to kill yourself back in 1992 and you held out until 2010 then you are one of the strongest people I know.

There are so many things I have to thank you for. For never hurting me physically, for never cheating on me, for sticking it out for as long as you did. You never left me or abandoned me — I was the only one who left.

Knowing you has enlightened me and given me many gifts. Our marriage taught me that an authentic connection is the only path to happiness. We both wore masks — it was unreasonable to expect you to have dropped yours when I was wearing mine. I didn’t trust your love because what you were loving was the façade I’d created. To drop my disguise meant the person you loved would be gone. When I finally allowed my true nature to emerge, it was too late.

Love has many faces. I spent a long time believing the love I had for you had died. Love can never die. I still love you.

I love the part of you that ‘got’ my jokes, that never demanded I did anything I didn’t want to, and the part of you that would try to solve my problems. Those memories are still there, not quite accessible, but the flavour of them runs underneath the bitterness of those last days.

Thank you for the gift of letting me go. I no longer have to worry about you or feel responsible for your pain. You are now at peace and knowing that means I also have peace. Your death brought an end to my old life and closed off any opportunity to go back. Without that option I had to commit to my new life. And look how beautiful my world is now …

Without knowing the pain of disconnection I would never appreciate the relationship I have now. The deep scar in my heart is a daily reminder to treasure intimacy and truth. Taking another person for granted is a thing of the past.

I am thrilled to have had you in my life, and I look forward to the day when we meet again as different energies, in a different universe, and all there will be is love.


{photo source}
Inspired by Byron Katie’s The Work.

About KatieP

Embracing my midlife sexy while exploring modern love & relationships • Devoted to all things beautiful • Master of Arts in creative writing & non-fiction writing

16 thoughts on “A Love Letter

  1. I’m crying here for your loss; for your honesty. There is a lesson here for me. Thank you for sharing x

  2. Fuck! Simply beautiful. Um, but after a wine or two 😉 I’m raw and emotional and bawling – for you, for him, for me, for the world but perhaps I would have done that sober too. You have touched me tonight emotionally but tomorrow night you can hug me physically :).

  3. Oh, that took my breath, Katie, in the most beautiful and powerful way. What a lesson for all of us and what a gift despite the hardness and heartbreak. Thank you.

  4. I have read Bryon Katie’s book “The Work” and I truly believe that in order to let go and live a happy life you (we) are the one that has to change your circumstance in order to achieve that point in your life to be happy and free of what ever it was that was bothering you. The other person is rarely the one still suffering. But you (we) are still living the wrongs that have taken place. Your situation is certainly different Katie but we all carry things around with us that we blame ourselves for. This letter had to be hard to think about let alone write it for the whole world to see because you are admitting your own faults. And it is hard for all of us to do. This letter has helped me tremendously also, it’s time I do some of this “work” to get rid of the left over demons I still carry with me. Thank you and Bless you.

  5. Oh Katie, you didn’t steal anything from him. We’re each responsible for our own happiness and our own lives. At any point in your marriage, he could have left, taken a way out. He was as capable of doing that then as he was capable of taking his own life afterward. Staying was his choice, as much as leaving this world was his choice, too. We aren’t responsible for others’ actions, regardless of our own behavior. It’s up to us as individuals to decide how we are going to feel about something and how we are going to deal with those things. He CHOSE to stay, and he CHOSE to take his life afterward. You didn’t take or force anything upon him that he didn’t have the choice to change, mental illness or not. *hug* Some of my friends don’t understand why it is that I can still think fondly of my ex, the one who accused me of never loving him, who was paranoid and extremely mentally ill and unable to see the truth of things. And yes, while there was plenty of bad, that doesn’t change the good, it’s still there. I loved him regardless of his flaws, and because of the good things. And I think it’s a testament to your strength of character to be able to still hold those good memories, and know that is what they are, instead of looking back on things with tainted eyes and refusing to see them at all.

    1. Hi Celynne, the principal of The Work is that we can turn around our beliefs and see our own behaviour reflected in others. The things that bother us about other people are usually the things we need to work on in ourselves. This letter is to make amends for my part in the breakdown in the relationship and to acknowledge that all I could see was my construction of who I thought he was. It’s a step towards forgiveness and unconditional love.

      It’s great you still have good memories about your past relationship. Looking back with love means we can move forward with kindness and compassion.

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