I came across this story by Jim Stingl from the Milwaukee County Journal Sentinel and felt it was something to share with you. Very touching.
These women didn’t have to write goodbye letters to each other–they’d been writing their whole lives, so I’m sure, nothing was left unsaid.
As Christmas arrives, we remember to give thanks for our friendships.
I guess we all grieve in different ways. This person wrote a letter to Robin Williams whom, I assume, he never met in person. Writing a letter to someone you don’t know personally didn’t cross my mind before today. But this letter, hopefully, helped ease the pain in the author’s heart:
You made me laugh. You brought joy into people’s lives. You were so upbeat. You were a genius. I’m so sad that you left us. There was so much more you could give to the world. I’m so sad to know that that you were sad when all you did was to make others happy.
I’m sending you this letter in my heart. I wish I sent it to you before you felt like you had nothing left. You gave so much. We will miss you.
I encourage you to write a letter to a loved one today! If you’d like me to share it with others, please send it to me at letters@LastGoodbyeLetters.com.
This came my way and, after cleaning up the punctuation and a word or two, I’m posting it for you. I don’t understand all of it because, apparently, I’m not cool. But the gist is plain to see for everyone: Don’t allow yourself to be a target. Love yourself even if you think no one else does. You are a person of value. Let’s say a prayer for all the Angels in the world:
It’s time to lace it up dude. You are cool. You’re beautiful. You’re not fat. You’re not cray cray. I know you. You’re clean, chido. No molly. No weed. No more caguamas.
Next time they come at you, turn around dude. Swerve. All you need to prove is to yourself. You don’t need to fight back. You don’t need to cut to feel anything. You’re the bigger man dude.
I’m down with you. And that’s the only thing that matters. F@*# those other guys. No hay bronca. Orale!
I received this letter today and I wondered if I should post it. It isn’t all flowery and nice, but it is reality. And there is definitely love in it. I thought I should post it so that others who are primary care givers for loved ones with dementia will see that it’s OK to feel scared, mad and alone. Read on:
Dear, dear Mom,
As I sit here looking at you napping in your chair, I realize that you’ve been gone from me for such a long time. I miss you. I miss that we used to have such stimulating conversations with Dad. I miss that you used to smile and laugh at my jokes. I miss you taking care of me. I miss your intellect, your insight and your bright spirit.
Now, I’m taking care of you. And it’s hard. And I’m tired. Sometimes I want to go to sleep and not wake up. You are healthy, except your mind is gone. My friends and sister all tell me to think of myself and place you in a home. Do you know that I’ve called several, been on the list to get you in and when the phone call comes that says there’s room for you, I just can’t do it. They’ve stopped calling me because they know I can’t place you. You’re my mom.
Sometimes I’m so angry with you and Dad for leaving me in this situation. I guess I don’t know what else you could’ve done, but I’m still resentful. And I’m scared. I can’t lift you without help from Hospice workers. There’s so much I can’t do. I just try to hold on to any little bit of normalcy. It’s so wonderful for me to get an hour to go to the grocery store by myself. I feel free. And I feel bad that I feel free.
I’m thankful that you know me a little bit still. That’s a little bit that I can hold on to of the old you.
I love you, Mom. And I’m saying goodbye now even though you can’t read this letter. I just want you to know that you are so special to me. Even like you are today. Even though it’s hard.
I love you.
If you would like to share your goodbye letter with others, please e-mail it to me at: Letters@LastGoodbyeLetters.com
I wrote a letter to my mother a couple of Mother’s Days ago and I wanted to share her reaction after reading it. Fortunately for me, she left me a voice message and I can listen to her happy response over and over–especially when I’m feeling a little blue, it picks me up to know how easy it was to make her smile.
Here’s what she said:
Hi, Susan, this is your mom! I got your letter. I just picked it up from the post office and I just had to call you and tell you thank you! Thank you! Thank you! It absolutely made my heart swell so big. It’s a beautiful, beautiful letter and I’m going to keep it forever and ever and ever! Oh… (laughs) It’s just special. It’s just special! So… I just wanted to let you know. You take care. I love you, love you, love you! You can tell I’m thrilled. And that’s it. I just wanted to tell you thanks, I loved it. You take care. Love you very much, Sweetheart.
FYI, I followed my own advice in my post on How To Write Your Own Last Goodbye Letter. I just sat quietly for a time and thought of scenarios in my life where my mother played a key roll. Before long, I wasn’t staring at a blank page any more–it was filled up with words!
I’m not expecting my mom to depart this world any time soon, but why wait to write a letter? Share the love for Mother’s Day! You can tuck it into a greeting card!
In my post dated March 14, I reported how my friend felt bad because he kept putting off doing things with friends because ‘there’s always tomorrow,’ and then, sadly, sometimes missed the opportunity. One such opportunity was to take a dear friend to eat at a favorite restaurant one and-a-half hours from home. And, guess what? We did it!
The drive was beautiful, the company was fun and our friend Helen ate at her favorite Mexican restaurant in the state of Arizona!
Steve and I felt happy that we could spend time with our friend and make her day very memorable. Helen, in turn, was so very thankful that we took time out of our day just for her… to make her feel special.
That was worth it.
Even if Steve DID spill salsa all over our table! That just made it more memorable!
My gentle suggestion: Don’t let yourself become too busy to spend time with someone important. It’s good for the soul!
I truly wish I had this in a complete MP3 version, but unfortunately, all I have is a script with little audio sound bytes within it. Thought I would share:
RADIO INTERVIEW WITH JEFF SCOTT
A GILBERT WOMAN’S LETTER TO HER DYING FATHER HAS PROMPTED HER TO ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO DO THE SAME. SUSAN GEER IS ASKING PEOPLE TO SHARE WITH HER THEIR “GOODBYE” LETTERS FOR AN UPCOMING BOOK…Sound Byte-107
GEER SAYS IT PROVED THERAPEUTIC FOR HER TO PUT HER FEELINGS ABOUT HER FATHER DOWN ON PAPER, AND THOUGH HE WAS ABLE TO READ IT BEFORE HE PASSED AWAY, GEER SAYS OTHERS HAVE FOUND CLOSURE BY WRITING GOODBYE LETTERS TO DECEASED LOVED ONES AS WELL.
GEER SAYS SHE WROTE HER LETTER TO HER DYING FATHER ON THE EVE OF WHAT SHE ASSUMED WOULD BE THEIR LAST VISIT…Sound Byte-108
GEER HOPES SHARING THE GOODBYE LETTERS OTHERS HAVE WRITTEN IN HER UPCOMING BOOK WILL ENCOURAGE MORE PEOPLE TO PUT THEIR FEELINGS ON PAPER…Sound Byte-109
GEER SAYS A WOMAN WHO HEARD OF HER PROJECT WAS COMPELLED TO WRITE HER OWN GOODBYE LETTER TO A LOVED ONE…Sound Byte-110
GEER IS SURPRISED BY THE RESPONSE…Sound Byte-111
GEER SAYS THE LETTERS DON’T HAVE TO BE ALL-EMCOMPASSING…Sound Byte -112
SHE SAYS THE LETTERS DON’T HAVE TO BE FOR DECEASED OR DYING LOVED ONES, POINTING OUT THAT ONE PERSON SHARED A GOODBYE LETTER TO A SPOUSE IN THE MIDST OF A DIVORCE. OTHERS HAVE WRITTEN THEIR GOODBYES TO THEIR DECEASED PETS.
This moving letter came to me recently. It shows the love and pain that goes into the decision to take a loved one off life support. I thought I’d share it with you:
Dad, I wanted to talk to you and tell you what’s going on. We are gonna pull the intubation tube out of you in a bit. You most likely won’t be able to breathe on your own after this.
I wanted to thank you for being a great dad and teaching me to be a man of science so that I can understand and deal with what’s been happening. You always told me you didn’t want to be hooked up to machines. So, to keep the promise I made to you in Colorado, I will not let them keep you in a vegetative state. You are probably gonna die today and I wanted to be the one that told you. I promise it wont hurt. I promise you will go painlessly. You will become stardust again. You will be pure energy and get to go see all those places you always dreamed about.
We will bump into each other again one day– random photons bouncing off each other headed to see a different part of the universe.
Don’t fight it when it happens. We will all be here guiding you to the next phase.
I’m gonna go now. I love you; the rest of the family wants to speak with you. The nurses will start giving you medicine soon so you won’t feel anything.
I love you.
See you out there one day. Godspeed. I love you. Don’t be afraid I’m here.
I hope this beautiful letter moves you into action to write your own letter to someone you love and let them know how you feel! If you would like to share your letter with others and give others inspiration, please send it to me and I’ll share your love.
I have a friend who has told me this story a couple of times:
He has older friends that he thinks he’ll take to lunch, or go visit, or do something fun with, but–although his intensions are good–the time to do these things just never seems to materialize. He told me recently that it makes him sad because he lets time slip away and then, sadly, the opportunity no longer exists. He told me that he should learn from his mistakes, but he hasn’t yet.
We have an older friend in common whom he wants to take to lunch at one of her favorite restaurants outside of town. I’m going to do my best to ‘help him learn from his mistakes’ and set up a time that I will ALSO go with him. Maybe we’ll break the cycle, as they say.
I am always advocating writing letters to loved ones to let them know your feelings…it’s healthy for you AND the recipient. Maybe it’s not always a letter, maybe it’s a visit that will do the trick.
I hope you learn from my friend’s mistakes. I’ll report back on the lunch visit!
By now you may have heard about the sweet story of 96-year-old widower, Fred Stobaugh who wrote a love poem to his wife and sent it into Green Shoe Studio’s contest to become a produced song. When everyone else was sending in their entries via YouTube, Fred’s came by US Postal Service. But it’s sincerity touched the producers’ hearts and, apparently the hearts of many others. Today, Fred’s song, Sweet Lorraine, is trending as one of the top downloads on iTunes.
Fred and Lorraine met in 1938 when she was a car hop at the A&W Root Beer stand and their love for each other grew for 75 years until she died this past April. They had so many happy years together to which the photos Fred likes to show can attest. And I’m sure that Lorraine knows how much Fred loved her.
Maybe Fred wrote other poems and love notes to Lorraine. But I’m sad because so many people don’t really tell–tell from the heart–others about the way they feel. It is often to painful to say in person, so writing can be an option.
This web blog is dedicated to helping others put their words down on paper and delivering the thoughts to the loved one before the person is gone from our lives. Maybe it’s a move, or a marriage, or a child moving out of the house. Maybe you are writing a goodbye to the ‘old’ you as you start fresh on a new journey of life.
Please write down your thoughts and give them to your loved one. It’s good for you and wonderful for them. If you need help writing your letter, check out my Tips On How To Write Your Own Last Goodbye Letter.