Dear, dearest Emily:
We were partners for over 58 years. And now that you’re gone my whole world has imploded. You were my best friend, lover, supporter, and the mother of our wonderful children. I know that countless others have gone through the pain and fear I’m feeling, but that doesn’t make me miss you any less. I feel like a vice grip has taken hold of my heart and my life.
People have told me that I am a strong, capable man and that I will get through this. I want to yell at them, but instead I put on that old fake smile you used to chide me about and put on an outward face of being strong and capable. But no one sees me when I’m alone, in a big empty house with my thoughts and pain.
I realize that others have their own lives to live. They soon forget about me and my difficulties—and they should. So tell me, Sweetheart, what should I do for myself? You were always the smart one and could talk me through any situation. I know you would say to help others and I’ll be helping myself. Was it Yogi Berra that said, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” So I’ll listen to your voice in my head that says to keep on moving. Keep on smiling. Keep on putting one foot in front of the others and trust that I’ll make it out the other side. Another silly quote from Forest Gump: “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’ll get.” Until you bite into it. That’s not a bad thought for all of us to remember.
I feel close to you while writing this. I might write to you again. I don’t ever want to “get over” you. But I do want to learn how to laugh again and I think that, together, we can do this. I’m still looking to you for help, and I can feel you guiding me.
Thank you for being my loving wife. And for continuing to help me. I don’t know how you do it, but I feel better now.