I became a widow just 9 days ago on January 26th. Many of you had no idea I was married, because I kept that information close to my heart. Those friends that go back more than a few years will remember my wedding. The hot spring day when I pledged my heart to my husband and his four beautiful little boys. We made a promise that day that we never broke: through sickness and in health – till death do you part. A promise that was profoundly tested and became a tremendous gift in shaping who I am now.
The story of why I needed to keep my personal life private these past few years is a story that I’d like to someday tell. The experience has been enlightening, and should be shared… when I’m ready. As I’ve found in so much of life, the trials are not all about darkness – these past five years have been the best of my life. Even now I’m smiling through my tears. I’ve found strength in living my truth, and asking “What would the great spiritual teachers do?” “What does unconditional love really mean and how am I to live it?” “What lessons am I to learn in this?”
I know at my core, that my soul experienced what it came here to experience through this marriage: love, kindness, and lessons on compassion. Life is not black and white. It is made up of experiences and flawed human beings. We’re all so flawed. And yet, that’s our opportunity. We’re given the chance, as those flaws reveal themselves, to love.
The answer is love. It always is.
And now, I’ll sprinkle my husband’s ashes on the mountain top, as close to the heavens as I can. I’ll ring the bell, just as he taught me, calling our guides on the other side; calling my son, Shawn; calling my mom; calling my husband; and calling God.
Why share now? Because I’m mourning and I need the support of my community. I’m sure there are many questions, but for now please hold off on asking them. I’m going to need to take baby steps. Just know that a person that I loved and who loved me, is gone. The rest of the story will be told in its own time.
The following is a love letter that I will forever cherish. Written on Oct. 1, 2013 while on a camping trip in N. Arizona. I had left part way through our trip to make a quick detour to Las Vegas to meet up with my sister-in-law. Upon seeing my husband again, he gave me this letter.
Oct. 1, 2013
My Dearest Sara,
The other day I promised you a love letter, and now is the perfect time to fulfill that promise. I contemplated this while I was sitting by the fire last night and I realized that I have known so many more ways to love since we met than I have ever known before. I am truly grateful that you have provided me the honor, the heaven sent blessing, of having the opportunity to love you, and to be loved by you.
I am going to do a little rambling here; if you don’t mind. Sorry about the repetition, but I want to say “I Love You” as many times as I can, and here is my chance – I have a captive audience.
I love that you are an infinitely kind and generous person. The kind of person who was willing and able to stand with me during these very difficult months. For being the kind of person that is willing to do what you do for me, and risk the kind of shame, public shame, that is so especially hard for you to take.
I love your voice. Have I ever mentioned that as soon as I heard it, I knew I ‘was a goner’? Yours is the only truly angelic, heart-string, thrumming voice I have ever known. I don’t think I can count the number of times I have heard you say something mundane like “g’morning” and thought to myself – Awww! Never mind the countless times you have told me you loved me. And then there is your singing – that is nothing but one big, long, out of body experience all the way. Simply divine!
I love your hands – the feeling of love you express to me when your hand is cupped in mine is the perfect sweetness. Your delicate fingers reflect the sweet nature of your voice in physical form. The way you curl your hands in a gesture of gentle safety and comfort when you sleep has always reminded me of a child dreaming the dreams of endless innocence.
I love how you let me be of service to you. You allow me to grow and expand beyond myself by taking me out of myself. I can say that is no small task, and I think you deserve a pat on the back for that!
I love that you have an open mind, supported and nurtured by an open, clear and beautiful heart. You are such a good person, and I have been so proud to be your partner. It was absolutely worth the wait to be with you, and I don’t regret a single moment of my time spent with you.
I love how you curl your feet inward when you stand, sometimes. I think that this is your feet trying to get in on the curling action that your hands get to experience every time you sleep.
I love that you muse about the inner lives of cows. That speaks to your compassionate, creative spirit, and it is an absolute precious personal quality.
I love that you ‘like’ me, as much as you love me. I could never express how much that means to me. I have never known that in a partner, and it makes all the difference in the world.
I love that there is so much forest to walk in, but that you would prefer to walk close to me and hold my hand.
I love that you were willing to go camping with me even when “you are too old for this shit”.
I love that we can still finish each other’s sentences and frequently remark that we were clearly born from the same soul embryo. Twin white feathers, actually.
I love that you loved my boys, and treated them as your own. The universe has recorded your love and kindness and it will never be forgotten. Ever.
I love that I sit here next to the fire in the woods and I want to write you love letters.
I love that I miss you and can’t wait to see you soon.
I love that you compare me so favorably with your dad, a man I know you have the absolute highest respect for, and in whose integrity you trust completely.
I love that your wonderful parents accepted me and took me in as their own. I love each of them for making such a beautiful contribution to the woman, my soul mate, Sara that I will treasure and hold dear through this, and all of our lives together.
I love that you have a wonderful, witty, smart, beautiful and precious daughter, whom I have had the opportunity to get to know and love through your love for her. Your mothering is a true testament to the strength and purity of your love for her. She is so indescribably lucky.
I love that you shared your son, Shawn, with me. You gave me the opportunity to share in your joys, sorrows, love and infinite sightings of 11:11. To love him through you was, and is, a true joy of mine.
I love that you taught me, and expressed to me, the greatest degree of tenderness a human being could ever know. It was a warmth, gentle and enveloping me always. I longed for that for so long even though I couldn’t name it. But I did eventually name it – Sara.
And most of all, I love you for simply being you, and being willing to be with me for our short time together. You are truly one of the greatest blessings in human form I could have ever asked for.
Love You Always, All-Ways, and Eternally,
OK, so I guess that I love you even more because this letter is not done. I took pictures of me in the glen writing you even more verses of love, and saved for you the ‘heart leaf’ that I was drawn to from far away. I hope you will treasure them. The song “Awake” by Josh Groban was playing and connected me to you in a most profound way.
I realized that I had intentionally left one of my loves to the end, but I had not realized that the “end” of the story would be pages and pages later, so I plumb forgot about it!
I love your curves! Goodness gracious, how could any full and true letter of love from me not include that statement of love? Your figure has always evoked the most feminine of energies and I am quite sure the goddess Venus looked just like you. The softness of your form reflects ever so generously the softness and nurturing of your spirit.
I love that you love me as you do so that I may have the companionship, dignity and love in these days of my life… the love of a good woman can never be overstated, and you, my dear, are the woman “they” are talking about.
I love that the highlight of my day is getting to lay in bed with you holding hands.
I love that you miss me when I walk three rooms away. Clingy? No. Loving? Absolutely. I love that we share an office because otherwise we would be spending the day more than 8’ apart, and we can’t have that, can we?!
I love that you stood up to me and gave me shit when I needed to grow. Hopefully, I decided to take the right path more often than not.
I love the fact that it looks like I’m going to need another notebook to finish telling you all the ways I love you.
I absolutely love your sensitivity. Fortunately we are both of the same wave length so we had the opportunity to resonate like timing forks, rather than clashing like cymbals.
I love how the food that you have cooked for me always tastes better than if I had cooked it since you have such a special ingredient to add the flavor – love. Cheesy? Maybe. True? Absolutely.
I love that you like to “visit”. Who does that, anyway? Must be a love thing.
I love that you never got what a “remote” was. Looking for something you called a “zapper” kept you busy anyway.
I loved to come and sit at your feet by your chair after I said something stupid or was being stubborn. And after I apologized, you would tease me jokingly, “it’s what you’re supposed to do – humble yourself before the Lord.” Yep.
I love that I am quite sure you have exclaimed, “Good Lord!” at least a couple of times while reading this, and I know well enough, you’re loving it too.
I really love that I’ve always wanted to be the best person I could be with you, not only because you deserved it, but because I felt an inner welling of goodness within me that let me know I was loving and demonstrating my Greatest and Grandest version of myself in that moment.
I love that you’ve been such a good teacher to me. You helped me grow as a teacher, parent and student of life. I felt so good growing as a parent under your caring and insightful guidance.
I love that commercials make you cry.
I love that you wear extra rings on your adorably cute fingers.
I love that I can always trust you. I see your faithfulness and Integrity as the gold standard, and it always made me feel safe. Especially if anyone else ever had the slightest clue of the treasure you are there would be a line of suitors a mile long in front of the house!
I love that you respect me. That’s a big one, you know?
I love that you are a self-reflective person, like me. It always works better when there are two.
I love your kindness of spirit. I love that you appreciate mine.
I love that it makes me giggle every time you say, “hello?”, even if it’s in an email or text because I can totally hear your precious voice saying it.
Well, I guess the time has truly come to finish this letter of love because I need to start getting ready and head into town to pick up my love.