I still remember the first time I looked into your dark brown eyes and how drawn I was towards you. I could sense the innate honestly that was behind them. It was like I could see your soul and I loved it. I had known you forever and not at all and it was a wonderful feeling.
I remember the last time I saw your eyes. They were still that amazing chocolate brown but laced in your eyes was a sorrow so deep and unending that it clouded the beauty of your soul. Your eyes that night were laced with despair and they were hauntingly desperate.
I have been thinking for a long time now about why you chose to leave.
I have been frustrated and angry. I have despaired. I wondered how you could leave the kids and me because we are amazing people full of joy and hope and love. We loved you. You had to have known that. We made it obvious. The frustration manifests itself in being the one left to raise these children on my own. The anger comes from your choice to leave us and think that we would be okay with that. The anger comes when the kids cry and I can’t fix the pain they feel deep in their souls as they try to wade through the reasons why you would leave them behind. I don’t like your choice. I never will but I am at peace with it.
I realized the other day that you loved us so much that you felt the only way to let us fly, soar and enjoy this world was for you to exit it.
You knew the road would be terribly difficult if you stayed. You despaired at knowing you might never feel completely happy again; that this sadness rooted deep in your body would never completely be obliterated no matter the strength of the round-up used. You knew that counseling, medication, friend and family could only accomplish so much, but that there would be days you just felt worthless, alone and miserable. You knew that because you had tried to heal and it worked and stopped and worked and stopped. The battle raging for your happiness was fierce. I’m sorry you lost.
I am still frustrated with you.
If you had let us talk about your depression I know people would have come to help. I am frustrated that you felt so ashamed of this disease that you didn’t ask for or bring on yourself. I wish you would have been honest about it so everyone that loved you could have helped and maybe prevented you from reaching the edge of despair that you felt. That frustrates me but I can’t change it so I have let it go and decided all I can do moving forward is be honest about depression.
The biggest thing I realized is that you chose to leave not because you were selfish and wanted to end your pain but because you loved us.
I remember the time you wrote me a poem about your love for me. That moment taught me that you knew my soul and all the good and bad and still loved me; that you had paid attention to me and knew my hopes and dreams and hurts. I am grateful to have been loved that deeply and completely. That is a gift. It is because of that love that I know your choice to leave was for me and the kids. You knew that the despair you experienced stopped you and because it stopped you, it stopped us.
You thought the sacrifice of your life would give us freedoms we were missing.
It has and it will continue to do so. The kids don’t have to be quiet anymore. I can go out and be with friends and other families and not worry about what will happen when I get home. We are free to follow dreams that scared you. We are free to speak and express ourselves about depression and the pain it causes. That freedom allows us to fix the pains we have and will enable the kids to live a life that is hopefully free from the despair you felt.
Do we miss you? We do.
We miss your sense of humor and wit. We miss your knot tying abilities. We miss your hugs and your voice. We miss your hammock swinging. We miss snuggles and the sharing of good books. We miss you with every breath we take but we will not misuse your misguided gift that you gave us. Our hearts may ache for you on days but we will find a way to use the freedom you gave us to make the world a better place; a place where gentle giants can thrive.
We wish you had seen another path to take that night. We hoped for that choice but we have to live with what we are given. It hurts that you thought we couldn’t help you. The hole you left is pretty big and it will never be completely filled but I promise I will do my best not to squander the love you showed in that last act of your life. I know you loved me. I know you loved the kids. I know you thought this would be best for us and that you had no malice in your heart. You didn’t even kill yourself for you. It was an unselfish act where you left this world in order that we might be safe, financially stable and free to dream. I get that.
That is why I can forgive you. I hope you can forgive yourself.
You did the best you could. That is all we are asked to do in this imperfect world. I still love you. That doesn’t mean I’m not upset with you because you hurt me to my core but I can understand you just like you understood me when I made mistakes. I know you knew in your heart that I never considered your suicide a good option. That thought never crossed your mind. You just chose to leave because you loved us and wanted to give us the best life you possibly could.God has whispered that to my heart lately that you loved us so much you felt you had to leave.
I think with the last breath you took as you pulled the trigger of your gun, that your thoughts were filled with love for us and the hope that our futures would be bright. God has whispered that to my heart lately that you loved us so much you felt you had to leave. I know you also realize that we would have happily fought your demons with you and I think that is a battle we could have won.
I think I am doing well because I don’t feel like I still need to forgive you. I just know you loved us and that we would survive. My moments of frustration and anger are few and mostly when I am tired. Those moments happened when you were here. You know that. It’s okay. We will be okay. We know we’ll feel your love again and maybe they will let you sneak down for the special days in our lives and we can feel you with us in those moments when a grandchild is born or a child graduates or when a heart needs healing. We will watch for you and be grateful for the love you showed us while you were living and in your last act. I still say there was another way but I can live with this.
I have to move forward and onward. I have to.
I know that may hurt you but in the same breath I know it is what you would want. You want me to love again. You want the kids to have good people in their lives. You want us to follow our dreams. We won’t stay in a holding pattern. We have to move forward. I know that it will hurt you if I find someone else to love but I also know you will be happy because I am happy. It will hurt you if another man steps in to father your children but in the same breath you will be grateful for that man and the love he gives the kids.
I never thought on the day I first looked into your eyes that this would be our reality. Not once did this situation cross my mind but while we cannot know which cards we will be dealt we can decide how to play them. I will play them well.
How can writing to your loved one help you to move past anger and regrets and feel forgiveness and peace?
How could this help your children heal?