A Letter To My Husband
I decided to write you a letter because since you've been gone I never really expressed to you what feel and how I’m doing. Besides the many times when I screamed or whispered that I miss you and that I wish you were here, I never really talked to you - I’ve talked plenty about you - and I really miss that. I miss our conversations, our prayer times, our laughs, our planning things together. Gosh, I even miss our fights.
I want you to know that today, on the day we would celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary, I miss you more than I ever did, and I love you with a greater intensity and passion then when I said “I do” 19 years ago.
This morning I visited the place where we got married. I sat there listening to Lauryn Hill singing “I can’t take my eyes of you” and I cried remembering the many times when you would sing that to me. Just like on our wedding day, I found myself once again surrounded by small groups of Asian tourists. They scattered quickly away when, unintentionally out loud mouth spilled the words “This isn’t right, I wasn’t ready to be without him, I’m still not ready…”
I don’t know if I was saying it to God, to myself, or to you, but regardless of it, those words have been in my heart these whole time. It’s been 419 days and acceptance still seems as far as the east is from the west. There is a part of me that cannot accept that you are gone, and there is a part of me that is angry and devastated because it understands the truth is, whether I accept it or not, you are gone forever.
I don’t really ask ‘Why’, I don’t try to understand “Why". Death is part of life and that is reason enough for me. But knowing this fact doesn’t bring me acceptance, or comfort. Knowing it just makes everything seems pointless, and I really struggle with the notion of living a pointless life.
As I look back on these 419 days without you, it’s as if a bomb exploded inside of me at the very moment when you died, shattering my identity, my life, my very essence, into millions of ragged pieces. I have spent so much time trying to put the pieces together, but much like a real explosion, too many parts of me are now lost forever while some of the parts I have managed to salve have been damaged beyond repair.
There were times when the pain of losing you have been so intense I wanted to die. Not that I sit here contemplating or planning how to end my life - in part I feel like my life already ended when yours did - but many times I just wished I could close my eyes and simply cease to exist. I just don’t want to hurt anymore. But no matter where I go, or with who I am with, or what I’m doing, I am always hurting. And the thought that this may be the perpetual state of my life makes me weary of living.
If it wasn’t for our girls, I don’t think I would have had the will to wake up every morning and continue onwards. They have grown up and matured so much, darling. Thank you for giving me the most wonderful gifts of all, which are our beautiful girls. They are the joy and pride of my life, and when everything within me is falling apart, the are my reason to keep going.
I want you to know that our girls are alright. It’s been very difficult for them to lose you. They hurt a lot and they miss you a lot. There have been times when I don’t know how to help them in their grief journey, but they are surrounded by good friends, and they have grown closer to each other.
Taimane got baptised. She made the decision to profess her faith in Jesus and to find her own relationship with God. She is also going on her first missions trip in five days and she is super excited. I know it will be a life changing experience for her, and also know that you would be so proud and supportive of her. She is so much like you - she has a heart for people and she has a servant attitude. I look at her I can see that she carries you Manna and that she will be more than ok - I believe she will find her way in this life and that she will shine bright.
Kiana has really embrace dancing and she is taking ownership of her talent. You would be so pleased and so proud of her. She performed a few times with her ballet school and with her K-pop dance crew. She is sooo good, honey, you should have seen her. If you where there you would have been screaming her name like Taimane and I were. She sometimes struggles to share her feelings, but I know that she misses you and that she holds you close to her heart. She is quite suborned, like you, but that also means that like you she has been so strong.
Both of them are young women now. They are so lovely, so beautiful and so smart. And they both have a great sense of humour, which you and I know they inherited from you.
I worry about them all the time, because I haven’t quite got this whole parenting-solo thing yet. It sucks to be honest. It makes me angry, disappointed and afraid that I have to raise them alone. I saw a father and daughter having lunch together yesterday and I was jealous, because our girls will never get to share a simple meal with you, let alone have you there when they are struggling with something, or to laugh at your bad dad-jokes, or ask you for money knowing that I already said no...
They both worry about me, because truth be told, sometimes it seems that they are doing better than I am. I would like to tell you I am ok, but you know me too well to buy it. I am never ok, honey, and I don’t know if I ever will be. Taimane said that she is sad all the time, even when she is happy. I can honestly say that it’s the same for me. So, I am learning to be ok with not being ok. I am learning to allow myself to laugh without guilt in the good moments - and I have had good moments - and to cry without shame during the bad moments - which are more than I can count. I’m trying to hold on to Happy-sad, but I kinda suck at it.
Shame, guilt and regrets have come and go often this last year. There is so much I wish I had done differently, so many things I wish I could ask you for forgiveness, and so much more that I wish I could have had the chance to share with you. The time we had was too short, my darling.
Lots of people tell me to be positive, but I struggle to find joy in my day to day. I wish I could share all this with you becauseI know you would understand and you would tell me to have grace and patience with myself. It’s hard when people lecture me on what I must do, how I must think positively, what I must focus on. I want to yell and tell them to shut up. But I don’t. I just force a half smile and a nod, as I silently screen on the inside. And during those times, I get very angry. I get angry at them for adding to the pressure I’m already under, I get angry at God for taking you, I get angry at you for dying, and I get angry at myself for playing this stupid game of pretending I’m appreciating their stupid advices.
I don’t want to think about the positive things we had in our lives together, what I want is to have that life back. I want to talk to you and hear your voice, and see your face, and feel you kiss my neck in the morning, and have an argument about where go out for dinner to celebrate our wedding anniversary... but that is not gonna fucking happen, is it? So I don’t want to be positive, I just want to cry, and scream and allow myself to be mess.
It’s not that I’m not grateful for the good things we had, I am very grateful. I am grateful to have had the time we did have together, even though it was not enough. I am grateful to have shared my load with you and helped you carry yours. I am grateful for the love that we shared, for growing and maturing together, for leaning to forgive, for knowing you and being known by you during the few years we belonged to each other.
I am grateful that you loved me, that you adore me, that you believe in me and that you made me feel like I was the most amazing woman in the world. I am grateful that you showed me what it is to be valued, desired and cared for. I am also so grateful that our daughters witnessed how you treated me, with respect, kindness and admiration, and that you have set an example for them when they get the chance to choose the man they will love and be loved by.
But this gratitude makes it even harder to reconcile the fact that you are not here, because it just highlights how immeasurable is what I have lost, and I struggle so much with the fear and the loneliness that your absence has brought into my life. I miss you, honey. These words,I miss you, don’t even begin to express the vast emptiness I carry, or the depths of how much my soul longs for you.
So today, on the this would have been our 19th anniversary, I want you to know that you are loved, by me and by our girls. We remember you and we cherish you. I truly hope you are completely healed, completely whole, and completely at peace up there in the arms of our Heavenly Father. I also want you to know that you are and always will be the love of my life, and if had the chance, I would say “I do” all over again.
I love you forever, my beautiful Maori Warrior.