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Write a Letter to Your Dead Spouse

It's an obvious exercise, but it's a good one. If you want to know what you're thinking and what you're feeling, writing is one great way to figure it out, and writing a letter to your dead husband or wife can be an excellent way to put it all out there. After all, who was once your most trusted friend? Who did you talk to about your most important thoughts and feelings? Well, you can still do it (although, sadly, it will be entirely one-sided.) Never mind about that.

Here goes:

Dear Ken,

It has been 5 years and 8 months since you died. Such a long time ago. It feels different today than it did a couple of years ago. I'm not sure how I feel about the distance that has grown between us -- the distance of years, and time, and experience -- my years of living while you have been dead.

I used to spend so much time wishing you were still living on this earth, still my husband, still a father for Natalie and Alec, still here to share a certain life we had made together. I wished that what had happened to you and to us had not happened. I was really very afraid.

I am still afraid sometimes, but not nearly as much. I also know that I can't live in a wishful state, wishing for something that will never be. I've worked from the very beginning on acceptance. Acceptance has been my mantra so that I could go on living without you.

You feel so far away from me. I've had to make too many decisions without you. I've had to go it alone even though you were once my most trusted, most loved partner and friend. I've had to go it alone.

Sometimes I feel sorry for people who are lost and asleep, who don't realize that they need to live without imagining that there is a better, different, more interesting place to be than right here and right now.

Sometimes I am afraid that I can't keep you alive enough Ken. Whatever I can do, it's not enough. You deserve so much more but you got exactly what you didn't deserve. You got to die.

I'm lying. I do wish you were still here. But there is nowhere to go with that wish. Nowhere to go. It's like wishing for my own immortality.

I'm sorry that you aren't with me or your children anymore. I'm sorry that your story had to be a tragic one. I'm glad we chose one another from the moment we met. Thank you for choosing me. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for giving me your wonderful family and for making two amazing children with me.

We didn't finish our story with a satisfactory ending. I hated the ending of our story but the beginning was wonderful.

Goodbye for now Ken. I am so sorry to leave you.

Love, Jill

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Comment by NikkiPea on January 3, 2012 at 11:59pm

When I knew Spencer was nearing his last few days on Earth I created a blog just for him. I wrote letters to him in the last week he was alive. I told him how much I enjoyed the day with him - what exactly I liked about it. I was as specific and detailed as I could be. I knew one day I would want to go back and read the positive things about his last days here. I would then read what I wrote to him the next day. It was a very special moment we shared. I now continue to write in that blog. It's a privet one.. just for me. I write to him... not necessarily as he was still here - but just to get my thoughts out. Telling him how much I miss him... what I miss... how I feel. It helps me sort through some thoughts. It really does help to write. 

Comment by Ace on November 28, 2011 at 8:13pm

Thank you for sharing how it is for you 5years and 8 months out.

Duke has been gone for 3 1/2 years and your blog sounded as if I or a thousand or more widows

could of written it, very universal message(we could never of written it as well as you did).

I do not feel so alone after having read it. Thank you.

Comment by Jill on November 7, 2011 at 2:08pm

Dear Lifeistooshort,

Thank you so much for sharing this letter with us. This is just one way and one place where you don't have to hold it all in. I can relate to much of what you've shared here, especially the part about taking things for granted. I don't think I'll ever make that mistake again. I am sorry to hear your pain, but glad to hear it too...because it's there and it's better to let it out from time to time. I will be thinking of you because I know this is a hard time of year with all those holidays plus your loss. My husband died in mid January, but all the trouble started in the fall and so this time is hard for me too.

Comment by lifeistoshort1975 on November 7, 2011 at 12:13pm


It will be almost 11 months come Nov 20th, and then a whole year Dec 20th. Seems as though it was just yesterday. I have cried everyday but possibly 2. I wish you would of agreed to go to the Dr that Saturday night, when you called and said, you couldnt seem to catch your breathe" Little did we both know you were dying in front of our eyes, and we had no clue, the blood clot that I had once touched in you leg, killed you. you thought you had a chest cold, Kiersten thought it was her fault that you had died. I am still a mess, but I dont let anyone know. I hold it all in. Pretending, that this is such a nightmare and that I will wake up, and I will be at the other house. I will come down stairs and you will be on Facebook, giving people shit, or putting some political statement to get everyone in a riot. We need you so much. I have no one to talk to, no one to cry to. I am so empty. And I finally believe in that statement. "You dont know what you got, until it is gone!" True statement there, I took alot of things for granted, and I am sorry for that. I know you didnt like Christmas, but when you brang that Christmas Tree in the door last year already put together, because you baught it off of the display. I thought that was so darn cute. I said "If, that is not redneck, I dont know what is" and you said. "I thought I did a good job" lol what a goof ball. I miss your humor. I miss you heart, I miss your everything. You had so much to give, and so much more living to do. Now your back dont hurt, you are pain free, We are left here empty. Love always Your Wife-ee

Comment by Jill on September 28, 2011 at 5:03pm
Willo, time passing without those we love is very hard to grasp. It slips away and there's nothing we can do but live without. Hopefully, we can learn to live the best we can without them. Hugs to you.
Comment by willo on September 27, 2011 at 3:39pm
i buried my son 25 years ago and now looking back i dont feel like i was ever benny's mom it was so long ago and life kept going and it makes me so sad to realize some day i'll feel like i was never steve's wife that time will keep marching on with out him or our us
Comment by Jill on September 27, 2011 at 9:07am
Thank you Carolynne. It makes me feel happy to think that I might inspire someone to get writing. I think it really helps calm anxiety, at least for me.
Comment by rodsgurl09 on September 27, 2011 at 2:58am
Jill, thanks for sharing. I've not had time to write the last couple of weeks, and I can feel my anxiety worsening. You've nudged me to start writing again.  Thank you.
Comment by Jill on September 26, 2011 at 7:11pm
Thanks Richelle. Not having the extra voice and set of hands is huge. Just huge. I have learned to give myself lots of extra credit for raising two kids all by myself. If you want to moan about the boys in your writing, go right ahead!
Comment by twinsmum on September 26, 2011 at 6:21pm
Thanks Jill...I love reading your blogs. I have just started journalling...was trying to capture memories mainly but I think it will also develop into letters or thoughts at the time....a work in progress.   I just hope I don't moan in it too much about the boys who are driving me crazy :(  Not sure if they would of been much different if Craig was would of just been an extra voice and set of hands...although they probably would of listened to him a bit more maybe....Anyway was thinking of writing something down this morning so now I will go to it.  thanks for your sharing x

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