Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone

April 29, 2022


I heard the song Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone, by Glass Tiger, as I was driving. Listening to this song, I was smiling and crying harder and harder, all at the same time. This song brought me back to all these snapshots of our life together:

The day in the library when I said, “I am going to marry that man someday.”

The night we actually met, which led to us dating. The kiss you gave me on our first date. Dancing with you to a song in front of the pickup lights. When you helped me move into the dorm at MSU (how I missed you while I was away at college).

Snapshots of when you asked me to marry you, of our wedding, of our honeymoon. Remember when the trout came with the head still on? I started giggling and had to ask the waiter to have the head cut off so I could eat it. I could not eat something I felt was looking at me.

Snapshots from when we went to Minnesota and South Dakota…

for my interviews teaching children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.  The excitement we felt when I was told I had the job in St. Cloud, and you found a job right away because luckily I saw the manager walk past me so you could talk to him.

Living in the trailer until we found our first home. I can still see us in the car in front of the house, in disbelief we had found our home. It was the best home to bring our children home to, making a life that was all our own. The tears we had when we sold it after living there for twenty-one years.

Moving back to Bottineau, and all the adventures we have had in the eight years we have been here.

If the worst-case scenario is to happen, I will never forget all these memories and many more.

I will never forget YOU! You have been by my side for thirty-four years, and that is not something I will ever let go of. I hope beyond hope that you will still be with me for more memories I can add to this letter. We have so much more living to do!

With all my love –


PS This letter was written prior to Mitch’s passing.  Mitch, I won’t forget you!  Unitl we meet again – love you!

Did this letter resonate with you? I would love to hear about it! 

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  1. Twenty years ago this coming November, I got the call that no one should ever get. My only daughter had been killed in a car accident. It was the call that changed my life………forever. There's the person I was before, and the person I became after. I've survived, we're resilient that way, we do survive. Somewhere in it all, the grief, the never ending pain, the what ifs and the if onlys…. I've found a level of peace that I live with. I share my life with young women, about her age, with interests similar to hers. It's kept me from being angry or bitter. When I think of her, it's to recall a moment that made me smile. And, until we meet again, I love and miss her. And often I recall what a very good friend said to me during the grieving……'do not ever let another's death, define your life.' It was her way of telling me that my daughter did not want me to grieve incessantly for her,,,,,,,but to live the days that I have on this earth to the best of my ability. I hope that I have done that.

    1. Oh Bonnie,
      I am truly sorry for your loss. I have said the only thing that could be worse is the loss of a child or grandchild. Right now my grief is new and raw but deep down I know that I will be OK, even in those moments where I don’t know if I can go on for the ache of my broken heart. All these firsts without him are difficult. I cry when I hear ACDC songs because that was one of our favorite bands and we went to see them in concert three times. I’m not sure many can say ACDC makes them cry. haha I know your daughter is proud of you!
      Huge Gentle Hugs to you,

  2. Oh my gosh!! 😢 what a “moving my heart” letter! Nicole you amaze me in so many ways! WOW! Just WOW! You had the most amazing love for each other. Cherishable moments. Unforgettable.

    1. Nancy,
      Wow, that is such a great compliment: “moving my heart” letter. It helps me in my healing process to share lil “inside moments” to our life together, now, in my grief and before in my anticipatory grief. Thank you for continuing to take this journey along with me. Means more than you know.

  3. Oh Nicole, I love how you have been such an inspiration through your words.
    Please, never apologize to me about how you feel.
    We lost our son Lance Michael in 2010 to a brain tumor. We fought hard for 7 years, all of his elementary years. But boy, was he a fighter.
    Hugs and love to you sweet Nicole! Please say hi to your sister from me. You two were always so sweet and caring in school.
    Renae Branson Rayner

    1. Renae,
      Thank you. Your words mean so much because, sadly, you are suffering an immense loss. My heart breaks for you. No one should have to go through the loss of a child. Whenever Mitch and I went to Roger Maris, we always saw at least one family dealing with what you dealt with. We would always look at each other and say we were lucky because it wasn’t one of our children. Even in the worst of Mitch’s pain and he was dying, we always stated our gratitude that someone, out there, still has it worse.

      I can feel your hugs and love from afar. I hope you feel mine as well. Haha we tried to do our best in our actions in school to now. You just never know what someone else’s story may be.

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