It’s Really You!

February 14, 2024

Dear Mitch,

There are a couple of things I wish

I had done while you were still alive and at your funeral. Everything was happening so fast, and I was on autopilot. Just going through the motions. The only time I could breathe somewhat was when I was sitting with you at the hospital. Time is strange in a hospital. It seems to drag on and go at the speed of light. It is always a hurry-up-and wait game.

One thing I wish

I would have done during this time was to ask one of the hospital staff to video what you said to me when I would walk into the room when I came for my “shift.” I didn’t want to bother the burdened hospital staff, but I have wanted to see your face and hear you say this to me countless times since you died. You would have this look of astonishment, wonder, and agelessness on your face, and you would say, “Oh my God, it’s you! It’s REALLY you! Oh, I love you so much!” My heart would feel both joy and despair at the same time. Joy in hearing how much I meant to you, despair in knowing I had only days left with you. I realize I will never forget these words, but to hear them in your voice and to see your face would mean the world to me.

The other was at your funeral.

I goofed up by not explaining to the people when to line up with their fishing rods as you were walked down the aisle at the end of the ceremony. The last thing is that I wish I would have put recorders or notepads or something at each table. Then, as people were talking about you, especially at the high school classmate table, they could record the memories they had of you in high school. I learned a couple of things about you that I never knew at the prayer service from classmates.

It was incredible to have so many show up at your funeral to honor you.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with the yucky weather and COVID. It consoled me that the community was grieving along with me. Even in the weeks after your funeral, I could feel it. Maybe it was just my imagination because I wanted it to be that way, but I know many individuals who continued to struggle to wrap their heads around your absence and how quickly all this came to be. Just nine months. Why? Why do some people get more time to live a full life after cancer but not you? My consolation for this question is remembering the suffering you went through. No one should have to endure that kind of torture. Even though it is a struggle not to have you here with me, at least I know you are no longer in misery. I love you too much to have you here, continuing to be in torment.

With all my love,


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  1. Tears are pouring down my face and I hope Nicole that you know how much your dear husband loved you and we know he knew how much you loved him! What a love story ❤️ and even though that love story continues I wish it could be with his physical presence by your side. But, we love the ‘no longer suffering, we never want a loved one to hurt.’ And after times like a funeral there are always “I wish I would have……” but you know what, I am sure it was beautiful and at times like this we barely know our own name and it is difficult to function rationally.

    1. Marianne,
      So true. And you know, the other reason I didn’t ask a health care professional take a video was because it felt more important to me to be “in the moment” with Mitch, knowing I didn’t have much longer with him here on Earth.


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