Shock First Year Without You

March 16, 2024

Dear Mitch,

As I reflect on this past year without you,

there are many emotions. One that is strong is shock. Shock! I made it a year. I am shocked that you are really not going to walk through the door after an elaborate “joke” to show me how much I love and miss you. It shocks me that 365 days have passed when it feels more like three days.

Relief is another emotion.

While others with similar cancer lived longer than you did, the cancer stole their quality of life just like it did yours. They only had more months of pain, being unable to eat, wasting away, and having to do the awful treatments that leave a person feeling sicker. I miss you more than anything, but I love you enough not to have you live a longer life like that.

I felt selfish at times with my grief.

I realize there have been many deaths since yours that were just as profound as yours. Every death is profound because it is someone who is extremely special who has left this world, so we weep for this loss. Death is something that will happen to all of us. So sometimes I feel selfish that I continue to grieve deeply for you. Yet, I know I can’t rush grieving anymore than at this turtle’s pace.

Even though I have said it many times before, Zach’s cancer has complicated my grief.

I would also say the “joyous” events, such as Lexi and Ethan’s wedding and the birth of Colson so soon after your death, have additionally complicated my grief. I know these seem irrational; grief does that, but it’s the grieving of dreams we had doing these joyous events together side by side.

Grief has secondary losses along with it.

Each thing you miss, fear, or worry about is a little loss within the grief landscape. As I have written before, I never thought of any of this prior to grief. As I start going into my second year of grief, I pray for a reprieve in the depths of it. I miss being able to look at all the blessings in my life and feel loved and grateful to the core of my being. I also miss laughing and smiling.

With all my love,

Nicole

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