‘Dear You: I am terrified. I am so scared. Because the last time I felt this way, he left. It was out of his control.’

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Dear You,

I am supposed to write you a letter like all the other women on the internet do when they find somebody after they’ve lost a great love.

I am supposed to write you a letter thanking you for coming into my life.

I am supposed to write a letter thanking you for taking care of me, and my child, and list out all of your greatness. I am supposed to write you a letter telling you how extraordinary you are. How caring you are. How, in spite of it all, my heart is full.

I am supposed to tell you how amazing you are. And how you have stepped into big shoes and how you have taken on this role so brilliantly, even though it is a role I’m sure you’ve never thought you would have.

I am supposed to gush over you and tell you and everybody else how happy I am and how you have healed my heart and how I wasn’t ready to love again but you came in and whisked me off my feet and made me believe in happy endings.

Yes, I am supposed to tell you how thankful I am for you. And how much I appreciate you.  How indebted I am to you for loving the broken me.

I need you to know that this is all true.  It is all accurate and exactly how I feel. It will never be lost on me how lucky I am to have two of you in my life.  Two perfect men for me.  Two great loves.  Two of you who captured my heart and how lucky I am to be able to walk this wondrous life with, one before the other.

But I have to tell you something else first.  I have to write this letter.

Dear You,

I am terrified. I am so scared. Because the last time I felt this way, he left. He didn’t want to, of course.  It was out of his control. But, my heart is still bleeding. And I am still petrified.

There are so many times when my happiness lives in a place of fear. There are so many times when my heart is confused.  There are so many times when I am waiting for the bad to come.  There are so many times when I am waiting for you to be ripped away from me.

And, it will never be the big things that trigger that.  No.  It will be Sunday mornings over coffee, or Tuesday nights talking about the day. It will come watching you sleep, or singing in the car, or high fiving you when something finally went right. It will come when you make me laugh, when you hold me tight, and when you rejoice in some success.

Because those are the moments when I memorize you.  Those are the moments when I breathe you in and try to hold my breath.  Those are the moments that are so raw, and so real, that I cannot help but fear losing them.

That fear turns to dread.  It becomes anxiety.  I am suddenly terrorized with the idea of losing you and feeling that pain all over again.  So, I push.  In spite of how meant for me you are, I will push you away.  I will sabotage and pick fights and cut you off at the knees.  I will attack, and I will insult and I will try to get you to leave.  In fact, maybe sometimes, I will actually tell you to go.

Because I am so afraid to feel that loss again.  I am afraid to feel like everything is out of my control again.  I am afraid to be helpless again.  I am afraid to live in limbo again and not know what the end result will be.

I am sorry.  I am truly sorry.

I have lost before, but loss is not exclusive to me.  Many people have lost before, and so many have learned to love again.  To heal.  To move forward.

I want that so badly, and I am working on achieving that every day.  I know I have no right to ask, but please, please be patient with me.  I am healing my mind.  I am healing the way I think.  I am healing from the shock and total despair.

But you, you are healing my heart.  And it might take time for me to trust that.  It might take time for me to believe that something good can happen.  It might take time to feel like you’re not leaving, too.

So, thank you for taking care of me, and my child, and for being full of greatness. Thank you for being extraordinary. Thank you for being amazing.  You have stepped into big shoes.  You have taken on this role so brilliantly even though I know it is not a role you ever thought you would have.

You are showing me how to be happy again. I wasn’t ready to love again but you came in and whisked me off my feet and are making me believe in happy endings.

Yes, I am thankful I am for you. I appreciate you.  I am gushing over you.  I am indebted to you for loving the broken me.

In spite of my fear; my heart, is full.

Love,

Me

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Diana Register, 45, of Meridian, Idaho. She is in the process of writing of a book about her larger journey with grief after her husband’s pancreatic cancer diagnosis. She has been chronicling her journey with grief in a series of stories for Love What Matters:

‘With his body full of tumors, he kept working’: Wife’s tremendous grief after husband’s cancer diagnosis

‘I could barely speak’: Grieving woman struck by coffee barista’s ‘simple act of kindness’

‘There is a fallout from death that extends beyond the first year. Please, don’t forget us in the second.’

‘We do not think of dispatchers as heroes, but that night, Jeff was mine.’

’25 days before the one-year anniversary of my husband’s death, a Facebook memory popped up’

‘I let my 15-year-old daughter get a tattoo, and no, I don’t care what anybody has to say about it.’

‘Having him gone for eternity is impossible to comprehend’: Grieving wife finds ‘signs, winks’ EVERYWHERE from late husband

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