October 21, 2010

Love & Beauty

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 12:50 am by letterstoelias

I’ve been writing and re-writing this tonight some time now.  Flip-flopping.  Back and forth.  I’ve almost given in a number of times, but for some reason I feel like I need to figure this out.

Though I ‘write’ in my head constantly throughout the day, actually committing anything to this space has slowed for many reasons.  A main one being that I continue to struggle with the ‘method’ in which I want to write. I know this isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned this – I want to continue writing ‘letters’, I just don’t know that I can do it each time.  I feel guilt for the idea of not doing so, yet somehow it is becoming harder.  Not writing letters seems equally as hard, mind you.  To say I’m torn is an understatement.  Even as my fingers hit the keys now I can feel tears and anxiety creeping up within me.

My plan is to continue to write.  I know I still need this outlet.  As I wrote my last letter I was in a heap of tears and it had been a particularly tough few days for me.  I was feeling terribly alone, overwhelmed and drowning.  But getting it ‘out’ made me feel just a bit lighter, and the comments that people take the time to leave, always help me through.

I will still write, and my plan is to still write letters, occasionally.  I hate that it feels like just another way of losing Elias.  And, cue the tears.  Should I post this and not change it – this will be the first time since I started writing here, that I did not write as if a letter to the man I love.  A part of me is angry with myself for allowing this to be so hard.  For my reluctance to keep typing.  It’s words.  Just words.  He is already gone, and has been so for 18 months.  Every tick of the clock takes him farther away.  Or, depending on your perspective, brings us closer I suppose. . . .

There is an ongoing battle to quiet the discourse between my head, heart and fingers – but here it is.  A departure.  Elias is still held tight within my heart, even though these words are not directed towards him.  Do not confuse this with ‘moving on’.  This is not a step forward, or backward – only to the side.

As I’ve been trying to write, my fingers naturally go to type the word ‘You’ rather than ‘Elias’.  The power of that makes this that much harder.  Am I not ready for it yet?  Who knows.  I’ve managed through much worse, and so I’ll continue because what I want to say is a testament to how thankful I am for Elias, my love for him, and how much he gave to me.

* * * * *

I spent a great majority of my life struggling with confidence in myself.  Internal beauty, external beauty – I always felt as if I was a pretty ‘good person’, but beautiful???  No.  Elias would get extremely frustrated with me for this.  It drove him crazy that he felt like he could see something so clearly that I didn’t see at all.  Becoming a mother gave me a start in many ways, but I feel like one of the most amazing gifts he finally managed to give me was that confidence.  The ability to see that beauty and strength that he always saw.  To find a deeper love for myself.

It pains me beyond belief that he died in the process.  It tears me up that he’s not here to witness it.  It was growing in the last year we spent together -we went through so much hell, and had never been closer.  I’ve never worked so hard for anything in my life as I worked to keep him alive.  To keep loving him.  I lost one, I didn’t lose the other.  And I can look back at that time and feel proud of myself.

I’ve continued to fight this past 18 months.  Fight to get out of bed.  To get back into society.  To build a new life for myself and the girls.  To maneuver my own grief, as well as theirs, all the while keeping the house running and food on the table.  It’s no easy task and there are still many days, a year and a half later, where it knocks me right back.  Where I feel like I don’t know how I can continue with this life.  It’s exhausting.  But I know I’m capable of so much more than I would have ever thought possible years ago.  I can stand on my own.  From fixing toilets and fireplaces, to holding my children while they experience the worst pain of their lives, and teaching them that love reaches beyond death.  I can look back on this and feel proud.

I’m not unique in this.  There are far too many others who have experienced the same, and I only hope they too know,

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness,and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”–Elisabeth Kubler Ross

There are parts of me that would happily go back to that insecure girl, in order to have Elias beside me again.  To feel my strength within the security of his arms around me.  I know this is not to be, so I will embrace my own strength.  Love for myself.  My beauty.  I won’t need to hear it from an outside source, nor will I doubt it when I do.  I will be thankful when I do.

I’m not saying I am perfect.  I have many, many faults.  I won’t ‘always’ see the beauty.  There are some days when I will feel like a terrible parent/housekeeper/business owner/friend – but I can love myself, regardless.  And I am confident that those who are loved by me will know it with every fibre of their being, and I hope they will feel as lucky for it as I felt sharing our love.  It’s the greatest gift I can give back to him.

Thank you Elias.  For your love, and for always seeing the beauty in me.


P.S.  I Love You, fiercely.



  1. Boo Mayhew said,

    I am sobbing for you because I understand exactly what you meant in this post C. Which ever way you choose to write, just write … it will always be for him and for you and your girls in any event. And fought fiercely, I know.

    I met you in San Diego and you are a beautiful person, in and out. A rarity in this world. He was right about everything about you.

    And you know what? You are paying him the greatest tribute and gratitude for all that he was to you and for you … by being you, by remembering the lessons that he taught you.

    And I for one believe that he can see the results for himself. It’s just that you can’t see him.

    Hang in there, love and hugs
    Boo xx

  2. Wendy said,

    Beautiful. I can relate to your struggle of how to write. I have been considering changing the name of my blog for the same reasons. I’d like to think of it as progress but that saddens me too.

  3. Sheri said,

    Change/growth/surviving/moving on — call it whatever you want; the hurt, guilt and grief never seem to cleave away from that tiny speck of pride that starts to grow inside you for making through each day. Let your fingers type you where ever they want to go. In letter format or not, you honour him still.

  4. I know what you mean about struggling to find the right words to write. You write so beautifully though, and in the end, it has to be you that you write for. That it makes you feel even the smallest better is reward enough. Well done on being so strong.

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Karen Humphrey and Bob Cotter, Bridie C. Bridie C said: On moving sideways through grief: https://letterstoelias.wordpress.com/2010/10/21/love-beauty/ […]

  6. bridie said,

    No words today, just hugs.

  7. Jodi said,

    Maybe you can start a new blog with a new way of writing…and keep the letters coming to Elias, just not as often, and maybe later, it’ll only be your love and thoughts in your head that keep coming to him.

  8. Dan Cano said,

    Hey Chelsea. I just got here to read your recent post, and find it echoing so much of what I am experiencing right now as well. It’s funny how so much of how we now relate to them, or to the world, gets filtered through our blogs. It’s no wonder that making any kind of changes feels so loaded.

    I think it is a natural occurence to begin experiencing things that are new, and struggling with them. I too have wondered if you would make this shift from alway writing Elias directly. Even though I don’t write that way often, I have had my occasional “Message to Michael” posts. Recently I found myself not writing these type of posts as I was feeling different about them. I also worry about making some of the other changes in my life, like maybe taking down more of “our” things, and putting away my cremation necklace.

    Change isn’t easy, yet it does seem to be pulling us in new directions at times, and I feel the need to go with it when I can.

    Hang in there. You will know what is best for you on any given day.

    Love. Dan

  9. Nelly said,

    I just read Your whole blog. Painful. Tearful. No words can describe how You must feel. You, You are strong person. Strong woman. Mother. I’ve cried many times while reading. Feeling so sad. For Your loss. He must be in a better place. No other option.

    Please, take care of Yourself. Of Your children.

    With love from cold Finland,

    • letterstoelias said,

      Hello Nelly,

      Thank you for taking the time to read and to comment. And, of course for your kind, kind words.

  10. Shannon said,


  11. letterstoelias said,

    Thanks to everyone for their feedback, hugs and love. It helps more than you could ever know . . . though for the widow/ers, I guess you do know.

    It was an extremely difficult thing to change my writing style, but now that I’m past it, I think the next will be a bit easier. I still need the letters, but both options will be best for me now – I think.

    Much love and hugs right back,

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