January 1, 2013

For You

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 1:33 am by letterstoelias

 

 

17yrs ago this night you walked into my life . . . despite it all, because of it all, and in a heartbeat . . .
for you . . .

And, I plan to write more about the night soon, but for now I’ll share this . . .

new years

Even though we met on New Years, and shared the next 13 together, this is one of the very few (and blurry, thanks to a drunk friend) photos of us together on New Years (many were spent in the kitchen of one of the restaurants you would have been working countless hours at that day/night).  I believe this photo is from 1999, and you barely made it to me ‘just’ before the stroke of midnight . . .

And now – though still not exactly always ‘easy’, I can look at this photo and others like it, smile, and wonder how I ever got to be so lucky.

Happy New Years, My Love,

~C~

P.S.  I Love You

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December 25, 2012

Christmas is here again . . .

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 12:15 am by letterstoelias

This used to be one of my favourite Christmas songs:

Christmas is here again, stand up and cheer again
Let’s leave our heartaches and sorrows behind
All that I want is to be here beside you, all that I need is right here in my arms
All that I want is to know that you love me, and this will be my finest Christmas time

I’ve shared it with the girls now and then, as I can hug them in my arms and feel the words ring true – but it has still been a tough one (among SO many others) to listen to these past few years.

Four.

This is our fourth Christmas without Elias.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fathom it.  As each year passes I think it will still come as a shock.

I tried so much harder this year to feel more of the Christmas spirit.  I tried to not let the pain hit quite as deeply.  And, in some ways I actually managed.  Reminding myself how the days leading up are so often worse and attempting to shake that off helped a little.  Being ridiculously busy at work definitely helped a lot – even if only to make me too tired to even think about much else than how tired I was (though, I can’t complain much about that, as I need it to be busy! but, I ran myself pretty ragged . . . )

We did an activity advent calendar again this year – or, at least we tried to.  As things often go with me, I didn’t ‘quite’ get it out on time.  By the time I got organized enough to even start, it was December 9th and we had some serious catching up to do! We had a (rare, and what would be my last) store free day and I wanted to dedicate it completely to the girls and ‘winter/christmas’ activities.  I stayed up late the night before trying to clean, start a few decorations, and get organized for the day so as not to lose time – it felt so worth it when I heard the girls’ excitement when they woke up . . . that is, until I heard them decide that elves must have done all that hard work.  Damn elves got all the credit!  Ah well, the magic in it for them was worth it in the end.

We had a really great day – snowman pancakes, candy cane doughnuts, trekked out to the woods and cut down our own tree, peppermint hot chocolate (a few food related ones it seems . . .), Santa visit, etc.  It was busy, but we had a LOT of fun (though, I ‘almost’ fell apart when driving back with our tree and that song ‘Christmas Shoes’ came on the radio . . . .).

IMG_9656-2

As I put the girls to bed that night, I felt good about all we had done, and the fun we had in it all.  I hopped in the shower and was just thinking about how proud Elias would be.  Standing with my hands on my hips and the water as hot as I could bear on my back, I smiled, and felt him smiling back.  I whispered words in my head to him, felt his love in my heart, and imagined his answers.

Then, as I almost literally felt his arms go through mine and wrap around my waist to hug me, felt him kiss my cheek and whisper in my ear how proud he was, I lost it.  Completely.

One second, standing proud with a smile on my face, the next fighting to stay standing and coughing out tears in a magnitude I haven’t faced in some time.  And, I just. couldn’t. stop.

I don’t know how long it went, but once the water faded from hot to warm, I knew cold would be coming soon and I finally forced myself to turn it off and grab my towel.  As I buried my face in it with tears still coming, I suddenly heard E at the door.  She was bringing me something from her bedroom – she hadn’t fallen asleep yet – though she hand’t heard me crying.

She realized pretty quickly when she saw me, however, that I had been.  She asked what was wrong.  Nothing like this to snap you back out of it all – but I just told her that I was thinking about Daddy.  About how proud I knew he was of us and what a great day we had, but that also made me miss him a lot as well, and I was feeling sad from missing him.  She then asked if I could snuggle with her some more.  Of course I did.  She let me know that she misses him a lot too.

From then on, the last two weeks were incredibly busy.  My parents were away for part of it, so I was looking after their dogs as well, the girls had their Christmas concert at school, E performed two numbers in a local telethon fundraiser, dentist appointments, skating day at school (another moment in which Elias would have both laughed hysterically and been incredibly proud as it was C’s first time on ice, and after spending the first few minutes screaming, she ended up doing great), along with spending at least part of every. single. day. at the store.

I’ve felt Elias’ presence around in many other ways as well.  Sometimes it feels as if he’s just trying to slap me in the face to remind me that he’s still here.  Guiding me to things I needed to see.  To things I was thinking about finding, but not even looking for.  Messing with my lights.  I was even completely floored with a visit from an old friend of his family’s today – an amazing, beautiful woman who sang at his funeral.  I hadn’t seen her since, but had been thinking of her just the other day – wondering if there was a recording of when she sang – and in she walked.

Still, as I sit here after Christmas Eve dinner with my parents and my sisters family (which I am SO happy about since it’s been quite a while since we’ve had Christmas with them) and looking forward to spending the day with them tomorrow, the fact that Elias is not here still just hurts so, very much.  Beyond words.  No matter how much I can feel his presence or how much Christmas spirit I can muster . . .

The girls wrote messages/drew pictures to Daddy, which we put in his stocking tonight, as we have done each year without him.  They love doing it and it’s always been a positive activity for them – though as C was drawing her picture (of Daddy as an angel) I heard her simply say ‘All I want for Christmas is Daddy back’.  Heart breaking.  But, I also understand the sentiment.

We will have fun with my family tomorrow.  I’m hoping we will ichat with both of Elias’ brothers and their families tomorrow too.  And, we will miss Elias.  Deeply.

* * * * *

Merry Christmas, My Love.

~C~

P.S.  I Love You

August 23, 2012

At This Moment

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 9:45 am by letterstoelias

It has been a whirlwind of a summer.

Company coming and going, little trips for the girls and I.  Big steps. Work.  Home.  Exhaustion.  Fun.  Hurt.  Hugs.  Tears. Smiles.  Pain.  Joy.  Grief.  Love.

At this moment, in the other room E is quietly reading.  C is in dress-up clothes, humming to herself and playing quietly.

In this room, the dishwasher is humming and I’m sitting with a mug of hot chocolate.

The last two days have been a little on the rough side, so I need to take these little moments of peace and soak them in.

Soon we’ll be off to grocery shop, the bank, check in on the store, paperwork, etc.  The little cloud and rain that started the day is slowly giving away to the sun breaking through once again.

In comes C with a self made connect-the-dots for me to fill in.

She asks how to spell Daddy, practices writing it, and is working on drawing pictures of him.

Life rolls on.

~C~

P.S.  I Love You

October 13, 2011

A Breath Away

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 9:36 pm by letterstoelias

The other night as I was putting the girls to bed, after the lights were out and we were all laying quietly, I could hear E breathing in an odd manner – not bad, just playing around it seemed.

I looked over at her – it was dark but our twilight ladybug was shining the constellations on the walls, and it was just enough light to see her.  She had a hand a few inches in front of her mouth and was breathing on it.  I asked her why, and she said she wanted to feel how far her breath went.  Of course I asked again why, and she said,

“Because that’s how far away Daddy is.”

After the happy shock wore off, I smiled and let the warmth, sincerity, and truth of her beautiful words sink in.

She said she remembered it from a song lyric I had played for her once.  I told her I was so glad she understood it, and asked her what song it was.  She couldn’t remember much other than “A breath away” maybe with “from you” or “from where you are”?

I spent about the next hour or so googling song lyrics with those words, and the closest I could find was the Josh Groban song, ‘To Where You Are’.  I don’t doubt she’s heard it as her Nana is a big fan.  I’ve been known to like a few of his songs and likely listened to this one before, but as the lyrics are quite a trigger for me I know I haven’t listened to it in ages.  I played it for her, but she said that wasn’t it.

I can’t seem to find any others (though there is an Enya song with a lyric about being a ‘heartbeat away’ . . . I’ll have to play her that one and see)

She struggles with her loss, though she tries to hide it.  It’s not constant, but it’s there.  She has expressed interest in talking to someone about it, so plans are in place.  Even though it will never be the same as having her Daddy here, I hope she believes her words as much as I do . . .

And, here is the Josh Groban song (ironically someone made a video to it with scenes from the movie P.S. I Love You)

~C~

P.S.  I Love You

September 17, 2011

Wasted

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 2:27 am by letterstoelias

“Love yourself—accept yourself—forgive yourself—and be good to yourself, because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things.” -Leo F. Buscaglia

One of the things I have a hard time with these days, is feeling like so much of our lives, my life, right now, is wasted.

I’d never been one to have much self confidence.  Struggled most of my life with fairly low self esteem.  It drove Elias crazy.  He, of course, wanted me to see myself the way he saw me.  Always.

And, there were times when he was here it was easier.  I could feel just how much he loved me and what I meant to him.  Looking at myself reflected in his eyes made a big difference.  But it was still difficult to believe it for myself much of the time.

When I became a mom, there was another shift.  I grew in confidence.  I loved the experience of pregnancy and childbirth, knowing what my body and mind were capable of, and then raising these tiny little pieces of the two of us.  Completely dependent upon me for every aspect of life.  Like seeing my heart beating outside of my body.  Unconditional love.  Of course it’s by no means easy and there were, are, and will be countless times I doubt myself as a mother – but it has brought a new level of care and respect for myself.

When Elias was sick – when caring for him . . . I don’t know that I paid much attention to it at the time, but looking back I do so with a new sense of confidence in myself.  And since he died, having survived the last 2+yrs without him, it has grown still.  It’s not to say that I enjoyed any of it (I gather that’s understood?), but I take pride in what I dealt with and the way I dealt with it (for the most part).

I can’t even begin to explain how much this messes with my head.  To know that it took him getting cancer and dying for me to finally be able to see in me what he saw all along.  To finally be able to look inside myself and appreciate what I see.

It’s hard to accept liking what you’ve become in the wake of the the loss of someone you loved more than life itself.

I know it’s not because ‘he’ is gone.  I understand that it’s based on now knowing just how capable I am, after having to handle what I’ve been given.  I understand that this experience has taught me how to love deeper.  To enjoy what I have.  To let a lot more of the little stuff slide.  I like to think parts of this were with me all along.  I believe they were.  Why they couldn’t have been fully realized without losing Elias, I don’t know that I’ll ever understand.

Spending time last year in dance class, eating healthy (for the most part), pilates at home – my body has responded well too (though I’ve slacked a fair bit this summer . . . . ).  I’m strong.  Fit.  Regaining my flexibility.  I’m in the best physical shape I’ve been in in years.  Only now I appreciate that more too.  The ability to look into the mirror and like what you see looking back is powerful.

But, it all feels like a waste.  He’s not here to see that.  To celebrate it with me.  No one is.

(I suppose that almost makes my point moot if I’m talking about ‘self’ appreciation and complaining that someone ‘else’ isn’t here . . . but maybe someone will understand my late night rambling.  It’s not that I’m trying to rest my value on what someone else thinks of me – it’s about having someone else to appreciate it with me.)

I also have these amazing kids.  They are beyond loving, sweet, joyful, funny, smart – you name it.  And he’s not here to see that either.  No one is.  Of course I have my parents, close friends and family – but it’s just not the same as sharing it with another parent.  Someone who is as invested in their lives as I am.  Someone to celebrate it with day in and day out.  I’m glad I’m here for it, but it feels like part of their amazing energy is wasted.  I can almost see it floating around.  Waiting.

Sure, in all of this – both with the girls and myself – I can see Elias smiling.  I can feel his pride.  I know he is happy.  But it still feels like a waste with no one ‘here’ to appreciate it.  I believe that what I have been through, the person I am now, and what I value in life would make me a better partner.  A better wife.  Yet Elias is gone, and I’m alone.

I try to accept that it is ‘enough’ to appreciate myself and my girls on my own.  That is what really matters anyhow.  Those moments are there.  But I can’t stop thinking, “wouldn’t it be nice”.

I know tomorrow (today) I’ll be proud of myself too.  Running my first 5K.  Helping raise money towards an amazing cause.  Running with Elias in my heart.  Hoping that one day the girls will understand some of what I’ve done and how hard I’ve worked to honour them and their dad, and myself.  (and if interested, there’s still time to donate!  http://www.razoo.com/story/Run-Walk-Hope-Around-The-World-5.  I just hope the rain holds off and there are no cougars out (there’ve been a few sightings around here lately)!

* * * * *

My Love,

What I wouldn’t give . . .

~C~

P.S.  I Love You

September 13, 2011

Busy, busy, busy

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 4:40 pm by letterstoelias

I sure hope this gets posted . . . . I currently have 4 drafts waiting.  Posts I’ve tried to write and have not yet found the time/energy/words to finish.  My poor little blog =(

There is an important reason to try and get this one finished though, aside from it’s usual purpose of ‘getting stuff out of my head’, that is.  This coming Saturday will be a first for me.  I’m participating in a 5K.  My first ever 5K.  But, not any 5K – it’s a fundraiser for the Liz Logelin Foundation.

For those who are unaware, the Liz Logelin Foundation was created by a friend, Matt Logelin, in honour of his wife Liz who died 27hrs after giving birth to their first child Madeline – moments before she was to hold her for the first time.  She never got the chance.  Through his loss, Matt joined ‘the club’ that no one wants to be in (but the members rock!), and in doing so met many other young widowed parents who were struggling financially in the wake of their loss.  He saw a need, and set out to help fix it.

The Liz Logelin Foundation is how he does that.  I have met recipients of grants and have seen first hand the difference this can make in their lives.  Every year at this time, the foundation hosts a Celebration of Hope in Minneapolis as one of their main fundraisers (and if you are going, be sure to bid on the lunch box I donated from my store!).  The following day is the Run Walk Hope 5K which will take place in Minneapolis, or anywhere in the world!  There is still time to register if interested, but if you aren’t up for running a 5K yourself, I’d be happy to do so on your behalf!  How great is that – support an amazing cause, without having to get off the couch!

If you would like to donate to my 5K, you can do so here:  http://www.razoo.com/story/Run-Walk-Hope-Around-The-World-5?referral_code=share#.Tm-E6JNKiPw.facebook  Any support would be SO greatly appreciated!

As I said before, this is my first 5K and I am doing it with really no training at all (and I’m FAR from a great runner) – but this is a cause close to my heart, along with the people who created it and the people it helps, so I felt compelled to take part (and am thrilled that my Dad offered to run along side me!).  Of course Elias will be at the forefront of my mind as I run, as will my girls, and all those who struggle to put food on their children’s plates alongside dealing with the loss of their spouse.  I try to use these opportunities to show them ways we can, through our loss, find a positive way to help others.  I may have not created a foundation, but as I told Matt, I’m happy to try and add a drop or two in the bucket he created.  The weekend of these fundraisers would have been Liz’s 34th birthday (she would have been my age), and I can only imagine what a gift she sees this as.

In other news, we have been beyond busy lately (which is in part why I can’t seem to finish a post!).  I started writing a post on the last day of August about how crazy that month was, and so far Sept hasn’t slowed down a bit.  Eibhiln has done a week of grade one, and Caia had her first day back at preschool today.  I went to Camp and had an amazing time, and can’t wait to share some photos.  We’ve been trying to get down to the beach here and there.  Hopefully I can finish that post about August one of these days, a recap of Camp, and add some of the September news in it!  I also have a few other issues kicking around in my brain I’d love to clear out sometime soon.  Sigh.  In the meantime, please watch this amazing video put together by the director of Camp Widow – featuring widowed people, who are MORE than widowed, and because Hope Matters

(and I’m also sending MUCH love to my dear friend Dan, who’s face you see on the clip for this video . . . in memory of Michael who died Sept 13th, 2009 . . . )

Cheers,

~C~
Elias, I’ll be running for you on Saturday . . .. try not to laugh at how pathetic it looks!

P.S.  I Love You

July 27, 2011

In the nick of time . . .

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 3:42 pm by letterstoelias

I didn’t want to hold too high of a hope it would be done today.  I didn’t want to get let down.  But still, of course I hoped.

She knew how important it was and was hopeful too.  And I know she worked hard to make it happen.

She told me, after all was said and done, that many things could have gone wrong – but nothing did.  They even managed to fit in my last minute engravement request.

And it’s done.  Today.

* * * * *

It’s done, and I have it back.  Today – 15yrs from the day we first kissed, and 12yrs from the day he asked me to spend the rest of our lives together.  From the day he gave me a ring.  One of the three, that now makes ‘the one’.

Every time I think of that it brings me to tears, but in a good way as well.  I can hardly stop looking at it.  I can feel it’s weight . . . it’s definitely a ‘thicker’ ring than what I am used to, but it had to be.  It represents so, very much.  I appreciate the weight.

It sings to me.  It shines with the love we shared from that first kiss 15yrs ago this very night.  Fireworks (this post from 2yrs ago will explain that . . . ).

Of course, it’s not what I envisioned.  When he slipped the first ring on my finger 12yrs ago, I never imagined I would be standing at his funeral less than 10yrs later.  I never imagined I would eventually feel the need to take it off or change it.

But, death got in the way.

I still suffer from ‘phantom ring syndrome’.  Now that I have removed my claddagh ring from my wedding ring finger too.  I feel the ‘itch’ of a ring.  The need to twist it.  The need to rub my thumb across the band to ensure it’s there.  Sometimes the need to hide my bare finger.  And, I know I will miss my rings as they were.  It’s only been a few hours, but I’m hopeful that the new ring, though on the other hand, will help cure some of this.  It’s the same thing, only different.

And the claddagh?  It has now moved to my middle finger on my left hand, turned with an open heart.

I don’t know if there will ever come a time when a new ring or two will sit on ‘that’ finger again (and though I hate speculating about that on this particular day . . . ), I’m happy that I would be able to show, on my hands, just how big the heart is, how strong, how tenacious, how expansive, and capable of fitting in more love than anyone would have thought possible.  How you don’t have to let go of one, to allow for another (anyone with more than one child understands this).

I know Elias felt damn lucky to have my love, as I was to have his.  We loved each other fiercely.

No, it can’t erase the heartache I still feel.  I still ache to spend this day (and every day) with him.  I have shed tears of sadness already on this day.  But my heart is happy to be able to wear this ring.  I will carry my love for Elias with me for life, and my ring will show that.  It was the absolute right decision for me.  There was not an ounce of regret.

I look at it, and – especially on this day – I can feel him smiling at me.  I know he would ask me the same question again if he could, and I know I would, without a doubt, say ‘Yes’ once again.  And, in a way, I am.  I am saying yes to carrying his love forward with me, for the rest of my life, no matter what else comes my way.

Before

After

After

(not the greatest shots, but I was rushing and will take more soon . . . also, there is still a ‘little’ gold leftover, and our diamond ‘chips’ from our bands to be incorporated into the girls rings when $$ allows)

* * * * *

My Love,

Amongst the sadness of what I am missing today, I feel you around me.  I feel your love.  Your warmth, and your smile.  I can picture the scene in the car the night we first kissed, 15yrs ago today.  I can picture the scene in the restaurant when you proposed 12yrs ago today.  Thank you, ever so much, for trusting me with your heart, and for taking care of mine.

I know you felt lucky as I did to share in the love we had.  I feel honoured to have been able to love you the way I did, and still do.  And as our love is stronger than death, it will remain represented on my hand, through my new ring, carried with me for the rest of my days.

This ring reminds me that I was loved, fiercely.  That I love, fiercely.  That I am worthy of the best kind of love.  And, it makes me smile.

~C~

P.S.  I Love You

The beauty that can be, when love is cultivated.  Our love is a sacred thing, like the mysteries of the night.  In the darkness unwavering, and still so strong come the light.  Our love is an infinite thing, like the suns last rays on the sea, as it sets low in the west and the moon rises.

May 21, 2011

One Third

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 2:33 am by letterstoelias

Well, I haven’t gotten around to writing my ‘2 yr’ post.  I still hope to do that at some point – there is a lot to share – but to say I’ve been in a bit of a ‘funk’ in the past month would be an understatement.  A bit of quicksand here and there.  Trudging through mud.  It’s not been easy – I’m surviving it, but I don’t believe with much grace.  My ‘strength’ feels pretty damn weak to me.

Along with this, life has continued to be incredibly busy – the girls were both hit with the stomach flu once again (though fortunately this time I was spared), my parents have been away for much of the month so there has been a bit more juggling to do with child-care and store coverage, especially when the girls were sick.  Above all else, I miss Elias more than words could ever express.

And now this.  Yet another ‘would have been’.

11yrs.

May 21, 2011 ‘would have been’ our 11yr wedding anniversary.  I had the honour and privilege of being Elias’ wife for 8yrs and 11months.  I guess if I have to be a widow, I’m damn proud to be his.

This will be my 3rd anniversary without Elias (which boggles my mind).  We were only able to celebrate the date of our wedding together 9 times (and that’s if you include the day we were actually wed).  This means that I will have already celebrated 1/3rd as many alone as we did together.

* * * * *

How quickly our time apart is catching up with our time together.  It hurts to know this.  To feel it.

As I lay in bed tonight, I slipped my rings back onto my finger.  How strange they looked there at first.  But in no time the familiarity takes over.  This is how it ‘should’ be.

I slide your ring on with them.  Yours loosely dangles, clinking and jingling with mine.  Though this gives me some comfort, this is NOT how it should be.  Your ring should be on your finger, your hand in mine, your face smiling at me and telling me you’d marry me all over again.  If I close my eyes, only if I close my eyes . . .

How I wish it could be with them open.

Instead, I lay here alone in our bed, knowing with all my heart that I would live this hell over again if I had to, to once again say, “I Do” without hesitation.  Love is worth it.  You were worth it.

Yes, I slipped my rings back onto my finger, but probably for the last time.  For today they will stay, but it is no longer right.

No matter what happens with our rings, you will always be my husband, and I will always be your wife.  We never spoke of death in our vows, and death may have parted us physically, but it did not affect the vows we spoke to each other 11yrs ago.  I WILL love you, unconditionally, throughout eternity.

I Chelsea, do take you Elias to be the Husband of my days, the Companion of my house, the Friend of my life. To fill you with laughter & a Love, unconditional throughout Eternity. We shall bear together whatever trouble & sorrow Life may lay upon us, & we shall share together all the good & joyful things Life may bring us. With these words, & all the words of my Heart, I marry you & bind my life to yours.

~C~

P.S.  I Love You

October 24, 2010

I believe this to be true

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 9:21 am by letterstoelias

 

When I die, I want your hands on my eyes:
I want the light and the wheat of your beloved hands
to pass their freshness over me once more:
I want to feel the softness that changed my destiny.

 

I want you to live while I wait for you, asleep.
I want your ears still to hear the wind, I want you
to sniff the sea’s aroma that we loved together,
to continue to walk on the sand we walk on.

 

I want what I love to continue to live,
and you whom I love and sang above everything else
to continue to flourish, full-flowered:

 

so that you can reach everything my love directs you to,
so that my shadow can travel along in your hair,
so that everything can learn the reason for my song.

 

Love Sonnet LXXXIX by Pablo Neruda

(thanks to Taryn for sharing this on Widow’s Voice – it really hit home, in a good way)

~C~

P.S.  I Love You

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.

~C~

P.S.  I Love You, fiercely.

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