Dear Carl:

Why is it so difficult to put down on paper some of the thoughts of my heart?  Perhaps because I feel so empty.  Next month it will be one year since your death.  I do feel with the aggressiveness of the disease there remained so much I wanted to say.  I have read your medical journal and know that you as well as I were consumed by the swift progress of the cancer.

Carl, dearest, I am so grateful you did not suffer any longer.  The last few weeks were so difficult even with the help of Hospice. I learned so much about dying from you in the way you accepted what could not be changed.  I remember you asking me to get tickets to the performance of Mozart’s Requiem and our tears in the realization that there was no doubt this was the last performance you would attend.

Thank you darling for the almost 37 years of our marriage, for the happiness, stability, and security you brought into my life.  As I was the child of divorced parents you recognized my insecurity in accepting love. I do, however, realize we were both imperfect in our love and certainly there were many valleys yet your commitment to our marriage was always present.

Near the end you told me you had a good life and you were ready to go. The tribute to you as a person and the life you lead was witnessed by your many colleagues, community, and organization memberships.  Oh, so many friends!

Dearest, forgive me for the sorrow I brought into your life.  It is a great comfort to me knowing you shared with me a perfect love. I am saddened I failed to understand that our time together was running out, saddened that I was taken up in the nursing tasks and did not take every opportunity to hold you in my arms, and tell you how much I love you.

The cemetery at Mission San Luis Rey marked your birth and death dates, and above is the quotation from Shakespeare’s Hamlet:

Good night sweet prince and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest

 Abbot Claude of the Prince of Peace Abbey wrote me often after your death, our real sorrow is that we are left behind, and God has not forgotten us.  He is preparing a plan for us too.

I love you always, Myra.

Elizabeth Coplan

Elizabeth Coplan is a playwright and founder of The Grief Dialogues. She is also a 40+ year PR and marketing veteran. Her professional and life experiences in numerous cities throughout the U.S., including New York City, San Antonio, Los Angeles, and Seattle, create an unending library of writing themes.

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