Dear Ken

My love,

June 1, 2015 means it’s been four years since you left this world. No matter how much time passes, it doesn’t really make sense to me. Our life together is so vivid and textured, it only seems like a blink of an eye since we met, let alone fell in love and lived 10 incredibly happy years together. I hope it always feels that way.

I’ve learned a love like ours is too powerful—too potent—to stop or fade away. It can’t be contained by time or space. It’s enduring. Eternal. It’s not even about missing you more times per day than I can count anymore, it’s more about how you are a part of me; how in some lovely and seemingly small ways, I still have you with me. Just like you told me.

I still mourn the loss of you and our life together. I still get angry and sad that you’re gone; that I’m single and pushing forward on my own. But those times have become private, smaller moments when I see or experience something that reminds me of you. I try to honor us and what we had by speaking of you unabashedly to friends or strangers if it feels right. So many of the things we learned from each other are still applicable today. And I try to share the value of our experiences with others.

I don’t feel tethered by grief as I have felt in the past. My feelings about this day are more nostalgic and reverential than sad. (See previous years 2014, 2013, or 2012.) People have asked me why I’d want to mark this occasion as I have every year–whether publicly or privately. I say not because it was a difficult day, but because it was an important one. For you. For me. For us and our family. My world changed, and it’s worthy of marking.

There have been ups and downs in the intervening years, but I think I find myself in a good place–in all respects. It wouldn’t surprise you to know that though my life is fairly social, I still need my alone time. Though as you would be less surprised to know that my alone time involves a furry Chow Chow. (Something you would know about.)

You would recognize and love most of the faces who are in my life. You’d also get along famously with the new ones—particularly the ones who push me out of my comfort zone—a place you felt ridiculously comfortable and a place I try to remind myself I belong once in a while.

You’re the voice I hear in my head—whether it’s your silky radio voice or that of one of your myriad goofy characters—the one that propels me forward and encourages me. I hear you when I’m running. I hear you when I’m pushing myself physically or creatively. I hear you when I try things or do things you enjoyed. Like using chop sticks or when I’m camping with friends. I hear you when I’m sad or when I’m disappointed, comforting me. I hear you when I’m gently doling out relationship advice to our friends. You are the best parts of me. And as time passes, I see that more and more clearly.

Time moves me forward whether I have wanted it to or not. It’s that taken time to figure out—to continue to figure out—the role you still play in my life and my world. But sure as I am that you would be proud of me and the life I’m living, I’m just as certain June 1 will never be like any other day of the year for me.

You are still as loved as you are missed.





4 Replies to “Dear Ken”

  1. Beautiful words for a beautiful relationship. Endings are slightly easier when we look at them as change rather than goodbye. As you articulated so perfectly, he is always with you. Such a lovely tribute to him, the life you created with each other, and your love. xoxo

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