Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Journey

Dear Ellen
I went to Chicago last weekend, city of big memories. It was. as all these "firsts" are, a bittersweet time. I spent our anniversary at the art show and no, it wasn't the same without you. I was surrounded by wonderful, sweet friends, my art family who took good care of me, but all of us missed you. Betsy, Danielle and I spent the evening over an impromptu dinner and a lovely bottle of wine, trying to make sense of the world with our "therapy". It helped, but I don't think we figured out the point of our existance on this planet, which is what I was really hoping for...

I suppose it's common for people who have experienced a loss to question the laws of the universe. Maybe it's because we have plenty of time to think about it now. Plenty of time to wonder about purpose. Plenty of time to ponder the definition of God. Plenty of time in a 16 hour drive from Chicago to New Orleans. Do you think it's because we want to make sense of it out of curiosity or fear? Will I understand it all when I leave this world? What's the point? I've always had this notion we are here to conquer our fears, to learn a particular lesson and when we have the puzzle solved we are whisked away somewhere to enjoy our success. I think I witnessed this in you during the course of your illness. No, I don't know what your lesson was, but I do believe it culminated in knowing what deep love is. I could see it in your eyes as you came closer to dying. There was an acceptance, a knowing, as though you had found the answer to your own questions. One of the last times I think you recognized me, it was only for short moments, you held my hand tightly, you looked at me clearly and smiled with such love. It said everything. Not so much about me, although I felt it too, but it said everything about your own peace. It did affirm my belief in something beyond this existance.

That's all I know for sure. The rest is still a mystery. No matter how many miles I drive, no matter how many impromtu therapy sessions I have. I'm not supposed to know the answers yet. I am hoping, when I get whisked away myself, we can get together and talk about all these things. Maybe clean up some unresolved corners. Maybe enjoy some long, rich, and all knowing laughter.

I'm looking forward to it.
Much love,

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Dear Ellen
I've been thinking about you a lot these past couple of weeks. It's been five months now. I know it doesn't seem like a long period of time, but it feels like forever since I've seen you or heard your voice. I think I would give everything I own just to hear your laughter again. I'm afraid I will forget it, forget the sound of it, forget how much it was a part of who you were.
Susan came by the gallery last week and we had therapy. The kind you have when grief is taking up too much of your life. We are both sad and somehow comforted by voicing it with each other. Grief is such an odd thing. I can be caught up in such a small world, deep in despair over haunting memories of your illness. They are so vivid to me, so toxic and yet I am so unaware I am drowning in them. Susan reminded me there is more of you to remember than just two months of sadness. She also reminded me you would never want to be remembered that way. She is so right. You would want me to remember the good, only the good. The Ellen who was happy, healthy and very much alive.

So. I'm working on it. Next week is our anniversary of eight years. This is what I choose to remember. Not the loss, but the blessings. The memory of our first days together, the cards filled with messages of devotion, the celebration of times and years spent with each other. The joy, the love and yes, above all, the laughter. That is my gift to you this year. I promise to remember your laughter. You deserve nothing less.

Happy Anniversary my love.