Sunday, August 23, 2015

A Letter About Letters

Dear John,
 
I need to talk to you about something that makes me a bit uncomfortable. So sit down and prepare to help me figure out what's going on in my head. You've always been good at that, and I need you to do it again.
 
I've noticed that my letters to you have changed. That isn't surprising - I've been writing to you for well over three years, and so much has changed during that time. I've been trying to figure out just what is different. It's not the way I feel about you; it's not that I wouldn't give everything in this world to be with you. It's not emotion; it's subject matter.
 
What I talk about to you is different than it was three years ago. I spend more time now telling you about what's going on in my life. Maybe I was doing that from the beginning; maybe it was just that what was going on was largely processing of the past. I still talk to you about things that happened to us years ago, but not as often. And, on reflection, it seems that our conversations are getting more normal.
 
We always talked - for hours and days and years. We could easily talk for all eternity, and I hope we do. Every night we sat down together and told each other about our day. And that's what I'm doing now. I tell you about work and friends and family and the household and the animals and current events. I send you diatribes and reminiscences and ruminations and hopes and fears and plans and complaints. And it's all just like it used to be when you were here. The only thing is that I can't hear your end of the conversation. I know what you'd say to almost everything I tell you, but I don't get to hear about your day. That may be just as well - if I could hear you tell about being in Heaven, it would make it so much harder to stay here.
 
Thank you - you've made me feel a lot better. I've been feeling guilty about this, and you've helped me to see that it's not a change but a return to normal. You're probably glad; it must have been hard for you to hear how much pain I was in those first couple of years and know you couldn't fix it. It has to be nicer for you to hear that I love my job and the bills are paid and the animals love me and each other. I love and miss you no less. But I'm getting better at living this strange, new life. So our conversations are more like they always were. And that is good. Thanks for helping me understand.
 
Adore you,
Joan.

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