To the love of my life,
It's been two weeks now since I've seen your face. Two weeks since I kissed you, watched you hold our babies, told you I loved you. And I still can't believe it to be true. I can't believe I'm never going to see you walk through the door again. I can't fathom never laying in your arms again. I can't believe you'll never tuck your children into bed again. I can't believe you'll never meet your son. This can't be happening.
Baby, my heart is shattered. Never in a million years did I ever imagine walking through this life without you. I feel cheated. There are so many things we still have to do, so many places to go, so many dreams to achieve together. I don't want to share these things with anyone else. I don't want to go on without you. Even though I know God is there and did not cause this to happen, I can't figure out why He didn't prevent this from happening. We still need you. I still need you.
The last two weeks have been an absolute blur. Your funeral was the most incredible thing I've ever witnessed. You touched so many lives, and I am in awe of the man that you became, especially over the last year. It was a true testimony of your heart, and I know you would have been proud. Your funeral is Canada was just perfect for the other part of your heart, and where you will forever lay to rest. I know that's what you wanted. It seemed ironically fitting to burry you on Opening Day of hunting season, your favorite day of the year.
Speaking of irony, I can't help but feel your presence around everywhere. I used to think it was crazy when people talked about things like that, but I know you're there. I can hear your voice in my head. I can feel you watching over me, protecting our children. It's comforting to know you're there, and yet makes me ache to not be able to reach out and touch you, hold you, or talk back to you.
If there is one good thing out of all this I can say, it's that I have been surrounded by love every step of the way. I can feel your petition of protection over me. Since two weeks ago, everyone imaginable has stepped in to help and remind me to keep breathing. I know you're trying to tie up all the loose ends that you left and get things done that you wanted to do in your life. You're taking care of me through my incredible friends and church family. Your number one concern was always providing for your family, and you're still doing it. People I've never met before are praying and donating. Fixing my car and our home. Coming over and bringing joy to the kids when I have none to offer. I've even noticed you mending relationships that have hurt me in the past, or worried you. I'm humbled to see how many lives you touched. You always had a great judge of character, and that shows in the people you chose to surround yourself with, they are some of the most amazing people I know. I don't know where I'd be right now without them. But even with all these people surrounding me and doing things for me, it doesn't feel right without you there. Someone came and fixed our screen door the other day, and it made me so mad that you weren't going to be around to see it or appreciate it.
Every time I feel a moment of strength, like maybe I can take the next step, something reminds me of what I'll never have and my chest starts to burn, my eyes well up. Each morning there are those few moments as I wake up and realize my reality, I can feel my heart rate rise as I come to terms with what I have to wake up to: Emptiness. Loneliness. I've lost my purpose. I feel guilty for laughing, or even smiling. I look at our beautiful babies and it physically hurts to know I can never give them all the things you provided. To know they won't have you around for their sporting events, to take Caleb and Carter hunting and fishing, to walk your daughter down the isle someday....oh God, baby. This is so hard. We've prayed for you every night, asking you to be our angel and watch over us. I give them a kiss from you every night, and promise them that I will never let them forget you. But they're so young. Faith told me yesterday she missed your tickly beard, and I lost it. What happens on the day she can't remember what it feels like? When they forget what you smell like? What your voice sounds like? They're so young and innocent, they don't deserve to grow up without you. The best thing about becoming a mother was watching you become a daddy, and it kills me that I won't get to witness that again.
I still feel like I'm watching all this happen to someone else. Not me. When I realize it is me, it's too much to bear. I just wish I could make sense of it all. I wish I knew why. I walk around feeling numb, not knowing what to do next. I think about the box of letters I gave you on our wedding day, each one to be opened on different milestone anniversaries. I'll never get to celebrate them with you. I even wrote you a letter to open if I ever died before you. I wish you had one for me, just so I could have some source of strength right now. I think about all the vacations we'll never take. The grandchildren you'll never hold. I think about the letters I have from you, from when we dated and random days since then. I'd never experienced true unconditional love until I met you. No one has ever loved me as much as you did. And I fear no one ever will. No one could ever replace you.
I've never in my life experienced a paralyzing pain like this. I have to put up a wall to get through the day. Over the weekend, I sang at the rally you and I were supposed to do together. I knew you'd want me to go, and I promised you I'd get through it, but it was hard. I couldn't think about the words I was singing, about how great and wonderful God is, because frankly right now, I don't feel them. But I know you did, and I know others need to. It was good to be with friends, but it hurt. It was healing and hindering for me at the same time. But I know you were blessing people over the weekend, and that's why I got through it. It just didn't feel right without you there.
I don't know when I'll stop crying myself to sleep. Right now, it seems like never. I don't know when I'll stop thinking about you every second, or picturing you falling from your tree stand. I don't know when I'll stop waiting for you to wrap your arm around me and put your hand on my belly to feel Carter kick. I don't know when I'll stop picking up the phone to text you something funny or ask you a question. I don't know when I'll stop thinking about your family and the pain they're suffering as well. And Mark and Jon and the horrific experience they've had to go through, finding you. I don't know when I'll stop staring at your side of the bed, aching, praying that if I close my eyes hard enough and ask God enough, you'll appear when I open them.
This pain may never go away, but I know you would hate to see me like this. You couldn't stand to see me cry. I know you want me to keep my head up and put another foot forward. Everyone keeps telling me it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. I wholeheartedly agree with that, even though it hurts to think about. The loss part is much harder than I could have ever imagined, but I wouldn't trade the last 8 years of my life for anything. And so, for you, I will keep on keepin' on. And for our children because if it weren't for them, I'd be curled up in a corner somewhere. They're the only reason I wake up right now.
Please watch over me, my love. I don't know where I'd be without you, and now I don't know where I'm going without you. I'm scared to death and I really need your guidance. Help me find the peace that passes understanding. I can't believe I'm gonna have to do this without you, but I guess that's what comes next, right? And for you, baby, here goes nothin...
I love you forever and always.