The Cost of Being a Coward

Dear Larry:

It has been 3 ½ years now that you have been away from me.  On the night that marked this milestone, I was unable to sleep and relived over and over that last day as well as the last moment that I saw your face.  It threw me back into the last few months that we had together and has left me feeling very sad for opportunities that I missed and caused you to miss also.

You were very clear headed about the reality that unless something close to a miracle happened and you were able to get organ donations for your very rare blood type, that you would not survive.  You were also well aware of the reality that I was far too fragile for you to address this with me and that I would never allow even the possibility of you dying to live for a moment in my head or body.   Now, I am wracked with the guilt of conversations that never happened and how my cowardice denied you the opportunity to say to me the things that died with you.  What did you need to tell me?  What did I sacrifice hearing in order to serve my own fears?  Why did I refuse to put my fears away to open up a place for you to talk without the anticipation of shattering me? What did my denial cost you?   What did it cost me?  Did is damage US?  So, now I find myself caught up in endless “what if” and “if only” conversations that I realize can do no good and that I cannot go back in time to make this up to you.  I am so sorry, my love, for you having to be the strong one even while you were dying.  I am so sorry that even in your last hours that you had to protect me from shattering.  It should have been the other way around and I should have be standing strong for you, but I admit that I never let even the possibility of losing you enter my mind.  Even today, after 3 ½ years, it is hard to grip the reality that you are never coming home.

At this point, all of the unsolicited feedback tells me that I should be much further along in my healing than I am.  I am still at day 1 and I should be out discovering a new life and a new purpose.  Well, thank you for the feedback, albeit unwanted, but I am where I am and, apparently, I am there for a reason.  Every morning when I drive to work, we talk.  I ask you to be with me on that day and help me to discover my purpose and to become aware of what I am supposed to do now that I am on my own.  You have not served that vision up for me yet, but I feel your presence and even though your physical body is away from me that your spirit stays to protect me.  Maybe you are now my guardian angel and God has assigned you to take care of me even while living in Heaven.

Forgive me, my love.  I let you down and cannot go back and repair this.  Once again, in spite of your physical fragility, you protected me to the very end.

I miss you.

Your wife