Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas love letters: You make me want to write

So I got through Christmas. It was terrible. It was lovely. It was as full of cognitive dissonance as anything else on this journey. I am deeply grateful to my step-kids and other family for helping me through. I gave and received wonderful gifts. I was loved. The thing I want most in the world wasn't given to me, but it couldn't be, so I did my best. I am grateful. Thank you.

This is the first Christmas in 15 years where I have not awakened to a love letter. Fifteen years ago Kevin and I decided to write each other love notes on Christmas. He didn't particularly like writing love letters while I love both writing and receiving them (as you may have gathered). He said our whole lives were a love letter so it seemed redundant to write one. This is a hard argument to refute, but I still loved reading them; this was a way for me to get that bit of romance and for him to not have to do it too often.

Our life was a love letter. Complicated, wonderful, turbulent, frustrating, joyful, precious. But the love was always there. It still is.

We would wake up on Christmas Day and sometime over the course of the morning we would give each other letters. I associate these letters with the smells of bacon and coffee, with slow waking and the shimmer of Christmas lights. We would read and beam at one another. I don't think he disliked writing them as much as he put on because he always was so happy to see me read it. Either way, it worked for us.

I'm not going to share any of his letters to me with you, they are private. Nor will I share the letter I wrote this year, that too is private. But I will share my letter from last year as a gift for the world. I think it makes sense in the context of this blog. Since the grief writing on this blog is also about the love, I want to remember with you the love before there was illness and loss.

I am coming to believe love transcends time, space, life and death. It gives me some comfort, at least in the easier moments.

May you all be loved.
May you all love.
May you all have the chance to mourn those you still love and never forget how well you are loved.

Please note, this letter may not be reprinted without my permission. Please ask first.

From Laura to Kevin, Christmas 2013

You make me want to write.

You make me want to write the way water wants to run downhill, the way snow succumbs to the sun’s rays, the way the waves can’t help but rush to the shore and throw themselves against it, over and over and over again each time hoping to consume the land and knowing they never entirely will.
You make me want to write the way shoots push their way out of the dirt every spring, green erections undeniable, persistent, urgent and true.

You make me want to write.

You make me want to write the way the moon can’t help but change her shape, each incarnation the same as it was just 28 days earlier but still unique and unrepeatable, the way clouds can never be static, the way thunder echoes and rolls and whispers itself to sleep thinking that it isn’t dying just fading away.
You make me want to write the way caves savor their echo, possible only by incursion and yearning into stony silence.

You make me want to write because of the smell of crushed leaves, the taste of water in the air, the brush of ink on skin colored paper.
You make me want to write because of the throb, the rhythm, the pulse of keyboard strikes, the beat of the words, the ebb and flow of each sentence hearing its own heartbeat.

You make me want to write because it is only through writing that I can know myself and in knowing myself I lay down all that I am, ink stained and wrinkled, rewritten and scorned, untouched by the editor’s knife, only for you.

You make me want to write.

(c)2014 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License


  1. Laura, you make me want to take this tradition of writing a love letter to my love on Christmas morning, and she to me, a new tradition for the both of us. Thank you for sparking such a wonderful idea, thank you for your smiles in the middle of your sorrow, just thank you, thank you, thank you. Bicycles and Breasts. Hum, for a second there I almost felt like I was channeling Kevin. Hope 2015 will be as happy as it can be for you, our dear, dear friend.

    1. Write love letters! Why wait for Christmas?
      My love to you both.

  2. Breathlessly beautiful. Wow. Thank you for sharing this gift with all of us. Your journey has healed parts of my own heart. And your eloquence? Beyond the beyond. Love to you, and hugs and deep gratitude. I don't have a significant other and have never experienced the kind of love you and Kevin shared, however, you give me hope and you ignite a spark to share love letters with those in my life who have created a patchwork in my heart. <3 to you.


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