Wednesday, December 21, 2011

One of the most beautiful letters you will ever read

A friend pointed me to this today: a letter from a husband to his wife who died of cancer two years ago. He lives in Melbourne and is a Christian, although I do not know him personally.

I read this knowing that my own father is going in for radiotherapy over summer, starting with surgery tomorrow, the day before I arrive home. He is doing okay, but death is always around the corner. This letter reminds me that life is about relationships, with each other and with God. And heaven will be beautiful because it will be full of relationships restored to perfection. Oh how I long for that day.

Dear Jen,
You always wanted more letters from me - in fact I have a box that you left that contained all of them. In my defence of course, the reason I wrote infrequently was that we were never apart for very long. Now it's been more than two years, and I've only just found the necessary words, but here's one more letter for the collection. It's a bit of an odd one, because you're dead and can't appreciate the prose, but I do think we'll talk about it one day. 
Speaking of letters, I do sometimes wish you'd written me a farewell letter to keep, but your final decline was so rapid that it made a mockery of our plans. It was heart-breaking enough watching you write a last birthday card for Secundus as you were fading in and out. I know you didn't get to read 'The Time Traveller's Wife', but I found Henry's last letter to Clara very moving, especially in the way that he wants her to be free to keep living. Instead I can only project what you might have wanted for me, knowing your love. In the end it's all theoretical, and I must go on choosing (as carefully as I can) what seems best for myself and the boys, sticking to our principles but accepting the need for compromise. I can't know if you'd approve but I hope you'd understand.... read more.

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