Two years after my husband died, a film came out called, “P.S. I Love You.” Several people recommended the film to me about a widow whose husband leaves a series of letters and gifts for her to receive during the first year after his death. I knew I could not watch it for several reasons.
One, during the last year of my husband’s life, he was fighting to live. There were a few conversations where he told me to take some of the life insurance money and go to Greece on a trip, one of my dreams. But most of the time was spent researching treatments and watching him fight for his life.
Two, I was angry. I did not want to watch a film about how two people loved each other so much. I didn’t want to see this amazing husband who left his grieving widow lovely gifts and positive messages. My husband left me with paperwork and junk and a drug addict business tenant. Thorns instead of roses.
Over the next year, the film kept crossing my path. One summer evening, I was at the video store and there it was on DVD. I felt ready to see it. I had moved through the anger and was ready to forgive. I had developed more compassion and with time I had filtered through the physical junk and the unresolved junk in our relationship. I was beginning to remember some of the amazing moments in our relationship. I rented the DVD, popped some popcorn and grabbed a box of tissues. No one else was home.
Throughout the film, I cried silent tears with occasional sobbing inhalations. Finally, the last letter arrived. I knew that these were the words my husband would have said to me. In the last few weeks of his life, he did say these words with his eyes.
“Dear Holly, I don’t have much time. I don’t mean literally, I mean you’re out buying ice cream and you’ll be home soon. But I have a feeling this is the last letter, because there is only one thing left to tell you. It isn’t to go down memory lane or make you buy a lamp, you can take care of yourself without any help from me. It’s to tell you how much you move me, how you changed me. You made me a man, by loving me Holly. And for that, I am eternally grateful… literally. If you can promise me anything, promise me that whenever you’re sad, or unsure, or you lose complete faith, that you’ll try to see yourself through my eyes. Thank you for the honor of being my wife. I’m a man with no regrets. How lucky am I. You made my life, Holly. But I’m just one chapter in yours. There’ll be more. I promise. So here it comes, the big one. Don’t be afraid to fall in love again. Watch out for that signal, when life as you know it ends. P.S. I will always love you”.
As I watched the film all alone in my house, a sound came out of me that I had never heard before. When the words of the letter were spoken, a howling, guttural sound of pain came out of me. It was the loudest, most primitive sound I had ever heard. It sounded like an animal in excruciating pain. Without controlling anything, the sound was released from my soul.
As I watched the end of the film and cried more tears, I knew the film had arrived at the perfect time. I was ready to heal the deeper pain and loss of my husband. I was ready to close the chapter. I was ready to fall in love with life again.
It has been several more years now. I think of my husband with feelings of love and gratitude and honor. Now, I have fallen in love with life again and the new chapter has begun.
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