You have been taken from me and my heart is breaking.
I can’t help myself, I feel like I have to write – write letters to you, say all the things I want to say, tell you about what happened.
I know you will never read these words, but they will be my tribute and my therapy.
And if anyone else ever reads them, that will maybe be a bit of a consolation. Okay, the true recipient, the intended addressee, hasn’t read them, but perhaps some other soul might take in my words, sort of on your behalf. Maybe they will thereby know you, and sympathise and understand.
You used to tell me off sometimes for seeing things too much from my own point of view, of dwelling on my own reactions to events. But how else to possibly experience or handle this sort of situation? Of course you are the most important person here, yours was the crisis, yours is the greatest loss. But I’m the one still here, so I can only tell how I have reacted and what it has meant to me.
Nevertheless, I will keep your point foremost in my mind, and try my very best to make this book about you and not about me.
I want to tell people about you, about the wonderful person you were. I want them to know you, and care about you. I am just the narrator, the survivor. The only one of us left, and the only person motivated to tell your story.
So this must be your biography and not my autobiography.
I doubt it will do you justice.
(Of course this will also be a book about grief. Maybe others who have lost someone will recognise something in it.)
All my love always, darling John.
Your dear wife (actually widow)