February is a month when love is celebrated. I’m thinking of all of you who have suffered a loss and are grieving. Valentine’s Day can be especially difficult when someone we love has died. We are grieving because of the love we have for them, the love that still connects us. Grief and love are intertwined.

Queen Elizabeth II said,

“Grief is the price we pay for love”. 

We all know love heals, but when someone is taken away from us, it’s like a well of without.  When my husband Jim first died, I was certain I would never love anyone else ever again. Then, love seemed like a broken bow on a violin – and I thought the music would never return. And although it took time, the music eventually came back and I fell in love again. I found there was room in my heart for my grief and my love for Jim alongside a great love for someone else. But it’s important to remember there is no timetable when we are grieving.  You’ll know when you’re ready again.

You Are Not Alone

I’m excited to announce the publication of my book is right around the corner –
You Are Not Alone, a Heartfelt Guide for Grief, Healing and Hope.
The release date is set for May 2018. When I was talking with my editor, Laura Lentz, I realized that this book is really a Love Letter not only to Jim, but to everyone who is grieving.  This is why finishing the content in February, the month of love, is so appropriate.



My story of loss has turned into a book about grief, healing, and the spiritual journey that led me to know that love never dies. This is a book that speaks to the feelings of grief and serves as a gentle, loving guide, offering you tools to cope with inconsolable loss.

You can learn more about the book here. 

Last month I recommended the beautiful book, “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi, about his terminal lung cancer diagnosis. This book is now a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize! After reading the book, I found this heartwarming love story in the Washington Post about how Paul’s widow Lucy fell in love with John, the surviving spouse of another memoirist, Nina Rigg  (The Bright Hour.” )  Nina’s husband John reached out to Lucy at his dying wife’s suggestion that Lucy would be able to help him with his grief.

Read about how John and Lucy’s relationship evolved here.

John Duberstein said this about their new relationship –

I’m surprised by how ridiculous it is and how natural it is at the same time” 

Susanna Schrobsdorff of Time magazine wrote,

“When they read the words of the two people they loved so profoundly, perhaps their old lives seem woven into their new life, one love spilling into the next, families merging, past and present overlapping”.

Two Profound Love Letters

Eva, My Love – Everything Has to End

Author and journalist Stieg Larsson wrote this gorgeous letter for his long-term partner, Eva, who found the letter in his belongings after he passed away from a heart attack at 50-years old in 2004 – “To be opened only after my death.”

He had written the letter prior to a trip to Africa in 1977 when he was just 22. This letter has so much to teach all of us!

In the letter, Stieg advises her of the following:

“Pain will fade with time, even if that’s hard to imagine right now. Live in peace, my dearest love; live, love, hate, and keep fighting…”

Click here to read the whole letter

I love my wife. My wife is dead.

Physicist Richard Feynam wrote this letter when his wife and high-school sweetheart, Arline passed away at 25 years old.  Sixteen months after she died, Richard wrote this love letter and sealed it in an envelope.  It remained unopened until after his death in 1988.

What hit me the hardest about this gorgeous letter is the Postscript:

“PS Please excuse my not mailing this — but I don’t know your new address.”

Read the letter here:

http://www.lettersofnote.com/2012/02/i-love-my-wife-my-wife-is-dead.html

I am taking a writing course on Love with Laura Lentz and it’s been incredibly opening for me! I wanted to offer you two writing exercises if you want to write your own love letter after reading the letters above.

  1. Write a letter to someone you love who is no longer with you, telling them everything you always wanted to say.
  2. Write a love letter to someone you love who is still alive – a child, a parent or a lover – to be opened only upon your death.

Consider this – why wait?  If you have done exercise two, give the letter to those you love today; let them know how much they mean to you now in honor of Valentine’s Day.

I close my newsletter with this quote on love:

Love to you, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Coming up next month:  Music not only heals,
it’s the universal language we all speak.

 

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