Saturday, 18 March 2017

‘If I Should Die Before I Wake…..’ / Mare's Musings

My box of Love Letters to the most important people in my life

After my Mum died in 2001, I wrote her a letter. It wasn't the first one I had written her. I wrote her more than one during her life time, to tell her how much I loved her and appreciated all she had done for me throughout my life. Writing is how I express myself best. When I try to use words they often fall to the ground in a heap of mumbo jumbo and then I kick myself because I didn't say what I really felt in my heart. I get embarrassed and am not comfortable with the emotion of it. So, I write.

This might seem like a morbid topic but it is important to me and one that has been on my heart for a long time.

I write letters to my children and others that I love. I haven’t posted (as in mailed) any of them nor have I let them read them. Indeed, I'm not sure they even know they exist! (Otherwise a certain number 3 daughter would have gone snooping for them by now, not mentioning any names....or numbers!!!)

They are just sitting in a book (well hidden!!) waiting for the day they will be read.  I imagine that day will come after I’m gone. I plan on tearing each one out and placing them in envelopes and putting them in a box. They have been written at different times, during different circumstances. Perhaps after watching a movie that moved me, or a milestone has occurred in their life, or simply while waiting for one of them to finish soccer practice or dancing as I sit and watch them and am moved to write what I see and how I feel. It’s a little snap shot of history as it was that day for them to remember but more importantly, it’s an opportunity to remind them of what they mean to me. I've written them cards and letters expressing how much I love them already, but these are for after I'm gone.

From time to time, I read back through some of them and it never ceases to amaze me the almost palpable need I have to convey to them how much I love each of them and how they have each, in their own way, enriched my life beyond words.

I remember how my Father, struggling to come to terms with losing the love of his life, his wife of 50 plus years, went through every draw and cupboard of their house looking for a letter from Mum. He was sure she had left one for him and we couldn’t convince him otherwise. I saw how desperate that need was for him to connect with Mum, one last tangible thing he could hold onto in his grief, words of love from his beloved wife.

It heightened in me a deep need to ensure that I left messages of love and comfort and encouragement to each of my children so that they would never be in any doubt how treasured they are. Sometimes I think I should let them read them now but instead I try to tell them in different ways what they each mean to me through my words and actions, and save the letters for when I’m gone, because, I too would have loved to have something in Mum’s own handwriting, telling me the place I held in her heart. I’m sure I was loved, but in my time of grief I know it would have helped me endure the pain of loss a little easier to be able to open the pages of a letter, written just to me, and be reminded when I needed it the most. Even now, after almost 14 years, I wish I had a letter to open and read and find comfort in.

Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I'll love you Tomorrow!!!!!

It’s so easy to think that we will always have a tomorrow. We tend to think that we are immortal and that bad things only happen to other people. We are lulled into a sort of false sense of security that we have plenty of time to say and do the things we want to say and do. But life is fragile and can be snuffed out in an instant. I learnt that lesson very well in May 2014 when I had a major accident at work and am very blessed to be sitting here today. I try not to put the important things off until tomorrow anymore.

It’s incredibly important to tell your children (and others in your life) how loved they are. Each day they need to know that you love with a heart full to bursting, that you would lay down your life for them, that nothing they do or don’t do could make you love them less, but, when I’m no longer here to speak those words to them, I want them to hear and feel and know the love through the faint echo of my voice as the words printed on the pages once again convey their message so that whenever the pain of loss arises, they can read them and remember how much I love them.


Some of my crazy family that I love to bits!!!

Do you write letters of love to your loved ones?

I've often thought about making a video. How would you feel about receiving something like that from a loved one after they have passed?



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