Till Death Do Us Part…Really?

As a Content Screener, I have friends I’ve never met. A mom writes two of her children regularly. She lost one to suicide and the other in the 9/11 attacks. I can’t fathom her pain, but I feel it in her poetic entries. Another mom writes to her dearly departed adult son who was killed in a motorcycle accident.  Both a mom and dad write nightly to their 2 year-old son who died after being misdiagnosed. I hear from them every night. I’m the invisible third party witness to their devotion and faithfulness. All of these messages are heart wrenching. As the grandma of a 2-year-old cancer survivor, I am most affected by messages for children. It’s those entries that demand a time-out while I wipe away my tears.

But tears of sorrow make way for tears of joy. Nothing brings more joy to my heart than reading love letters from living spouse to departed spouse. Apparently, there are many decades-long enduring marriages despite hearing divorce stats ad nauseum. What an uplifting discovery for one who reads about death every day!

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons/johnhope14

One grieving husband affectionately writes his ‘Puddy Cat’ every night. Puddy has been gone for seven years. Mr. G misses her so much, he can barely get through the day. I’m in Mr. G’s living room every night reading about his daily struggles. He may have gone to the doctor, mowed the lawn or tried to fix his vehicle. He may have experienced some back pain while doing chores. He pleads for a visit from Puddy in his dreams; just one kiss, one hug to sustain him. ‘I can’t wait to be with you, Puddy, why doesn’t God take me?’ he laments.

Mr. D’s wife has also been gone for seven years. Mr. D pens a few lines from his daily grind each night. He tells his deceased wife what he’s accomplished each day. Sometimes he’s very productive. Sometimes he’s frustrated by circumstances that leave him feeling like his day was wasted. Obviously, every day seems off for him without his wife. Somehow the daily reporting of menial tasks brings Mr. D comfort.

Faithfulness even after death blows my mind. It has been said that women are the weaker sex. But when it comes to living without a spouse after death, it seems men have a harder time. I may not have enough evidence gathered for conclusive research, but I am (virtually) acquainted with more men missing wives than women missing husbands.

But then there’s Mrs. C.  She writes poetry for her deceased husband, or posts a romantic image to let him know she’s thinking about him. She writes more than once a day, even tucking him in at night with some kind of good night note. Writing in his guest book keeps him alive, even if he’s only alive in Mrs. C’s mind.

Nothing gives me more hope in a ‘happily ever after’ than reading endearing entries like these. Sweet posthumous love notes are more darling than those sent while both are alive. It makes me think, at least for some marriages, the love really is forever. It goes beyond the finality of death that physically separates.

Cynical about true love and marriage after a tough divorce years ago, I have rejuvenated my romantic idealism, thanks to these passionate posts.  That’s a good thing, since I’ve recently remarried. I have learned that the very things I consider to be ‘pet peeves’ against my husband, may be the very things I would miss if he weren’t here any longer. So the next time I’m knocked in the head by a cabinet he’s left open, I’ll reflect a bit. These beautiful love letters put a whole new spin on the word cherish.

“To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish ’till death do us part”  – or perhaps, to cherish forever.

About Angela

After years as a harried graphic artist in metro NY, I relocated to the Midwest to live the true artist's life. I joined Legacy.com as a telecommuting content screener in July 2008. The cow-faced clock in my studio ‘moos’ languidly on the hour and keeps bad time, but that’s the way I like it. Creativity rules and I thrive on cooking, baking, decorating and antiquing, along with writing and art. I love stories, especially ones with happily ever afters. My historic gingerbread style home and art studio lined with children’s books is great breeding ground for imagination. Sometimes I live in the real world and act my age. One day I hope to add a children’s book I’ve authored to the others in my collection. Recently remarried, I’ve only just begun my own happily ever after. Together we have six children (only one left under 20!), 5 grandchildren, one large slobbering friendly yellow Labrador and one very intimidated small Dachshund mix.
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