Sharing my belief that we should all write affirming letters for the special people in our lives is what I am passionate about. I have personally written these Soul Letters, and have first hand knowledge of how special and fulfilling it can be for both the writer and the recipient. I created this business with the dream that if I could get my message out into the world, no one would have to experience the regret of not sharing how they felt before a loved one passed away.
And yet I am embarrassed to say that I recently missed my opportunity to write a letter to a woman who was like a second mother to me, a woman I had great respect for and who impacted my life in a very special way. I know in my heart that she knew how much I cared, but I do regret that I didn’t take the time to write her a letter that shared how special she was to me.
I don’t consider myself a religious person but I do believe that when a loved one dies their soul lives on and that they watch over us and are witness to the special moments in our lives. So I have decided to write a posthumous letter to this special woman, knowing that she will hear my message and be touched by it’s sincerity. I’ve never shared one of my letters publicly but I believe there is a lesson to be learned here and that perhaps someone else who missed their opportunity to write a Soul Letter, will see that it is never to late to write that letter. Below is my letter to this special lady, known by most as ‘Cookie’.
I can’t believe that I missed my chance to write you a Soul Letter, you fought your cancer for so long that it was easy to believe that there was still time to share with you how much you touched my life and how blessed I felt to have known you.
You came into my life, or more accurately I bounded into your life, when I was just fifteen years old and madly in love with your son. As a teenager I still had a lot of learning and growing to do and some of the most important lessons I learned came from you. We spent many an afternoon sitting at your kitchen table drinking tea until my bladder floated. Your kitchen was the heart of your home and it was from this spot that I learned that a family can grow beyond just our blood relations. Most days it seamed as if there was an endless stream of people letting themselves in to your home and joining you at that kitchen table.
You raised 4 sons and 3 daughters in that home and barely a day went by that one of them wasn’t stopping in for a cup of tea. But the guest list didn’t stop with your own children, it extended to nieces, nephews, and quite possibly every childhood friend you kids ever had. You had the special quality of making people feel welcome in your home. They stopped by for a quick cup of tea but left feeling worthy, respected, and loved. You weren’t one of those grandmotherly figures that was all sugar and spice though, you were just an honest and caring woman who wasn’t afraid of speaking the truth or letting your opinion be known. I remember more than one occasion when I’d walk into the kitchen only to hear you say “who are you trying to catch with that cleavage?” or “Save that look for private times Dear”. And then you’d pour me a cup of tea and you’d bring me up to date on what was happening with the family.
You were also such a talented seamstress; I remember sitting on the floor in your sewing room, as you worked on creating something beautiful, and I would spend hours picking the pins out of the carpet while you told me about Darryle’s childhood and his misadventures. It always made me feel privileged to be getting the inside scoop about the boy I loved and it was not uncommon for me to spend even more time with you than I did with him. The most beautiful dress I ever owned was the one you made for me to wear to my grandparent’s 50th wedding anniversary.
When I became pregnant at the age of seventeen and you found out you were going to have another grandchild, you took it in stride and made me feel less scared. Instead of lecturing me about how my life was going to change you shared little pieces of motherly advice and even appeared excited about your growing family. That meant so much to me because my own family was not as supportive.
After Darryle died I thought that I would lose all of his family too but you made sure that your new grandson and I always felt welcomed and loved. A few years later when I was trying to build a new life for myself, I stopped having any contact with you and I deeply regret that choice. At the time, I was still a young woman and it was hard for me to blend my new life with my old life. I felt like I was betraying Darryle’s memory and all of his family when I fell in love with someone new, but I know now that you would have understood that I needed to move forward, and you would have respected and supported me.
Over twenty-five years later, when I reached out to you and your family, you welcomed me back with open arms. I had such a sense of coming home to where I belonged and I will be forever grateful for the love you gave so freely.
You were such a special person Cookie and I am a better person today because of the wonderful example you always were. You taught me to love without judgement, to share what I have even when it seems like so little, and that almost all of life’s hardships can be eased with a cup of tea and a listening ear.
Thank you for all the love and caring you gave me, I will always hold my memories of you in my heart and share the lessons you taught me with my own grandchildren..
Writing a letter posthumous can be very therapeutic. If you are holding on to regret over not expressing your love and appreciation to someone you lost, perhaps you should consider sitting down and writing that letter now, and then releasing your regret. You will find satisfaction and peace if you can just believe that your loved one can still hear your message and take comfort in the knowledge that you finally expressed what was in your heart and soul.