Necessary Letters

This is a letter I won’t be sending. I wouldn’t even begin to know where to send it anyway and am relieved by that fact. This is also a letter that I need to write.

Yesterday was my 20th wedding anniversary — of my first marriage, which ended only 18 months after it began. I’ve joked before in a past essay about my whirlwind divorce. But for many of us, humor is just a way to mask hurt or disappointment and feel better about ourselves by eliciting a few laughs.  Today, I’ll set aside the jokes to get real (although I have renamed my ex here just because it makes it a little bit easier to type…)

Perhaps for some of you reading this out there, you may have a letter like this inside of you waiting to be written, too. I hope that it inspires you to do whatever is necessary to finish letting go.




Dear George:

I can’t believe it’s been 20 years.  I don’t remember that day as much today as I did ten years ago or even five years ago. Every year that passes, a little piece of that space in time begins to fill up with a new memory. I can’t erase that day or the time that followed but I can allow myself to release little chunks of our time together and spew them out into the universe to travel far away and be lost in the cosmos.

I don’t remember that girl who married you very much either. And while she was 22 at the time, she was a girl – let’s be honest. That person knew so little about herself yet here she was embarking on a trip knowing full well the vehicle had four leaky tires and the “check engine light” was already beaming bright red before walking down the aisle. Still… she was and unfortunately still is someone who struggles to admit when she’s wrong and suffers from serious people-pleasing syndrome.

I don’t know where you live, what you’ve been doing or if any hatred or anger  resides in your heart, and I certainly don’t want to find out. Thankfully, a search engine alert lets me know if you’ve made any headlines wherever you exist- IF you even exist somewhere out in this world anymore. Over a year ago, I thought I saw you in a restaurant near where I live. You were with another woman. To this day, I’m not sure if that was you. I’ll never know. I am only thankful you didn’t see me.

I have moved on and while nothing is ever perfect in this life, I quite magically managed to enter the orbit of the person I was meant to travel with all along. Of course, the fact doesn’t escape me every day that I would not even BE in this part of the country if it had not been for following you here. And ultimately, that led me to cross paths with this person who has shared his heart with me.

I hope you too have moved on, that there is someone in your life who connects with you the way that I do with my own long-time love.  He and I will be celebrating fifteen years of marriage later this fall, and when I think of all of the experiences, travels and lessons learned on my own and together with him during this time, I can only hope that you have shared a rich history with someone you care about, too. I don’t wish ill will on you, even if you might not believe that. There is nothing to be gained by this, and I have watched good people crumble to bits as they let themselves be consumed by anger and pain. But I don’t wish away the hurt from our time together either, because that has also contributed to the woman I have become – both good traits and not-so-great moments.

There are a lot of things I won’t say here in this letter for many reasons, but there is one thing I’ve never said to myself, to my memory of you and certainly not to you. I didn’t think I’d ever get to this place because I did a lot of blaming along the way, but for once, I take some credit for what didn’t work, too.  I am definitely not perfect.

I think a part of me will always be healing and I cannot forget, but I can forgive. And I forgive you. 




  1. Blog Double-Take 2012 « Kuhn Stories - [...] Necessary Letters (May 24) [...]

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *