To the man that I know loves me:
I have let you go.
I know that it may seem silly to say this to you right now. You’re probably puzzling over what this could possibly mean. Why would I choose this moment in time to say this to you? You’re perfectly healthy. We’re the strongest in our relationship that we’ve ever been. There have been no threats of separation. No diagnosis of disease. Yet here I am letting you know that I have let go of you nonetheless, because I need to.
You know that I’m a worrier. There isn’t a moment when you’re not with me that I’m not worrying about what’s happening to you. Are you sick and we don’t know it? Are you safe? Are you paying attention when you’re driving? Are others watching out for you? Has someone pulled a knife on you? A gun? Threatened you? Hit you? Hurt you?
When I know that you’re on your way home and I hear sirens in the distance, the fear takes my breath away. I pray that it isn’t you that they’re coming for.
I have lived with this overwhelming fear for 11 years. I have lived in fear…for you.
So many times I have thought about what would happen if I lost you. I can never imagine this world without you. I can picture myself curling up and dying right along with you were you not to make it home to me someday. I always think that if I did not die, too, I would just shut down. Never get up again. Stop functioning at a normal human level. Cease to think, reason, or even move.
I admit that I’m co-dependent. I rely on you. You cook because you know I hate cooking. You always put gas in my car because you know I hate doing that, too. You pay the bills. You drive the kids around. You spoil me as much as our finances will allow. I often start to wonder if I might be taking you for granted. Then I think, “No. I always appreciate all that you do, I just don’t tell you enough how much it means to me.”
I could likely never put into words how much I do appreciate you. More than mere appreciation, though, what I feel for you is adoration.
Even after all this time, I am still completely head-over-heels, droolingly, babblingly smitten with you.
After 11 years together, I continue to look at you with stars in my eyes and butterflies in my stomach. I will watch you singing on stage, or working, or teaching, and think, “Wow. That’s my man.” Then this feeling of overwhelming need will wash over me. I don’t know what it is about those times that I can’t have you that make me desire you even more, but for some reason, it happens.
Yet I’ve been taught the evils of lust. So I have wondered, “Is it okay to lust after your own husband?” Surely that’s an exception, right?
Then I realized that my desire is not always purely physical. I sometimes feel a need just to be near you. Simply touch you. Just hear your voice. Know that your heart still beats. Feel your aliveness.
My love for you had crossed the line into unhealthy obsession. I knew it, and God knew it. As I looked at you on stage again today, and thought, “Look at that guy. He’s amazing, and he’s all mine!” I heard that still small voice tell me, “He is not yours to keep.”
You would think that those words would have crushed me, and maybe, had I had any farther to fall for you, I would have been hurt when I landed on the solid ground that I had just been knocked down upon. I could not have crawled any deeper down into my pit of selfishness, though, so those words had an effect on me that I would not have otherwise imagined that they could have.
You see, it all came to an end for me today. The fear of losing you. The fear of what the future holds. The fear that you will be gone from this world someday, it’s just a matter of when and where.
Understanding that you don’t really belong to me took a burden off my shoulders and freed me in a way that I had never thought possible.
I know that we aren’t promised tomorrow, but if something were to happen to you before the next sunrise, I now believe that I could make it through. Yes I would still mourn. I would hurt. The pain would likely stay with me for longer than I care to even think about.
But I would be okay. I would survive it. I would press on; because you don’t belong to me. Your life isn’t mine to hold on to. You are simply a loan that will need to be repaid someday, and when collection day comes, I will still be able to stand because you were never truly mine to begin with.
You will still hold my heart in the palm of your hand while you’re here, and I will likely hold yours as well, but I understand now.
It’s just for safe keeping until we move on from this world, and someday, we must.
I still love you just the same, and always will, but I’m letting you know that I’m okay with letting you go…
Because now I can.