Friday, September 18, 2009

An Open Letter to My Friend, Caroline

Dearest Caroline,

I just read (again!) your essay in A Few Thousand Words About Love and realized I had probably never told you how much it means to me. The first time I read it was just a few months after Britt was killed. I was visiting Katharine in Connecticut and she had a copy of the book on the table by the bed in her studio/guest cottage where I was sleeping. Just a few paragraphs in, I was crying so hard I could barely see and I'm afraid that section of her book is forever wavy from my tears. In the years since then, I've read it often and, the more time passes, the more I am struck by the truth of what you said: ..."as the capacity for pain grows, so does the capacity for joy. And when you know that sadness can visit at any time, your appreciation for happiness is overpowering."

Even in those very dark early days of my grief, you helped me decide not to be one of those people who allowed my grief to steal my life. I thought of you and your widows' group experience every time I went to a Compassionate Friends meeting...and granted myself permission to flee those rooms when the relentless "you will never be happy again" drum beat so loudly I couldn't hear myself think because you had done it, too.

These days I find joy in small and simple things...seeds that sprout in my garden, the exuberance of my dog, David's smile when I come home from work each day...things I know would also have given joy to Britt and though the grief is a tangible presence in each day so is her love and the love of my friends. I am so fortunate to count you among them.

much love to you,


P.S. - Those of you who don't know this book definitely should.


Caroline Leavitt said...

I am so, so honored....

love, Caroline

Debi said...

Your friendship is an incredible gift, Caroline. I am equally honored.