A Love Letter to Barbra

IMG_2154posted by pink ink’s husband, Brendon Riley 

Dear Baby,
How do I start this letter? I could start by saying that I miss you, but that wouldn’t be enough. I could start by saying that I still can’t believe you’re gone, but that wouldn’t capture the depth of my loss. I could start by saying that my world will never be the same without you, but that’s stating the obvious.

I’ll just start by saying I love you.

I love you more than words can express. I love every part of you, and your absence hasn’t diminished that love. My love must now manifest itself differently, but it will never fade…I promise. I love you.

I miss you.

I miss your face. I miss your body. I miss your voice. I miss your laugh. I miss your…presence. I miss you deeply. Every minute of every day. I have to find a way to keep moving forward for the sake of our baby, and because you would want me to do so…but it’s really hard. I miss you.

I still can’t believe you’re gone.

I don’t sleep a lot, so late at night, I look at pictures and ask you how could you be gone. I know there’s no answer, but I ask anyway. I don’t wallow (well sometimes I do a little when I’m by myself), and I’ve never asked God why us, because that’s selfish…but I can’t help feeling sad when I catch myself waiting for you to call me at work. I miss you sitting next to me in the car barely tolerating my music selections, or talking through the best articles on NPR. I largely run my Saturday errands alone now because I’ve been able to keep Blayre busy on most weekends. I loved running errands with you.

I still can’t believe you’re gone.

My world will never be the same without you.

There’s no such thing as a second soul mate. You were my best friend. My life is forever changed without you by my side. I’ve said I love you. I’ve said that I miss you. I’ve said that I still can’t believe that you’re gone.  These add up to a life that will be forever different because you’re not there.

I’ll be ok.

I will find a pathway forward. Blayre and I will be happy again someday. I’m determined to find happiness for Blayre because she is an amazing young lady and she deserves to be happy. You’d be so proud of her.

I have developed a closer relationship with God through this process. That is a gift that I am only beginning to realize. I believe that God granted His mercy on our family on the day he decided to call you home. You suffered greatly, and He granted His peace to you so that you will never suffer again. I take comfort in that when dark moments intrude.

Even though you’re gone, I can feel you. I feel your strength surrounding me, and I know you’ll be with me for the rest of my life ­ available whenever I need you. Thank you for continuing to take care of me.

God showed his favor upon me by granting me even a moment with you and I am sincerely grateful. I love you. I miss you. I still can’t believe you’re gone. My world will never be the same without you. All of these things are true…but I’ll be ok. You’re still with me, so I’ll be ok.

Love, Brendon

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lori
    Jan 28, 2014 @ 14:33:34

    Brendon, this is one of the most beautiful, touching & loving things I have ever read. You continue to be the wonderful and amazing husband that Barb married many years ago. She is beaming with pride in Heaven watching over you and Blayre. Missing her so so so much but will cherish the many memories and replay them over and over. Happy bday in Heaven Angel Barb!


  2. Dee Crews
    Jan 28, 2014 @ 18:08:18

    Brendon and Blayre, I pray for you daily that you will find peace and happiness. She was blessed to have you both in good times and difficult times.-D. Crews


  3. inkwellchicks
    Jan 28, 2014 @ 19:24:31

    Thank you for sharing this with us! Your honesty, strength and courage mirror Barb’s and are a great example of enduring love. As I told you, this is the perfect present…Barb is smiling!


  4. yasmin
    Jan 29, 2014 @ 05:11:09

    Your letter is beautiful beyond words… and your gracefulness inspiring.


  5. Helen Imes
    Jan 29, 2014 @ 06:10:46

    Brendon, I always thought I knew how much you loved Barbra. Now I know now that I had no idea of your love. I remember when she first invited W. and I to meet you when you both were in law school. I saw love in both of you then. This letter was simply beautiful and I will read it many more times and share it with W. Today we lit a candle and said her name together and spoke of the times that we spent with the two of you in N.Y. Remember? I let the candle burn for 46 minutes for every year of her life and then snuffed it out. We miss Barbra very much …but we will be o.k. I love my first and only niece. I love you and my grandniece as well. ……. God will sustain us….


  6. Cassandra
    Jan 29, 2014 @ 15:40:03

    I am moved to tears by Brendon’s words, Barb must have loved him as much, too.


  7. MBCNbuzz
    Feb 03, 2014 @ 19:58:32

    Brendon I am so sorry for your loss. Your love letter is so aptly titled. I never met Barbra but I felt like I “knew” her from her blog. Our friend David also lost his wife to metastatic breast cancer. Like yourself, he is a young dad. Here is David’s letter: http://mbcnbuzz.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/lessons-from-a-breast-cancer-widower/
    take care

    Katherine O’Brien


  8. Gina
    Feb 07, 2014 @ 14:25:11

    Brendon – your and Bobbi’s love is eternal. We are here for you and Blayre. She touched so many lives. Love, Gina and Del


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