|Hawaii - January 2012|
Note: I’m writing this letter to myself, five years after my husband of 25 years, Thruston Stewart Doan, died suddenly of an undiagnosed Pulmonary Embolism on May 10, 2012 at 12:24 pm. I wish on the evening of May 12, 2012, when I was feeling all alone even though my house was full of family and friends, I could have read this “letter from the future”.
Note: On October 18, 2013, on what would have been our 27th Wedding Anniversary, I wrote a letter to my late husband. Here is the link to that blog entry: http://leslieinlittlerock.blogspot.com/2013/10/happy-anniversary.html
May 10, 2017
I know you are devastated, inconsolable, upset, overwhelmed, confused and worried about your daughters. What you have gone through during the last several hours is a traumatic, sudden, tragedy. Your husband was here in your home this morning when you and Sara left for school and work, and then he was gone.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it – it’s going to be tough. There will be seconds, minutes, days, weeks, months and years where you can only think about the fact that your husband is dead. You will still feel married, even five years later. You will worry about your daughters, your pets, your house, your cars, your work, your bills, your health, the economy, your parents, your mental health, the IRS, insurance, and the 2016 Presidential Race.
But you will get up every day, get dressed, and be there for your children. You will go to work, volunteer for church and Chi Omega alumni club activities, and continue to attend the monthly Pokeno games with your neighbors.
With the help of your family, friends, doctors, therapists, co-workers, neighbors, church members and even strangers, you will be a good mother and will help each daughter deal with the loss of their beloved father in their own unique way.
Every day you will do at least one thing that you can check off your “do-list”. Yes, it is unbelievable to think that a widow will have an unlimited list of tasks to complete, but we do. There will be some days when all you want to do is take 5 hot bubble baths and then climb back in bed. Other days, you and your girls will watch the season finale episode of Glee six times, and that’s OK.
You will know when things are right and when they are not. As a counselor told you a few months after Thruston died, “You are grieving, you are not incompetent.” There will be some relatives that will judge you and treat you unfairly. I wish I knew then what I know now, five years later.
The term “Toxic Person” will crop up and you will have to cut those people out of your life. You do not need negativity as you are forced to rebuild your life for you and your daughters. But you will.
Things will work out. Bills will be paid. Eventually you will take early retirement from your job and your house will sell. Best of all, Lauren graduates from college, moves to Boston and works for Harvard while Sara graduates from high school and enrolls in the University of Mississippi where she thrives as a Journalism major, writes for two blogs and joins a sorority!
Pursuing your dreams of writing for television, you are accepted into the 2016 summer program of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, taking a sitcom writing class and a TV and Film Industry class. Eventually you spend six weeks in Burbank, living with Darin and Kari and their kids while you appear as an extra in 12 different televisions shows. You also continue writing your blog and even have several posts published . And you are in a Flo Rida music video for the song Zillionaire! How many 55 year old women can say that they are in a Flo Rida video?!
Not a day goes by that you don’t think about your husband and wonder what would have happened if you had taken him to the emergency room instead of him going to the doctor. But he did go to the doctor, he told was told that he was fine and sent home. After a while you had to stop the “What Ifs’.
But you are so thankful that he was your husband for 25 years and that we have two sweet, smart and beautiful daughters. You are so lucky to have memories of trips to Disney World, the beach and the wonderful trip to Hawaii in January 2012 when he attended a national conference and we celebrated Lauren’s 19th birthday.
So, I know that now it seems impossible to think about 5 minutes from now or 5 hours from now, but before you know it, it will be 5 years from now. And you will be OK.
Thinking of you,