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Pain + Loss + Love + Gain

...It's all the same...

I wrote this letter to my beloved on the 9th anniversary of his passing. It's something I've done every year for nine years and while the content changes with the passing of time, there is one constant thread: We may never know the true meaning of life's mysteries, but if we can find within the possibility of hope and awe while surrendering to an impossible and wildly uncertain world, the outcome may be astonishingly beautiful.

July 22, 2023

The moment I realized you were gone, my world was stripped of everything. If not for the fully formed human in my belly, I may have been inclined to follow you. For weeks I had to repeat these words to myself, a mantra to help me know my new reality: “George is gone, and you are here. You are here, and he is not. George died, but you did not. George is gone.”

For the first few years, I relinquished everything except for agency over our daughter. My life did not belong to me, and any dreams I once had were no longer attainable. I was prepared to surrender the rest of my life in service to you, and to the child you left behind. It seemed like the only thing to do.

But you were adamant that I find my own joy again. Your light shone daily through our superNova girl. You sent saviors, helpers, and friends. You delivered a remarkable man to my doorstep, quite literally. You cleared a pathway for me to complete my masters in Chinese Medicine. You supported me financially, emotionally, and spiritually. You encouraged me to risk my heart again and again, proving in the end that being stripped of everything can be a powerful catalyst for true love and inner peace.

In the end, you were never gone. You were so close that I could not see you. Like some kind of magic trick. I can hear you snickering right now.

Today I have a life that is more beautiful than I could have imagined, one that I often wonder if I’m deserving of. None of it would have been possible without you. My love, adoration, and gratitude could fill the deepest oceans, for you chose me to carry you forward. Or perhaps, it is you who is carrying me.

We love you, George Henry Frederick Schnakenberg III.

Dec 22, 1975 - Jul 22, 2014

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