A Birthday Letter to My Late Wife I Just Had to Share


I’ve lived through grief for the last four and a half years. In 2010, Anne, my wife of 20 years, was diagnosed with late-stage colon/appendiceal cancer. She survived for two years, and our family has been mourning her loss and trying to heal ever since. At times, I’ve found the Internet is the perfect place to share, especially around important days, anniversaries or holidays.

It’s Anne’s birthday today, and she’s seriously on my mind. I want to wish her a happy birthday with a note like the one she gave me during our first year married, which I carried in my wallet until it disintegrated.

Dear Anne,

I’m in New York on your birthday. On my birthday in 1990, we came to New York for our first date. That day is a treasure and foreshadowing of the sublime lives yet to be lived. We took a long train ride in the morning, and we never stopped exploring the world; we went to the New York public library for you to do some research, and we never stopped reading or learning; we went to FAO Schwartz and later we had four amazing kids and a house full of toys; we went  out for Thai food and never stopped loving/eating Asian food; we went to the LDS visitor center (which is now a temple ) and never stopped serving; we went to the New York City Ballet and never stopped seeking out events or adventures; and we had a romantic train ride home and never stopped loving each other. Even though it was a very long day, I wish it never ended and likewise, I wish our lives on earth could have continued indefinitely. Hopefully, the next life is as good… I don’t even need better.

Love, Tom

I feel I need a disclaimer. I’m healing, doing much better, moving on, although to some this article may convey the opposite. This is mostly a pleasant memory of one day. The other 8000 of our days together aren’t etched in as strongly. (Except our days travelling).

If you read this far, thanks for reading. Grief is personal, and we all go through it differently. It’s nice once in a while, to share what I am feeling and how I’m healing. And I recognize this note just put some serious pressure on any future first dates I go on.

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A photo from our first date.

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