Forever, And Ever, And Always

My Dearest Sweetness,

One year since you left.  Four since we were married.  Time only matters to mark when you left this world, it does not diminish my love for you.  I hope a part of you feels your remains drifting through the water, and on the shore of the place you most felt at home.  I know how much you loved it there, and it will always be your beach to me.

I stood on your bridge to watch the water disperse your ashes, and it struck me how unbelievable it is to me that someone so full of life could end up as a swirl in the water.  I kept half, like you asked, so that we may scatter them with your friends and family in the other place you asked to be.

It was a beautiful morning.  The marine layer was in, and it was empty.  It reminded me of escaping the condominium when I was sick in the mornings and just being together as I sipped my coffee and you sipped your chai, talking about life and love.  It’s been hot and sunny lately, but you would’ve loved this morning.

I remember standing across from you.  You in your white sundress, and me in the Hawaiian shirt and khakis since that is all we could find even close for the occasion.  I remember the flower in your hair.  You almost always had to have a flower in your hair.  I remember promising to love you forever and ever.  Death does not part us, and I love that we did not vow it.  Despite knowing that we were moving it up before I went in for cancer treatment, standing up and pledging my love to you in front of what friends and family we could gather with such short notice remains the highlight of my life.

I miss you terribly.  Not just today.  Not just this month.  Today is hard, but I miss you always.  I will love you until the end of time, and even after.  Happy anniversary, Bear.  I will love you forever, and ever, and always.

Hannah O’Brien
May 5th, 1984 – July 26th, 2015






Dearest Sweetness,

I wish I could fall asleep and wake up when this month is over.  Things are actually going pretty well right now overall, and I am fairly happy in most aspects of life, but when I am still the memories of this month start to sneak their way in.  I miss you every single second.  No matter how much I love again, you will always be with me.

I am doing better at feeling less guilty for not knowing you had a problem.  You were crafty, and I was sick a lot.  I knew something was terribly wrong eventually, but you did a good job at keeping me in the dark.  Which brings the anger.

I can let it go sometimes.  I tell myself it wasn’t you, it was your addiction.  But I wouldn’t accept being lied to about anything else throughout our entire relationship if it were blamed on an addiction, so why should I accept this?  I do, because I love you unconditionally, and I can’t change anything now, but I have the right to my feelings of betrayal and anger.  Doesn’t change how much I love you.

Your friends (and mine, thanks to you) have pictures of you and them as their Facebook profiles.  I wonder if you understand why I can’t do that.  I wonder if you know that I couldn’t even see a picture of you without crying my eyes out until very recently.  I wonder if you know how it makes me feel knowing that so many people never even knew you.  I wonder if you know how it makes me feel to know that I thought you let me see the sides of you that you didn’t show anyone else, but how much it hurts knowing you still held something back.

I wouldn’t think the time of year would have gotten to me like it is.  I know when everything happened.  But why am I feeling it all right now like it just happened?  I’m on edge and it is probably coming through in all my interactions with everyone.  Hopefully I don’t fuck up the connections I have tried so hard to build since you died.

I think you’d be proud of me.  Things have been so hard.  I have felt very alone, very overwhelmed, very hopeless, very isolated, and yet I have kept going and walking into everything with as open of a heart and mind as I can.  I have made some really good friends and connections, and have even managed to have feelings for people again.  I know you wanted that for me.  I remember that stupid movie you loved, and how you told me that you wanted me to move on if anything ever happened to you.  I thought you were absolutely insane at the time, but I also thought that we wouldn’t have had such a short time together or even that I would outlive you.  I certainly didn’t think I would have so much of my life in front of me without you.  At any rate, I will never move on, but I am doing everything I can to move forward.

You helped me to know I was loved for me.  I’d never felt that before.  It has done wonders for who I am.  You have given me a bravery I never would have imagined having.  Some people have let me know I should be who I am and not care what anyone else thinks, but you are the one who let me know that even when I do, someone will love me.  I thank you for that.  You have shown me what I will and will not accept from people, and have made me know what I want out of life and how much I am willing to risk to have it.

You also changed the way I view love.  I thought you were the love of my life.  I realize that you are a love my life.  Not the love of my life.  That is a very different shift in the way I view I things, and I think it is probably a healthier to way see it.  It is actually somewhat freeing, knowing that there is all this space in my heart and knowing that just because someone is in it does not mean that someone can not have their own place in it.

So many people loved you so much.  Some of the people who never met you in person even.  One of our friends did a really touching tribute to you that I just think if you saw you’d do that thing where you are smiling so hard but trying not show it until you got home and cried happy tears like you used to do.  I miss that smile so much.

I know that if you could read this, you would already know these things.  I hope that in some way you do.  Somehow.  And even though I am writing this to you, I really think this is more for me to be able to put these feelings that all pop up randomly into words.  Maybe it is also a way to warn those closest to me that I am a basket case right now and probably will be through at least the remainder of this month.

Or maybe I just felt that if I send this out to the universe then it can find its way to you so that you know I will always love you, no matter how mad at you I may be some days, and no matter what happens during the rest of my life.

I will love you forever, and ever, and always.  You will always by my Sweetness, my Bear, and my Hannah Girl.

With all that I am,

Your Mister






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Forever, and ever, and always.




An Open Letter To My Wife

Dearest Sweetness, (I’d say Hannah, but I know you would just respond with, “Don’t call me by my government name!”)

Despite what my incoherent crying and wailing would have led you to believe, yesterday was not in fact, the worst day of my life.  That you somehow managed to end your suffering on our wedding anniversary tells me that you either wanted me to be able to say, “We were married three years,” instead of, “We were married almost three years,” or perhaps you knew that I had actually lost you Wednesday when you became non-responsive and were giving me the gift of no longer having to see you struggle.  Either way, it just shows me how much you loved me.  It will make me able to remember our anniversary as a good day at some point in the future instead of such a terrible day.  Thank you for that gift.

I miss you so much.  You were everything a person should strive to be.  Your kindness to everyone, your selflessness, everything about you was legendary.  I promise you I will do everything in my power to spread your legend and ensure your amazing heart is never forgotten.

I don’t why things went downhill so fast, but I think maybe the damage was too great, and your will alone fooled people into believing that you had the ability to recover.  I am glad I was able to let you know how much I loved you, and that my love for you will last the ages.  I am glad we lived that love.  I am glad that you understood my love for you is unconditional.

I do not want to live without you, but I know that you were so selfless that when I was battling my cancer and complications, you did not fight for me for you; you fought for me for me.  I tried so hard to do the same for you.  I am sorry it was a fight we could not win.  Please know I tried with every ounce of strength that I had.  I would love nothing more than to leave this world and take away this pain, but I know you would never forgive me, and so I will live this life the best I can until we meet again.

You know I have never been very religious, but I know the exact second your soul left your body and the shell ceased to function.  Wherever you are, I know you are in a better place and your pain is over now.  I thank you for going peacefully, while I was by your side, instead of waiting for me to be out of the room.

It will be a long time before I am okay, and I will never stop loving you.  The pain will be there until we meet again, in some alternate universe, or Heaven, or whatever it is.  Perhaps, because of time and space being a mere illusion; where you are, we are already together without challenge.  Maybe I just can’t feel it here.

So I don’t want you to worry about me.  I will struggle, and I hate this; but I will keep going for you.  I will manage to get by somehow.  I have a lot of support from my family and yours, and all of our friends.  Friends who loved you so much, they let me into their world.  You added so much to my life in the 3 years we were married; and 5 years, 10 months we were together.  My devotion to you is unshakable, even as you are no longer in this world.

I think the taos understand, they have been extra lovey and Piedmont even laid her head on my shoulder when I picked her up and cried once we got home yesterday.

I think of the light you brought to not only my life, but the lives of so many others.  The zoo that was your hospital room in the final days was not just because you have a huge family, but because you touched so many lives.  So many of those people were friends.  Some people just met you once or twice and because of your amazing personality, loved you from the start.

The last nurse said about all of the people in to see you in those last days, “She must have been a very great person.  You can tell how someone lived by how they die.”

There is no doubt that the world is a far darker place without you in it, but we will soldier on; because that is what we do.

I will love you, forever, and ever, and always.  You will always be my Sweetness, my Bear, and my Hannah Girl.

With all that I am,

Your Mister