Feb. 9, 2017

Grief and Healing

“Your wings were ready but my heart was not.” ~ Unknown

A very insightful and wise friend inspired me to write this letter.  The purpose of this post is to share it in the hopes that the pain of the passing of someone special to me eases a tiny bit and the healing can continue.  If you’re reading this, I hope it helps you.


Marcus Lee,

I miss you and my heart hurts so much that I don’t know how it hasn’t given up on me.  For twenty-three years, sorrow has been my constant companion.  Some days are really hard, others are lighter, some are even joyful.  But… It has been twenty-three years since you left.  Twenty-three years that I’ve spent missing you.  I wish we had more time.  I wish you were still here.  I can’t help but wonder what kind of man you’d be.  I wonder what you’d look like by now.  I have so many questions that I know will never be answered, but I hope that in some way, you’d be able to answer them for me.

Would you be tall and built like a damn brickhouse like your father?  Or short and round like your mother?  Or would you be a beautiful combination of the two?  Would looking into your eyes have been like looking into a mirror?  Would you have your mother’s crazy sense of humor?  Or your father’s dry one?  Would you have expected your parents to stay together?  Would you have wanted siblings to torment and protect against the world? 

Would you have been a man that made his mother proud with every breath you took?  Would you be in school right now learning to become a doctor?  Would that have been your dream or mine?  Would you have been a football player?  Would you have been a businessman?  Would you have followed tradition and joined the military?  Would you be a man driven by passion, whether it be for music or art or books or whatever you needed?  Would you have decided to gain some footing into your career before settling down?  Would you have dedicated your life to serving or helping others?  Would you be married now?   Would you have introduced your first child to me by making me be in the delivery room with you both? 

Would you have hung out with me often with a permanent “facepalm” expression on your face every time I opened my mouth?  Would you have been my witness to “The Adventures of Ceej?”  Or would you have been an active participant?  Would your mouth have been as bad as mine?  Or would you have curbed my natural enjoyment of profanity? 

Would you have been the one to keep me from losing my mind with each scary diagnosis?  Would you have been with my family in the waiting room every time I had surgery?  Would you have gone with me to my appointments?  Would you have held my hand during treatments?  Would you have held my hair when I couldn’t keep my food down?  Would you have sat there and pleaded with me to be strong every time I begged to give up?  Would you have interrogated every man I dated?  Would you have given me shit every time I dated a jackass?  Would you have teased me about my books?  Or would you have built me bookcases?  Would you be as tattooed as I am? 

Though your passing has made me into the person I am today, I can’t help but wish you were here.  We didn’t have enough time together, damn it.  I wish I could call and talk to you.  I wish I could hold you in my arms again, even for a moment.  I wish I could just see your handsome face. I wish I didn’t have this pain, but I know that it helps me remember you even as my disease takes over my brain.  Not that I could ever forget you, not in any world.  I still remember your hand in mine and what I believed was absolute trust in your eyes.

One heartbreaking thing that I’ve never said out loud or written down…I’m sorry I wasn’t there when you took your last breath.  I hope you have forgiven me so I can forgive myself because with this letter, I have.

I hope that I’m making you proud. 

Marcus Lee Micah Romano, Jr., thank you my love, for watching over and protecting me all these years. 

All my love, Me.


For those reading this post, I hope that this helps you to realize that grieving is okay, even decades after the fact.  There is no timeline on grief, no matter what people say.  You can still live a life full of joy and still have that part of your heart be broken.  I’m living proof.  I hope you get some healing, maybe some relief, and can remember the joy of your loved one.

Until later… be safe and be kind to one another.