Happy Birthday, James! Here’s to Joy

This is a departure from my regular posts. Here, I write a very personal letter that I would like to share with you, one, I think, my son will be very happy to receive.

Dear Son,

Happy Birthday! I hope you are celebrating where you are, with your grandparents, your great-grandparents, and Aunt Margie and Uncle John. And of course, all our ancestors whom you have so diligently taught the gospel over these past – almost – twenty years. It shows in the amount of names I’ve been able to take or send to the temple. You honor your name, and you honor your priesthood.

And yes, we can’t forget your brother. Your life wasn’t complete here without Junior. I’m certain it would be the same there. I can just see him now, trying to set things up where there will be some sort of surprise.

younger james

Well, I have a surprise of my own. For me, this is the year of letting go. I’m letting go of my depression Letting go of my fears. Of what has held me back for all these years. And yes, my dear, I’m letting go of you.

I’m finally letting you go to do the things, whatever they may be, that you need to do. You don’t need to worry about me any longer. I am well taken care of. You knew that the day you died. I did, too. But I’ve been so caught up in grief all these years, so afraid that if I let go, I’d be letting go of love. That I’d be saying, in a way, that I loved you less.

But that’s not it at all. In fact, it’s freeing. I can grow. And so can you And isn’t that what love is all about?

And so, my son, my love, my light, I am finally saying what I should have said a long time ago.

Until we meet again,

Goodbye for now.

I love you forever,


What have you to say that you have left unsaid?

A Pocketful of Joy to Fill Your Day

18 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, James! Here’s to Joy

  1. I love this post! I cannot even begin to imagine the pain of losing a child, and you have had to lose more than one. This is a beautiful and hope-filled tribute. Letting our children go – no matter what side of the veil they be – is one of the hardest tasks of a parent. Thank you for the reminder that when we “let them go” we are not losing, but giving love.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Betty, this made my cry. You are the bravest person I have (n)ever met. To finally let go of grief of a magnitude that I cannot fathom is just… I don’t even have the words and I always have words. A big tight virtual hug coming your way, with a lot of love and my best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kindest of words. It has taken me almost 20 years to get here, and it is, by far, the hardest thing I have ever done, but there are blessings. I’m so grateful for you and the other people on WordPress who have reached out to me. You’re the best!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A very emotional and moving letter, Betty. You have suffered so much and your bravery is incredible. Your decision to throw away depression does you proud, and all I can do is send you love and hope this year serves you well. Enjoy your new home and do that travelling you talked about. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Millie. If I am brave, it’s only because I had to be. I don’t know that I would choose this lot. But I appreciate your words of encouragement, and hope to do all the things hubby and I have planned. And I am enjoying the rest of the year, and the rest of my life!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You made me cry.

    “You don’t need to worry about me any longer. I am well taken care of. You knew that the day you died. I did, too”

    If there is such deep connection between souls, then there is no need to feel depressed. Love never dies.
    “But that’s not it at all. In fact, it’s freeing. I can grow. And so can you. And isn’t that what love is all about?”

    Of course love is about that, letting each other grow. I’m sure if they were physically around you they would be happy only if you were happy and not depressed. So you should now enjoy life even if for their sake.

    Liked by 1 person

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