“When good men die their goodness does not perish, but lives on though they are gone.” ~ Euripides
Thank you. Thank you for embodying your authentic self and welcoming me to be the Alice Lundy you saw—not just my best self, but the real me: raw, vulnerable, smart, beautiful, jealous, funny, a writer worth reading, sexy, determined, feisty, intuitive, angry, weird, stubborn, free-spirited, and a terrible singer, but a great story-teller.
You saw me. You got me. All of me—the parts I wanted to deny, abandon, or project onto others, and especially the qualities about myself I believe on my best days.
You knew who I was back when the only thing I cared more about than selling books was the truth, and I assumed it was clear and simple.
So, I held truth against you for 20 years and you let me without pitting alternatives against me, as you could’ve easily done.
Thank you for carrying our 25-year friendship and calling consistently, despite me taking it for granted and leaving you hanging, sometimes for weeks. My obliviousness, along with all the times I tried to set you up with other gals, matched your persistence.
You doled out invitations, starting way back in 1989 with the first party you took me to out in the country at your friend Ed’s, when I was escaping my ill-fitting life with my first husband and you were partying like a rock star.
You dismissing hard drugs before we became a couple opened the door for us, and divulging the details about your troubles swung it wide.
I’m amazed at how you evolved as a man in the years we walked separate paths. You came back into my life carrying a brand of manly emotional courage I’d never known.
You braved our love by going deeper than you’d ever gone. Early on, I couldn’t imagine it wasn’t your M.O. or a kind of show, but you showed me!
Your colorful personality, passion and resolve earned you your nickname: Fire!
Your creative questions and present listening, as you navigated knowing me on a soul level, left an imprint of intimacy actualized.
I cherish the memories of our challenging conversations on subjects like race, death, politics, religion, and education.
Many assume I’m sad about all the things we didn’t get to say or do. Not true. We said and did it all.
We sucked the marrow out of life. In our less than two years as a couple, we did a decade. As your friend Garry said, “Of course. I saw it. God opened up time so Kevin could have that experience before he left this life.”
True, and I would’ve loved to keep riding with you until the end of my days.
Thank you for planning for us, making way and expanding our everything.
You taught me to wrestle with our differences without dismissing me or letting me run away.
Thank you for always encouraging me to run back into your arms, like the time I jumped in my car and took off down the road, in a furry bound for nowhere, so mad I was unaware my parking brake was on.
You said you were sorry and, “Come back home,” as if it was ours.
Thank you for knowing and acting on your ability to apologize as a man and not letting me belittle or bullshit you, which I once had a tendency to do.
Kevin, thank you for sparing me the one truth I would’ve sworn I could handle—your friendship with your ex. You were right, even though you were so f*cking wrong for lying to me.
Thank you for coming back to me after you died.
You came through your brother Glenn’s body and hugged me—as only you could do—when I went to your house and crumbled on the bathroom floor.
You told me the perfect things to pack at 4 am, after I overslept and stood in a fog from trying half an antidepressant the night before, leaving me unpacked and unprepared for the flight to your memorial service in Tampa. Because of you, I had exactly what I needed, no more and no less, even with the unexpected detour and change in weather.
Then, two pennies (one dated 2014, the year we got together) appeared on a table in the airport, on the hotel room bed, in my car and other places.
Back home, as I walked into church alone to my bones, you sang “There Must Be 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” and made me laugh.
The day I looked up out of my sunroof to dry my tears before yoga class, you sent your heart in a cloud, as you’ve done dozens of times since, because as you say, you can no longer send flowers.
And the smell of your cigars (the only ones I ever liked) while I’m on my mat? Nice.
One night under a full moon, you led me through the woods on a path and told me it would continue to unfold if I just keep walking. I’m trying.
You repeatedly say, “I’m here, Icey, I’m here.” I accept; you really have just walked into another room.
Thank you for filling me with your love and divine lessons—most of which you never intentionally taught or articulated.
One of my favorites is: never argue for your limitations. I’m working on it.
You mirrored to me the things I needed to see in a way I didn’t resist, which is rare for a rebel like me. I’m forever grateful.
Thank you for everything you left me: the tangible gifts of a killer (your word) wardrobe, the Tanzanite bracelet, my Kindle Fire, little black jam speaker, piles of legendary love letters I’ll forever treasure, and especially memories of our time together bursting with crazy, sexy, cool, even in the mundane—morning coffee, car rides, and the sound of your voice.
Thank you for kicking cancer’s ass before you and I became Fire & Ice and sharing your conviction that your mother brought me into your life so you could have the kind of relationship she desired for you.
Kevin, it was my honor to give you that gift. Your arms were my home.
You said it was destiny, not fantasy. You delivered real.
If you had to leave me, thank you for preparing me with an overflowing bank of love and your belief in me as a woman and a writer.
Although we both wish you didn’t have to go, I (almost) appreciate how you slipped out in your sleep. That’s the only way the angels could snatch you!
You know I thought I could endure standing by your side if cancer ever tried again or watch you wither with old age, but that’s not how it went down.
We had no warning and maybe that’s best because we had no fear.
I hate that you died in the middle of a sentence, in the middle of a page, in the center of my favorite chapter of what I thought would be a long book.
You said our love would “just keep getting better” and I believed in your certainty. We didn’t see it coming, did we?
In one of your voicemails (yes, I still listen), you told me you couldn’t imagine your life without me in it. Ditto, but here I am.
Oh, how I absolutely despise your death! Yet, I (try to) believe it to be a part of our divine destiny, as you make it known to me.
Thank you, baby. For staying with me still. Death can’t divide Fire & Ice!
I LOVE YOU.
From the one stuck on this side,
3 thoughts on “Letter to my Beloved, a Year and a Half after his Death.”
Beautiful – thank you for sharing. I love the idea that God did away with the normal limitations of time so you could “suck the marrow out of life” together.
Reblogged this on Alice in Authorland and commented:
Three and a half years after Kevin’s death, I think less, “Damn! I lost that!” I think more, “Wow! I had that!” Crazy, sexy, cool.