Letter to Lynn

Hey Honey,

I can’t believe it’s been a year. I also can’t believe I’m writing you a letter … it’s got to be over 30 years since I’ve done that.

Anyway, let me give you a quick update on the boys (seeing this is an “open letter” I’m not going to say too much as I want to respect their privacy and don’t want to speak for them.  And honestly, I don’t truly know what it’s like for them … we’re all dealing with our own personal struggles with this). I do know it’s just really hard for them, really painful and sad … they hurt and miss you terribly.

So, Ryan moved to Denver in May. He’ll be going to school out there this fall. He’s going to study horticulture. I’m impressed by his focus to “find his way”. On his own, he did the bulk of the groundwork to apply for school; research apartments in the Denver area; and pack up and move his stuff from Wilmington to the apartment in Denver. We went out in May to apartment hunt and found him a nice one bedroom downtown.

Brendon and Christa are going strong. They moved from the one bedroom apartment by the Galleria to a three-level city house in the Heights area of Houston. But the bigger news is … they have a puppy, Luna, she’s gorgeous … and makes Brendon smile! Brendon’s got some good prospects going with his social media marketing and photography.

And as for the puppies. Well, I “re-homed” Beau. He was just lost and so sad without you. Just seemed to cry all the time. And with my work and travel schedule I just couldn’t give him all the attention he needed. Pam, your college roommate, was so sweet to take him in. He’s adjusted really well. I still have Raven … she’s the same “young”, active, crazy Raven. Ryan and I are debating whether she stays with me or moves out to Denver. It’s not a contentious debate … he’s being extremely grown up about it … wants what is right for Raven. Although Colorado is a great place for outdoor activities … you know how Raven loves her pool and ocean access.

For me, I went back to work just after Labor Day. There was a significant period of time where I wasn’t sure if I’d go back … to be honest after losing you I just didn’t give a shit … lost my sense of purpose. But in the end, I decided it’s just a “healthier” routine for me to be working. And I felt the “pull” from GE leadership and my team which just felt right. So, it’s good to be back … but it’s also a lot to keep up with given the hours, the travel, and managing all the stuff that YOU used to manage around the house and with the boys … but I’m doing the best I can (note: I was never one of those guys that failed to appreciate what the stay at home “chief operating officer of the house” did). And except for the potted plants, I haven’t killed or ruined anything yet.

As you can see … I started a blog in your memory. I’ve also setup a non-profit organization … Lynn’s Love Story Foundation. I want you to be remembered; I want people to appreciate that wonderful, strong, loving people are being stolen away from us as a result of mental illness leading to suicide; I want people to feel ok to talk about suicide and not feel any shame; I want to help people avoid what’s happened to us. In conjunction with the Foundation … I’m working with friends from back home in Waterford to put together a golf tournament in your honor. It’s shaping up to be quite the event and the plan is to do it annually. I know you wouldn’t want the attention … but sorry, given the circumstances you don’t get a vote :)! I’m just blown away by how many people are willing to contribute and support. The proceeds for the first tournament will go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).

Just so you know … and speaking selfishly …. it’s really hard without you hon … I struggle to wrap my head around this whole thing. How things for us were so good and then everything went to shit so fast … it just blows my mind. To think that one day we’re enjoying a beautiful vacation on a Caribbean Island and the next you’re gone. One of my last fond memories of us on that vacation was snorkeling off the pier of that restaurant downtown. You were having problems with your fins hurting your feet … so you just went without. I came back in after about an hour but you just kept going and going … swimming around effortlessly for at least another hour … sans fins … just like a little dolphin!  I get so angry sometimes thinking about what I’ve lost … you. I miss everything about us … about you. It’s really fucking bad … it’s fucking brutal. Sorry, excuse my “French”.

I’m not trying to be a tough guy and I’m not trying to ride this nightmare out on my own. I’m getting a tremendous amount of support from my family and friends … and I lean on them. I see a therapist regularly and I went to my first “Touched by Suicide” support group meeting this past Tuesday night. It was heart-breaking to hear all the stories of loss at the group session … but I’m glad I went. All of these things help … I want to talk about it, I want to talk about you.

Yet, even with all the help and support … it still feels like I’m living a nightmare. I wish I could’ve changed the sequence of events; I wish that I could’ve seen signs; I wish you would’ve given me some indication of the dark place you were in; I wish I just had a chance to help you, to intervene; I wish I would’ve just held you one more time. And as much as I play the “what if’s” over and over in my mind … it always comes back to the same thing … what you did wasn’t rational … something just had to “snap” in your brain, something overtook you and you weren’t able to shake it. Nothing else makes sense. We had it all … and most importantly we had each other … we loved each other, counted on each other, supported each other. I never doubted for a nano-second that you wouldn’t be there for me. And I pray honey that you never had a doubt about the same of me, to you … I love you so much. You had to know how important you were to all of us … you had to know how much you were loved … for me it was so easy to see. So, again for me, it comes back to something happened that just overtook you. But it was so fast, with no warning and that’s just tough for me to come to grips with.

Just know … I miss you so much, we all miss you so much. Whatever “logic’ that you had in your head at the time, that convinced you it was the only way … it was so flawed … we’re so worse off with out you … it hurts more than you can imagine. But, again, I also know that in that moment of despair you couldn’t have helped it … or you would’ve … I know that. I’d do anything to hold you again … I’d do anything to turn back the clock and change what happened.

I love you … I’ll always love you,

Me

P.S. The boys and I will be together starting on 15th for a couple of days … I don’t know what it’ll be like … tough I’m sure … but we just need to be together.

5 thoughts on “Letter to Lynn

  1. Dee Oliver says:

    I don’t know your personally but my brother, Mike Pipes, is your friend. He recommended your blog after filling me in on the circumstances surrounding Lynn’s death. I read every installment you sent out and my heart hurts for you & your boys. Again, I know we don’t know each other, but I’m so sorry you guys are having to deal with this. Lynn sounds like a lovely person. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jenrball says:

    Thank you for shining a light on mental illness (I call it a broken brain). We have so much work to do to better understand and help those suffering. I am so sorry you have to walk this painful path. Thank you for your transparency. I really appreciate it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. MARIANNE SHOOL says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart. I’m so sad for you and your sons, but I see that good can come of this because you are willing to share. BIG TEXAS hugs.
    (I love you Lynn! I miss you too!)

    Liked by 1 person

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