to find Patti Singleton these days.

EDDD 17; “Sending News Secretly,” Letter To Paul


“Your body is away from me  But there is a window open, from my heart to yours.  From this window, like the moon,  I keep sending news secretly.” Rumi

When I read this quote on my friend, Elaine’s site, it reminded me of a letter to Paul that I posted back in June. Paul died August 9, 2009 after a year-long battle for his life; first leukemia, then a stem cell transplant, then his body attacked itself with Graft vs Host Disease of the Gut. I was his 24/7 advocate/caregiver in the 3 hospitals, the 4 temp housing units in Seattle and for his final 2 weeks in our bed at home. In our short 4+ years of working, living, loving and building dreams together, we considered ourselves married. Just 7 weeks before his death, I climbed into Paul’s hospital bed at the U of W Hospital, and we made it legal and official. Since his death, I have “sent news secretly” to Paul through my journal. After the death of my little grandson, I didn’t write in my journal very often. The letter below is my catch-up letter, as I resumed my healing writing habits. I’ve recently updated it to include another lost loved one.

Look Paul, the reality is that I have no idea what you do or do not know about what’s been going on around here, and maybe just for me, I need to catch you up. For all I know you could simply be ashes buried deep; away forever, from this well-lit world that I walk in. For all I know you are “up there” bitchin’ about the fancy food and wondering when Earl’s gonna be on. So, that’s the place I’m going to imagine you while I write this little note. I mean, how can I think of you as just gone? Just buried ashes? At the same time, you know I haven’t let the bliss of religion take me over; we’ll just settle for “up there.”

In the place I keep you in my mind, you have all the sweet company of lost pets, your parents, and your former wife, Janet. We talked about it before you left, and I know where the balance of your love lies; Janet was the love before ours, I was the love of your present and future (huh! Some future!). You guys can hang out until I get there and then we’ll all be friends. Janet and I will probably ditch you and go antiquing anyway.

I’m sure my sis, Michaela, has found you by now. She’s the one cracking up, putting on fancy parties and trying to take care of everybody else. Our family friend Tommy is probably with her, and you two are going to get along great—you both have that little sparkle in your eyes that I never did figure out. It does my heart good to think of the three of you having fun together, and you pulling them into your own family circle up there. You’ll probably sit around watching Johnny Carson with my grandma and ogling pretty women during the commercials with my Uncle Eddie. My Aunt Norma has joined you, her parents and her brother, Uncle Eddie, by now. She’ll be telling bawdy jokes that you guys will eat up. She’ll be fighting my sis, Michaela, for snuggling time with Tiven, then the two of them will exchange manicures and recipes. Don’t miss Aunt Norma’s chicken enchiladas or Michaela’s layered chocolate pudding, whip cream and cake dessert!

There’s a precious little 3-year-old blond boy up there too now. He’s Jon’s son, Tiven, born just a few months after you left. That birth was an amazing event, and one of the only things that could get me out of the house. You’ll probably find him snuggled up with my sis, since she’s always been an awesome mommy. He needs one. And Tiven actually knows you, his papa, from all the pictures he’s seen and from all the stories we tell about you. You were so good with Nola and Cora, and I know you’ll just love our Tiven as much.

We could use some help down here, with keeping an eye on and caring for Tiven’s brother, Hunter. If you folks in the know up there could visit him and surround him with your love, I’d appreciate it.

Anyway, honey, I miss you more than you can imagine, and I hope you are dealing with this better than I am. I’m trying and I’m finally back to writing, so don’t nag about that. Just like we talked about, my hope is that our memoir will help others travel that rocky road of love, illness and death with better ease than we did. Well, I better get back to it.

IMG_0688You always loved holidays and had a way of getting me to love them too, so Merry Christmas, my sweet man.

Love you always and forever, Your Patti

Oh, and I know it’s you, sending Tiven to wake me with his little kisses. Send more.


Every Damn Day? Who’s idea was this anyway? The culprit can be found here: Every Damn Day December at

Rumi quote from:

Author: Patti Singleton

Pursuits of happiness include gardening, walking the desert, reading, writing, photography, traveling and genealogy.

17 thoughts on “EDDD 17; “Sending News Secretly,” Letter To Paul

  1. I think your journal to Paul is inspired Patti. Not only does it keep him informed ( though I’m guessing he watches anyway) but it must be cathartic for you as well. That’s really good for you. Because my hope is that we’re watched, I haven’t written directly to my Ju but I have lots of pictures around that I speak to, mainly to remind her I love her and as Christmas was her favourite time of the year I bought a small tree to stand by her ashes that maybe I can plant later.
    I hope she’s met up with her parents, my parents and those other special people and pets that passed upstairs before us. Since she always said I was the only love of her life I’ll be expecting her to wait for me so I can tell her just how special the grandson she just missed is and what a fantastic mother our daughter is, and father our son-in-law is too.
    My comfort comes from hoping she hears my words and feels the pain I feel in missing her so badly.
    I think your journal will be a wonderful inheritance for the family when you finally ( but not too soon) go to meet with Paul who will be waiting for you.
    xxx I send you Huge Christmas Hugs xxx
    Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda.

    • Thank you David! As I recall, this is your first Christmas without your dear Ju. And still you reach out in comfort and friendship to so many others. I greatly admire that.
      I spent many hours reading about you and your loved ones and was so sad when that precious grand baby was born without his grandma near.
      I’m glad we both have the comfort of visioning them “up there” and continuing our communication with them. It helps.
      Warm hugs and a peaceful holiday to you and yours,

  2. What a lovely letter. I bet Paul chuckles all the way through it, perhaps with tears in his eyes. And I bet he reads it aloud (again and again) to any one who will listen. That’s my version of Heaven: Paul reading your letters with all the loved ones you mention around him, just waiting for when you can tell him your stories face-to-face. For my sake, though, I hope that won’t be for a very long while. *Hugs*

    • Thank you, Marie, your version and mine are alike. I got a big smile from your writing about his rc’ving the letter. That is just what he would do. I never really got used to him showing me off to everyone, to him being proud that I was his love. Hugs to you, my friend.

  3. Patti, I love the Rumi quote and that you are sharing your vulnerability with us. You have inspired me to sit down and write my own letter to my husband who has been gone now 10 Christmas seasons. Thank you Patti for bringing a smile to my face, for I believe those that have left this Earthly realm are never truly far away from us and in fact they will always live on in our hearts, if we allow them to.

    • Love your online name!
      When I saw that quote on my friend’s site it inspired me, and she (as I am) will be so happy that it has passed down to inspire another writer and widow.
      And I made you smile, thank you for telling me.
      I think you will love what comes out of writing a letter to your late husband. Lots of tears, for sure, but if you try to keep it in the spirit of your past conversations with him, I think it will bring some smiles too.
      You have given me smiles this morn and warmed my heart as well:>) Thank you

  4. It’s nice to think of Paul watching over Tiven up there while he watches over you here. Your words remind me that my mother, and others, will always be with me no matter the years that pass…watching over me, the children and grandchild.

  5. Oh Patti, this is just so beautiful and I’m sure there were nods and smiles as the words reached the other side. May each of us reading them send them higher with even more love and energy to bring the connection closer for you at Christmas.

  6. Patti, you got me with the Rumi quote — beautiful! Having read your letter to Paul earlier, I thought I could get through it this time without tearing up, but no weepy eyed me didn’t make it. I find it so completely joyous that you write to Paul. I think it sends a clear message that you and he had a special relationship, one of no secrets between you and nothing but true love flowing back and forth. And now little Tiven will know what’s going on as well. You are a talented writer, and someday, dear friend, you will be published!

  7. Patti, this is my favorite poem and a lovely post. I gave a reflection (in a pulpit–closest I’ll ever get to being a preacher) at a hospice memorial service just over a year ago and ended with that poem. Everyone who loves someone who is somewhere else, out there, not here, gone beyond, loves that poem. I love your letter. It’s therapeutic for you and for me. I smile at the gentle humor. I am warmed by the tenderness. I want to know more about all you’ve lost and what remains. Love remains, that’s for sure.

    My son Anthony left tonight and David and Liz arrive tomorrow night. I’m behind on everything, but your December blogs will wait for me to catch up in January.

    Wildflower Women, whoever you are, I wish I’d thought of that great name. I’m a wildflower woman, too.

    • Yes, love remains, but I’m still figuring out what else remains. That poem is inspiring and touching so many hearts. I wonder if Rumi had any idea how far and deep that he would live on… I wish we all lived on this long, but most will be forgotten within a generation or two. That thought has been making me sad and making me ponder since I started working on family history many years ago. I digress!
      So glad that your sons and Liz could come play with you awhile. I know that you will have some fun and meaningful time.
      I guess we could be Wildflower Woman 2 & 3 :>)
      Warm Hugs and a wonderful holiday.

  8. Patti I saw this post on Elaine’s FB. How many times have I told you how courageous and inspiring you are? Well I will say it again. I am sorry for your losses but I applaud you for the way you soldier on through life and not just existing but giving so much of yourself to others. God bless! xo:)

    • This was a wonderful comment that I almost missed when I was in here catching up. I am humbled by your praise, Debby and will do my best to live up to it. Sometimes all we need are friends who encourage and cheer for us, and you are so generous in this task:>)

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