I suppose it’s only fair that I start this letter the same way I started all of the ones I wrote to you. Those are currently sitting on the desk beside me as I type this. Your brother sent them to me. I didn’t want them thrown away. I didn’t want the only evidence of my love for you destroyed. I’ve thought about putting them in with the ones you sent me, as kind of a timeline of our correspondence, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to look through them except once.
You see, I read through two of the letters I sent you, and I was struck by the depth of love filling them. I loved you very much. I still do. I’m planning on getting a tattoo of a Kerouac quote on my arm, just for you. I don’t know how well that would go over for you, but you’ve been so integral in my life, so it’s only fitting to have a piece of you documented.
I try not to think about it all, honestly. Because when I do I start to feel disloyal to my partner. He’s a fantastic person, and he’s very understanding about the two of us. The reason I feel disloyal sometimes is because of how much I forgot I love you. Maybe the saying is true, that after someone’s gone you only remember the good bits. But I’ve got to disagree with that statement because all of the bits with you were good. Even when you were being a curmudgeon.
Your letters proved that you weren’t just a cranky person. You suffered a lot. The mental anguish you described in some of them, and the allusions to it, reminded me that you were so beautiful. You were so very loved, and I wanted the world to see you for who I saw you as. I wanted the members of our little forum to accept the man I saw behind the grumpy messages, the arguments. I wanted the world to love you like I did. And I still do.
Your birthday is coming up. And I will celebrate it, along with a few other things, but mostly I’ll be celebrating you. I’ve made a deal with my partner. The morning is for you. The rest of the day is for me and him.
I have so much I wanted to say to you. I’ve been preparing myself for grad school. I know you’d be proud of that. I’ve been working on being happier, and I know you’d be pleased as punch about it. I’ve been writing more, too. Something you and I loved to talk about. There is so much of your love for writing in our letters. It made me smile when I read over them again.
Henry, the world is not the same without you. Days differ on whether it’s too big or too small. Today it’s just empty. It’s empty because you’re dead and I didn’t get to tell you enough how much I love you and how cherished you are.
I miss you. You are the moon, and the moon is a piece of me…