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by on September 29, 2010

Dear Mary,

Once we said our love would transcend time and space: that nothing could ever come between us. I promised our relationship would be forever but I confess I didn’t anticipate this. Things just aren’t the same in the last few months. I know it sounds shallow but I want that warm vibrant girl back; the one I fell in love with.

A candle-lit dinner and plum rich Merlot isn’t the same if your lover can’t eat and drink with you – our beautiful fireplace can warm only one of us. When it comes to sex, I’ve really tried, but your icy touch is too clammy for my taste: those familiar intimacies more terrifying than exciting.

Before your death you had friends and a job: something to do with your time. Now you just hang around the house all day moaning: I can’t get a moment’s privacy. And it’s stressful keeping up the charade of bereaved widower: our friends keep organising blind dates for me and I’m running out of excuses.

I want to thank you for the best decade of my life but things have changed: your constant presence is making me feel trapped, a living death, as if things will never change. So I have to get out.

I’ve sold the house to a nice young family with two young children (I know you always wanted daughters – so now you can watch them grow). I wish I could have told you face to face but I’m still having nightmares about your last tantrum and I can’t afford to replace the plumbing and electrics again.

Goodbye my love,


  1. nantalith permalink

    This made me laugh – forever really is a long time 😀

  2. cbraz permalink

    I loved this! You captured the tone perfectly, and it is a lovely twist on a love story / Dear John letter. It is potentially serious and tragic or hilarious, and you treat it with a very light touch passing between the two. I enjoyed the detail about situations: dinner with Merlot in front of the fire, work and friends, sex. I think the first paragraph introduces the letter beautifully with high ideas about love and fidelity.

    I didn’t like the bit about moaning around the house – I would have preferred the sentence with that word left out. It felt like a little bit of a cheap shot when most of the letter rang true. Also, the young couple with young children feels a bit clumsy with the repetition of “young”.

  3. Very sweet and not as creepy as one might expect.
    Really lovely language. I especially enjoyed:
    > plum rich Merlot
    > those familiar intimacies more terrifying than exciting.

    I really liked the keeping-a-secret vibes, especially the comment about the blind dates – funny and telling.

    The only bit that didn’t quite wangle my grenfriks was
    > I’m still having nightmares about your last tantrum …
    It seemed a little too cold compared to the rest.

  4. parfles permalink

    A clever idea, and the medium (no pun intended) of a letter is a good way to deliver it.

    I had some trouble with the tone: I found it a little too stilted at times compared with the poetry of other sections. The merlot, the clammy touch, the living death, are all quite poetic and descriptive. In contrast,

    I promised our relationship would be forever

    I can’t get a moment’s privacy.

    our friends keep organising blind dates

    all feel a bit matter-of-fact, and the tone changes from sentence to sentence as a result.

    I felt there was a missed opportunity here – this is a story about falling out of love with someone, and maybe it could have been told by drawing parallels with a normal couple falling out of love. Love ends for many reasons, and I would have liked to have a sense that he fell out of love with her, and the physical complaints were a symptom of this but not the cause?

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