Home » A Wasted Life » What Would You Do?

What Would You Do?

Last night, I was trying to find something to watch on television and I noticed that “P. S. I Love You” was on.  I have seen it before and actually have the DVD but I could never watch it again so I instead opted for Forensic Files.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s about a young couple named Holly and Jerry.

They weren’t lucky enough to have the fairy tale ending of “happily ever after” because Jerry died of a brain tumor, which devastated Holly.

She was so grief-stricken, she could barely function but Jerry had made arrangements for a series of letters from him to come in the mail.  Those letters literally gave Holly a reason to get up in the morning and start living again.

Unbeknownst to Holly, her mother had been complicit in helping Jerry.  She helped him complete his plans, which included everything from luncheons to a return trip to his birthplace in Ireland, where they met.  It was almost as if Jerry had come back to life.

Toward the end of the movie, Holly and her mother were standing on a bridge when her mother took an envelope out of her pocket and handed it to her.  She said “it’s the last one.”

I remember pausing the movie when she said that.  The finality of that statement suddenly made his death real again.  There would be no more letters.  It was the last one.
Had I ever known that kind of love, I know that when I heard those words, it would have ripped my heart out.

I knew my children had seen the movie.  I told Loser about it, trying not to be mushy or comparative so as not to make him growl at me and make me feel like a sentimental idiot.

My question to Loser and my children was this.  “Would you have opened the letter?” 

All five of them said “yes.” 

When they asked me, I said “no.  I would have never opened that letter.”
When they asked why, I said “because if I didn’t open it, there would always be another letter.”

I would have kept it beside my bed.  Every morning when I woke up, it would be there.  There would always be “another letter.”

I wouldn’t have wanted to know what was in that last letter.  I wouldn’t have wanted to know that it was probably going to say goodbye.  For me, when you’re leaving or have left somebody, goodbye is final.  Goodbye is forever.

Loser refused to say goodbye to me.  He knew what it meant and he didn’t want it to be forever.

Goodbye was the last word I ever said to him.

My question is this.

Would you open a letter from a loved one…if you knew that it was the last letter that you would ever get?


57 thoughts on “What Would You Do?

  1. I’d HAVE to read it, simply to know what was in it. Curiosity and cats..killed and brought back by satisfaction. But I LOVE your resolution. Always “one more letter”. I’ve still more of your blog to read, but I had a “Loser” of my own (he’s dead now) and I can say I wouldn’t want ‘one more’ anything from him.


    • LOL. I had one last email from Loser that I have never read.
      Even if I had felt about him the way Holly felt about Jerry, I still would have never read it. If he had left me one last gift, I would have probably opened it but not the letter.


  2. I found an unopened letter my grandmother has sent me years ago when I was in college several years after she passed. I was abit apprehensive because I couldn’t understand why or how I had missed this letter, it was among my stuff packed away which meant I would’ve packed. But why was is NOT opened? When we had fights or disagreement she would begin with, I can’t speak to your right now, so I’m writing. So I was afraid I would be opening old wounds, maybe it was on of THOSE letters and I didn’t open it because I was still angry at the time.
    I held my breath and opened the letter. I was a part of her on those pages, I had already healed from losing her so for me it was like a sign from beyond. Halfway through reading it, I went warp speed back in time. The letter was unopened because my aunt had brought it with her when she came to the US to help me pack my things after my graduation, which my grandmother couldn’t attend because she was unwell at the time. In the letter, she spoke of watching me grow up and how proud she was of me for pursuing my dreams, up to now my youngest aunt had been the first in my family to not only attend college, but graduated with honours. So I was more than proud to follow in her footstep. I still have that letter along with many others she wrote me and I read them often and each time is like the first.


    • What a wonderful thing. To find a letter like that, years after it was written was (I believe) a sign. I can understand re-visiting it from time to time. Isn’t it a little like re-visiting them? I wish I had a letter from…well…anybody to read. I have emails but it’s not the same thing. She is obviously looking over you and I know you find great comfort in that.
      I love the “I can’t speak to you right now.” Mamas and grandmas can be a bit trying at times. I’m sure your grandma is proud of you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t know… I don’t think I would have run around listening to his letters anyway. But I can imagine hearing those words, it’s his last one… I think it wouldve taken me a while to open it. I would have savoured it. Maybe tried to preserve it forever. But if I had read the others, I would have read this one too. And it wouldve broken my heart all over again.


    • If I had ever loved like she did, I would have been elated with every letter…but…when it was the last letter, it would have been the end.
      I think I would take great comfort in knowing that if I didn’t open it, there would always be, as I said…one more letter.
      Apparently, I am a minority of one in this scenario. LOL


  4. Ok. I am very late here. (Been utterly unavoidably distracted, lol). But I would have read the letter, in the end. Meaning, it would have taken some time. I would have held onto it and debated and had to prepare myself to read it, knowing it would be the last one. But in the end, I would have.

    Because he wrote, for me to read, and if I loved him, I’d have wanted to honor him be letting his thoughts and words and voice find their home. I think in the end it would have been a comfort to me.

    If the relationship was like Holly and Jerrys. Perhaps not, if it was like my ex’s and mine. Because I wouldn’t have cared what he had to say, and because I’d have felt no need to honor the words of a pathological liar, even if they were his last.

    Interesting question. 😊


    • Even if our relationship WAS like Holly and Jerrys’, I still wouldn’t have read it. If it was from Loser, like you said…I wouldn’t have been interested in reading any more of his lying, bullshit rhetoric. I would have tossed it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I probably wouldn’t read it right away, but in a time and place where the grief would be less strong. Then I’d save it and read it daily, like the daily affirmations I used to tape on my mirror.

    Some things should be treasured – and other things should be tossed out like last week’s garbage!


  6. I would think about what my lost loved one would want me to do. He obviously wrote the words because he wanted me to read them. Probably spent a lot of time getting the words just right. Doesn’t seem fair to refuse his last wish.


    • That makes sense but I would still want there to always be one more letter. If they felt about me the way they should, I would probably know what they had to say. If I read it, it would be, like I said, almost like them dying all over again. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      • In the movie, he was trying to help her grieve, even though he was no longer there. He went to a lot of effort to create some kind of closure for her. Because he loved her so very much. It was his last gift. I wouldn’t feel comfortable refusing such a gift.

        But the thing is, he’s gone and she’s here. She has to do what she thinks is best for her.


      • I loved that movie, more so because I don’t think I’ve ever been in love. If you decide to love, you also have to decide to accept the pain that goes along with it. The pain of potential infidelity or a medical crisis, and of course, the pain of loss. Because no one lives forever (except in our memories). I live with enough pain. I can’t handle any more.

        Most movies are about fantasy, not real life. Have your experiences led you to believe that love is a fantasy?


    • Perhaps our Hollywood version of love is a fantasy. The version that doesn’t take into account that humans are not perfect. Far from it. But love doesn’t have to last forever for it to count.

      If you haven’t experienced love, then why do you feel so much pain now? The pain you feel now is the pain that I don’t want to feel. But then, I don’t need the love from another person to feel complete. It’s not my goal to find the love of my life. I’m just happy when I find nice people. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I understand lies and betrayal. But when that happens between friends, it doesn’t hurt as much as when it happens between people who love each other. Like family. People who are supposed to love you, no matter what. But that’s not reality. Marriage contracts are about forever, but for most people, that’s not reality either. Family is supposed to be forever, but many people don’t even have that.

        What I’m saying is that you wouldn’t have felt that incredible pain unless you had been in love. I’d like to think that during such a long marriage, your husband loved you, too. But regardless of what the fairy tales say, love doesn’t always last forever. Even the love between a mother and child doesn’t always last forever.

        Love isn’t about forever. It’s about this moment, right now. If you feel love for someone else, that’s wonderful. If that person doesn’t love you back, is it their fault? When someone doesn’t love you back, that’s about them, not you.


        • I disagree about the “being in love” thing. I was used to him. I didn’t even like him most of the time so I know there was no love there. I’m not sure there ever was. I know I admired his intelligence and I admired what I thought was his honor.
          With my children…I don’t even know how to explain it. Like Loser, I don’t feel like I even know them anymore. What I do know is that they have basically the same mindset that Loser has. That makes it difficult for me but I will never put myself into a situation again, to be ridiculed, blamed and abused….not by ANYBODY.


  7. I don’t know if I would. I’ve also never had a love like that and wouldn’t know what I would do until/unless actually presented with that situation. For example, I used to say “OMG if that happened to me I’d be screaming and freaking out”. But I’ve learned when faced with crises that I’m actually very calm and usually the person NOT freaking out. So I’d like to say that I would open it because I can’t stand surprises that I know about ahead of time, but I can’t say unless it actually happened.

    That said, I cannot watch that movie. It makes me cry my head right off.


  8. I’m too curious and masochistic not to. Maybe I’d not read it right away but, if eventually would.

    But I love how you said if you don’t read it, there will always be a letter waiting. I never thought about it that way.

    Liked by 1 person

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