Joe's final letter | Cocktails and Chemo

I Didn’t Know What to Expect…

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  1. Pklein72 says:

    I was 15 when I lost my father to cancer. I cherish every moment that I had with him, all of the memories and photos that were taken before I can remember… My Dad was and still is a guiding light in my life. He passed 3/31/1987 when i was 15 years old. I dream about him cooking in my kitchen with my husband, and my husband has dreams of him as well, without ever having known him.
    Mira will live a rich life, knowing what an amazing Dad her father was.
    I am so sorry for your loss, but I am confident that your future is filled with richness. xo

  2. Cindy says:

    You are so blessed Amanda. A girlfriend of mine lost her husband about 6 weeks ago, and she cannot remember the sound of his voice. This is very upsetting to her.
    When my Mother passed away I so wanted to find a special letter she had taken the time to write to me about her love for me and what I had meant to her as her baby, and then a grown woman, and then her best friend, It was never to be found. I know she passed so fast, 5 weeks to be exact, and there wasn’t time. I do know that she loved me more than life and I feel we left nothing unsaid. I wish that we would have been more affectionate to one another thru the years, but sometimes that is difficult for some families. But I sat next to her as she passed and I know she was waiting for me to be there, and now that is all that matters. Amanda, you had it all, and you always will know Joe’s deepest love for you and baby daughter.

  3. Lorna Donaldson says:

    So beautiful. So transparent. Praying God will continue to hold you and Mira in the palm of His hand, and give you peace…❤️❤️❤️

  4. leti says:

    Sending thoughts and prayers your way, you are an amazing woman!

  5. Meg Pecoraro says:

    My husband died when we were 28… I had so many of the same thoughts – what does a twenty something year old widow look like? And, don’t feel badly about Santa – I took my kids to the farm near our house the next week…. Then life was a blur again. But, I knew my Joe (same name, crazy huh?) would have wanted his babies going to try and do something “fun.”

    I am in a young widow support group and it has been very healthy for me. To realize that there is no book – no recipe for how to grieve the “right” way – but sounds like your Joe knew exactly what you would need and when.

    The day of my Joe’s wake, I felt the same closeness that you felt at the funeral home. Each person (of over 1000) that came through the line, reminded me of something, someone, or some time that my husband loved – or hated! – or we laughed about. I felt so proud of the man he was and so proud that I was standing up —- not sobbing hysterically and unable to breathe (not judging anyone who grieves in that manner – I just know it’s not what Joey would have wanted for me.). Excepting the 10 min I had to leave to pump in a closet for our two month old daughter to have food, I was pretty impressed at how much he helped me through the whole thing.

    God bless you and Mira, Amanda. I am praying for you guys all the time.

  6. DLM says:

    Amanda- I don’t know if you will see this. I dont know you but I have been following your blog for several months. I am so so sorry for your loss. I stumbled across your blog on accident from an acquaintance but followed because the similarities were so great.

    Last night-my sister lost her husband to cancer. She is in her 40s. He a few years older. He was given 6 months to live 3 yrs ago. When end stage hit the last couple of months he was in so much pain. He was at home until the last week. My sister lost her love and will also now be raising their 2 boys on her own. Some days your posts were eerily similar-down to drinking the milk shake a few weeks ago.

    Im not sure why Im telling you this just that my thoughts are with you through this unimaginable situation.

  7. Gina says:

    Your words are so eloquent and so honest… As an oncology social worker, I truly appreciate you sharing your story.

  8. I know you don’t probably feel so now but you are a very lucky girl. Some people never find “true” love or that person that really gets them. Yours was a short time but a full on love story. Savor it!! Grieve as you feel fit since this is your time and no one else’s. Do what you feel like, love your little girl. Always remember he has given you permission to move on because he loved you so deeply.

    Love to you and your sweet baby girl!

  9. Laura says:

    You are incredibly strong. Whatever way you are getting through this is the right way for you. Hundreds of people are thinking of you, sending love and light. Hang in there. #amandastrong

  10. kelly williams says:

    beautifully written .. God Bless you all! Thinking of you constantly <3

  11. What a beautiful story you and Joe had, right until the end…. He knew what you will need, and left many “parts” to help you through this process, however you choose to go through it Amanda…. Again you are showing incredible strength, and you do what YOu need now, FOR YOU and your baby girl Mira…. The rest will come as it is meant to. God Bless the two of you, always in our thoughts and our prayers. Now is it #AmandaStrong…. <3 <3

  12. Michele Wood says:

    Beautiful. How great a love! So powerful.

  13. Marcella Casucci Suero says:

    I dont know you, but feel so connected to you. I became a widow at 29. It was very sudden, with no warning, or time to prepare. I was left to raise two small children, ages 7 and 3. My husband was gone from one day to the next. Hearing his voice….YES, totally agree. Happens all the time, to this day….and Its been 18 yrs! My children are now grown 25 and 21. My son and his fiancee are expecting their first child in February, on my husband’s birthday! They will always be with us one way err another. Believe me when I tell you, it is difficult. As Mothers and women, we move forward mrhodically. There were many times, late at night, when the house was quiet, that I would just sob from the heartache, and then a memory would come to mind that would make me roar with laughter. It was him, its going to be a hell of an emotional rollercoaster ride, but just remember to always tighten your seatbelt. I vowed to give my children a happy childhood, despite the tragedy we experienced. Try to do the same. I wish you good things in life, and if you ever need to talk, feel free to contact me. Xoxox.

  14. emilykuhlman says:

    This post is pure perfection, proving the Joe and Amanda story will continue.

  15. Jenni DeWitt says:

    I read a book about a year ago, and when you talked about being a 30-year-old widow the book popped into my mind. It’s called Signs of Life by Natalie Taylor (it’s on Amazon). She was young and pregnant when her husband suddenly died. The book is about her first year or two of grief and being a young widow. Just thought I’d mention it. I know I don’t know you, but you sure have been on my mind and in my prayers. Joe died on my oldest son’s birthday so the date will stick in my mind. Love from Nebraska. – Jenni

  16. shinyhappyme says:

    What incredibly beautiful writing, so very touching in its sincerity and poignancy. I hope that by writing, you are able to temporarily ease the sadness, safe in the knowldege that you your story is inspiring so many others. As others have mentioned, having experienced this kind of love is a real blessing, the beauty of which will never, ever fade. When somebody touches your life so dearly, they are with you forever. Love to you xx

  17. Kelly says:

    Never feel bad. Although Joe wants you to grieve, he wants you to live. You can’t give up on Mira in the process and you can feel him near every moment you get to make memories with her. I hope you continue to find notes from Joe. I don’t envy your situation but I envy the love you shared. Always praying for you…

  18. Judy Smith says:

    Oh, the voice, the voice. Sometimes that’s the hardest and yet the most beautiful. In some ways you can almost feel the essence of the person. Pictures are wonderful, but to hear the sound of their very presence….what a blessing. It may be too soon now but what a wonderful gift for Mira to have her daddy reading her a story. Sending love to you Amanda. Thanks for writing today.❤️

  19. Anna says:

    Will continue to pray for you, Mira, Doreen, Nick, your family and friends……Joe prepared you in amazing ways…….

  20. Kathy Roller says:

    There is no normal, Amanda. Just do what you think is right for yourself and Mira. God bless both of you.

  21. Amanda,

    Sharing the story of your love and life with Joe is amazing. Your smile and positive attitude while dealing with very difficult circumstances show what a caring and beautiful person you are. Praying that you and Mira have a wonderful life and that you are able to help others that are dealing with similar difficulties. My sympathy to you, Mira, and all of your family.

  22. Shelley Nelson says:

    Thanks Amanda for sharing. Praying for you and Mira.

  23. Becki says:

    Amanda, you don’t know me, but I have been following your and Joe’s story for a while now. I am not nearly as young as you, but I too lost my husband last year to cancer. Everyone’s grief journey is different, and I know what you mean about doing something fun. You feel like you aren’t allowed to have joy anymore, but its actually OK. You will grieve, there’s no way to get around it. It will hit you at the oddest times, but there will be joy too. Allow yourself both. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  24. Lynda Knable says:

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful love story with us.

  25. Joy says:

    Everyone grieves in their own way. There is nothing wrong with you. I’m really glad that you feel close to him right now.

    • candi says:

      I lost my husband on Christmas day and people look at me and say what a shame, in there eyes and face. we had a 13, 14, and 15 at home then. I remember saying at the service saying the lights wills stay on and the tree will go up. He was really into Christmas and enjoyed it and had fun with it. So in his memory and love for him I continue to do it. The first year was the hardest I didn’t think I could do it but I did. ITS been 9 yrs and I still cry song by pasty cline the words all I want is you , no presents or toys….. I know I will see him again

  26. denise singh says:

    What an amazing love the two of you had. God bless you and Mira!

  27. kelly says:

    Oh my…. 🙁 You’re so strong. Sending love and prayers.

  28. Caroline Sachay says:

    HI there. My name is Caroline. I lost my husband to cancer on Oct. 28th. Our stories are very similar. I live in Chicago and heard about you through a friend of your husbands. (her name is Jae) She went to high school with him. I was so touched by your blog. I have so many of the same feelings. I lost my sweet Chad to a brain tumor. I was caretaking for months. Watched him take his last breath. Just cannot make sense of it. HE was 43. I am broken hearted, and feel your pain. From one total stranger to another, I am sending you love and strength. – CST

  29. Sheryl says:

    When your ready there’s a very helpful group called soaring spirits. It’s helped my friend a lot.

  30. anonymous says:

    I was a 36-year old widow (unexpectedly) and I remember going through so many of these motions. It was a lot of shock, a lot of stubbornness (getting out of bed because I had a kid and I HAD TO), and a lot of his comforting spirit with me that got me through. Five years later, I’m remarried and happy but he is still with me every day. Although that’s not something you are thinking about today and even when you do, it’ll seem overwhelming, there is the possibility that with or without a new partner, you can live a happy life again. I tell people still, all the time, that I didn’t move on. I don’t move on. I move forward. That’s what life is. I will never leave that pain behind, I just live with it, carry it with me, and keep trucking.

  31. anonymous says:

    I would also like to tell you about an online support group called widows too young. Google it. I found it helpful when I couldn’t find any other resources, when I couldn’t sleep. It’s all young people in the same situation you are in.

  32. I think this is what is meant to be for you Amanda 🙂 It may be your source of strength to cope and grieve and move forward with your life with Mira, right now, although who knows, it may change at some point but as is always said , do what WORKS for you! May God protect you and Mira, and I know that your Joe is watching over you both and is so very proud and comforted, in your strength. XO