Not A Dear John Letter

A box of memories
A box of memories

Dear Jon

Where do I even start? This is the letter that has been trapped inside of me for months. The thoughts rattle around in my head and bounce back & forth on a daily basis.

I want you to know that I love you, I love you with all of my heart and that will never change. I no longer know where you are or what you are doing or if I will ever hear from you again. I have tried my best with the resources available to me to find out what has happened to you but each time I have met with a brick wall. You either do not want to be found or something dreadful has happened (we are unable to confirm or deny blah blah blah). I now have to accept this.

If you are safe and well, I wish you love, security and happiness. I want you to find your place in the world and to find a peaceful retreat. I want you to sleep gently and soundly like you once did in my bed, in my arms enveloped in love. I used to love watching you sleep.

I want you to know how grateful I am for the time we had together. I do not know who said these words, but I wish it had been me –

“And even if we never talk again please remember that I am forever changed by who you are and what you meant to me”.

I mostly need to thank you for the way your loved changed me. You made me feel beautiful and adored, cherished and wanted.

I have some specific memories and a small box of cherished items. I’ve opened it today, the box that’s been close to me all the years that I have known and loved you.

~A gold gift card from your first Christmas gift to me. It just says “love Jon xxxxx” we’d only know each other a couple of months, a few weeks really, but five kisses showed a lot of promise!

~A card from La Fenice, the local Italian Restaurant where we first went out as a four, you, me and my two children. It wasn’t easy, but it was a milestone.

~A tiny orange post-it note with my name on. Remember the silly game you thought up for Christmas with my family? It descended into total chaos, but we loved it. They also all loved you.

~A piece of lavender from Spa Fields in Islington. We dropped Emma at dance school and walked for miles looking for a peaceful space, not an easy task in London on a scorching hot day! To this day, the smell of lavender reminds me of the conversation, the very public kiss (the place where the bandidos live) and the feeling of total absorption in one another.

~A tiny photo of the corner table in The Chesil Rectory in Winchester, the oldest building in the city. You embarrassed the waitress remember?

Waitress: Have you decided?

You: Yes I have. I have decided that I love her.

It wasn’t the first time you had told me, but it is the one that sticks in my mind.

WP_000062 (2)~My ring, given to me for “love and commitment” it is beautiful, I’d like to put it back on but I dare not. It would undo these last few months that have got me to this point.

~Two small shells from Barton on Sea. I wanted shells; you sifted through heaps of stones to find me two shells with no cracks or chips. WP_000060You wanted to be near the sea that day, but somewhere quiet. A big ask in August bank holiday weekend on the south coast of England. I took you to where my Dad used to live, I hadn’t been back since his death and I thought it would be hard for me. It wasn’t, it was like introducing the two most important men in my life to each other. It gave me peace and tranquility although I doubt I could go back again. This was the last day that we spent together.


~Lastly, a shiny 1p coin. The first thing you gave me, or rather lent to me. I hate owing money and you lent it to me the first time you had to go away. It was to reassure me that you were coming back. Every time you returned you asked if I still had it. I still have it now and I guess it’s mine by default; you can collect it any time.

These are just small things and big memories and wherever my life leads from this point on I will take a part of you with me.

All my love,

Jane xxxxx

16 thoughts on “Not A Dear John Letter”

  1. That’s heart rending Jane. How could you say you hadn’t had it as tough as me? My daughter moved to New Zealand at 14. I had to let go a few years earlier than I would have liked. But I know exactly where she is and that she is very happy. We can talk together and she would be here like a shot in an emergency. I think you have had it far worse than me. You love this man and have no idea what happened to him. It is churning me up to think of it. It’s a horrible situation for so many reasons (like you don’t know that!) You have been and continue to be so very, very brave and accepting. I appreciate that this has taken time, but not only are you doing it, you are sharing it with us too. Even more brave in my book. You deserve all the posh chocolate and beautiful bathrooms you can handle! Never doubt that you are deserving of our admiration.

    P. S. I joined we just so I could write this.

  2. I didn’t know it at the time but it’s the support from people like you that has got me to here. The strange thing is that I have this tight little pocket of new Scottish friends who have wrapped me in friendship, I have no idea how that came about! Why is that strange? Because this gorgeous man had a heavenly soft Scottish accent!

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart. x

    1. It’s funny isn’t it? People we haven’t “met” can provide us with that support or even just a comment that gives us a wee lift when we need it. I’ve not encountered any trolls online, just in real life! (The ex was nicknamed The Troll for a while until he became Hal, short for halitosis. That was a fun parent’s evening.) Now I think of it, some of my best laughs and unconditional support came from an old school friend I hadn’t seen in decades. All via email and “virtual”. I really don’t care. When the real world was painful and cruel, the virtual world gave me the lift I needed to keep going. It has probably saved the NHS a fortune! Kindness and compassion are lovely whether from a person in front of us, or in front of a screen. Works for me either way. And you too by the sounds of it!

  3. Dear Jane, Your blogs continue to grip me to my very core and this one was no exception. Even though we have never met, you seem as an old dear friend spilling out your heart. Your writing is lovely, so honest and this one so raw and so very sad. I’m so sorry for your pain and complete heartbreak. I would tend to think something happened beyond his control than to think he just left since it seems he was just as in love with you. Your lovely box of memories is something I can relate to as I have also have some treasured memories of a past love that too still hurts. I have no regrets as shortly after he left me did I meet the true love of my life (which at the time I did not want) but with his patience, I learned to accept. All I can offer you is that I hope you find yours, whether it be someone new or this man comes back to retrieve his 1p. {{{ Hugs }}}

  4. I was terrified of publishing this late last night when I finished writing and I only opened my box again yesterday. Of course tears have been shed but I always knew when I started this that I had to at least get to the point when I could share part of how I felt. My so called ‘virtual’ friends (not a term that is accurate because you are real and are very real to me) have lifted me many, many times and have helped me heal.

    Thank you for the warm hugs and friendship x

  5. Oh Jane. I don’t know your full story with Jon as I’ve only known you here a short time, but this has had me in tears. You are incredibly strong and I can only imagine a fraction of what it must be like to lose someone, yet have no idea where they are. He sounds like an incredible man and it sounds as though he lit your life up with so much love. The waitress story snippet filled my heart up, it really did. (I’m an old softy romantic really) I guess that love you shared is worth holding on to and cherishing whatever happens. I wish with all my heart you find him again, or if not, that you continue to have the strength to enjoy life’s moments with those who love you and whom you love. Words here are not enough. I don’t want to ramble. Hugs, peace and love xx

    1. For many reasons I will never be able to share my full story, but sharing what I can and feeling the way people have responded to me has restored my faith in many things. The waitress didn’t have a clue what to say and her face was a picture, poor young girl! xx

  6. Jane, very nice. I can almost feel the partial relief this letter brought to your mind and heart. Maybe it helped to close the chapter? A
    lthough I really wish this wasn’t over and this wasn’t the last letter to John. xx

  7. Thank you Pavla, when I started writing I think I told you that I had to try & find the strength to express what was inside me. I have felt loved and supported today and it is a relief, yes x

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