A Proper Goodbye ~ or Love-Letter to Myself

A Proper Goodbye ~ or Love-Letter to Myself

Madeline McKee

This is a short letter to my new, RRMS body. Basically, it’s about trying to make peace with how much I’ve always expected from my body (pre MS), and how now I inhabit a different, more impacted body now.

What would I write to my old-self, my pre-MS body, if I could have another conversation with it, knowing that this would be the very last time we would spend together?

I’m sorry, I’d say.

I’m sorry I put you down so often. I wish I hadn’t said some (any) of the mean or judgy criticisms that were never anywhere near constructive. I thought it was your fault that I felt so miserable at times. I really believed that if I could only change you, to be more perfect, then I would feel less anxious and awkward. I needed someone to blame, and I can see now with painful clarity, that you felt crummy too.

Sure, we had our good days together. Like when you carried our little babies for so long, and then fed them?! That was incredible! I still don’t know exactly how you pulled that one off…awe inspiring.

We barely slept, do you remember? Of course you do, you did all the work!

Or all those times when we held, or were held, by others? Who knew an embrace could feel so damn near spiritual? I’ll always be grateful for sharing those experiences with you. Can you believe we spent a little over 47 years together? No wonder losing you is so hard.

You have been a brave and loyal friend to me. You have shown me unconditional love, and I naively took you for-granted. If there is one hope I have for the new ‘me’, it’s that I can learn to be more patient, caring, receptive and kind. I’m guessing it’ll be a bit more complicated at times, and I’ll try to be gentle with you when I feel embarrassed or frustrated. I’ll let you rest more, let go of the unrealistic expectations I put on you. I’ll try to remember that we’re in this thing together. That you’re as freaked out about all of this as I am.

So, goodbye old body. Thanks for hanging in there as long as you could, I know it couldn’t’ve been easy, especially near the end, when everything went sideways. I will always love you and the years we spent together. Without realizing it, you were the closest friend I’ve ever had. I will try my hardest to be a better friend in the future.