Marriage Letters: On Loss

from weheartit

Dear Seth,

I thought it would be the sex or morning coffee or the children that showed us all about love, and indeed those things have, but most of all it’s been in the losing that we’ve come to see and understand the brevity of all this adored skin, the petals fallen from the bloom so quickly. We’ve lost dearest grandparents, experienced the broken dream of adopting a daughter, and suffered two miscarriages together. We’ve had our wrong definitions – of love and faith and church – ripped painfully (yet mercifully) from our death grips.

These are the reasons that I know the rest of our lives aren’t packaged with pretty paper and bows, all the left turns we’ve been asked to take when we knew for certain we’d be turning right. Marriage hasn’t been neat, and it won’t end that way either.

I have sat with and witnessed suffering at the end of three bodies, their souls crossing over the veil. I’ve felt the presence of God in literal death and also in the figuratives.  God has given proof of Himself every time we’ve experienced loss.

I tell our young married friends that until you’ve experienced loss, you have no idea how much you can love, how sitting in pain tightens your knot together, makes the roots reach for nourishment. Death does indeed have a temporary sting. But what death intends to set you back, God intends to move you forward.

We would never choose it, but we have been moved forward by loss, and I can’t say how grateful I am to be moving forward with you. I remember when I could recall every single time I’ve seen you cry. It’s been long enough now and we’ve broken down enough that I can’t recall all the tears anymore.

I love being muddled together with you. Thank you for enduring.



I’m having a hard time keeping up, have that breathe-through-a-straw feeling, so today Joy of Joy in This Journey will be graciously hosting the marriage letters link-up. On the topic of loss, she and her husband, Scott, have authority, and I admire them both so much, how they never stop working it out.

About me


adriana willey
Reply April 23, 2012

this was beauty. thank you.

Reply April 23, 2012

Love that last sentence, about being muddled. That's exactly it.

Amanda @wandering
Reply April 23, 2012

Pain/loss does indeed tighten our knot and move us forward. I can't help but wish there was an easier way for such growth.

Reply April 23, 2012

Amber, this is beautiful.
Having experienced different episodes of pain and loss, including this most recent one, i grow more and more thankful for the times of loss, despite never wishing for them.
Love you.

Joy @ Joy In This Journey
Reply April 23, 2012

I would never choose it either, but I have to admit I'm often angry that it's pain and loss that moves us forward so much. Wishing it worked differently.

    Reply April 25, 2012


    I went to a 6 hour seminar by Platt a few weeks ago. (Make sure to tell Scott. He'll be pumped.) He walked through suffering in the bible, talked about how it was moves us deeper (or forward). I reckon it's part of that whole sanctification process.

    As an aside, your post and Scott's post were good... difficult... but good.

Reply April 23, 2012

As always, I am touched by the tender and raw , the authentic and the beautiful, the way you lay it all out there for us to participate in. Gratefully thanking you from here.

erin a.
Reply April 23, 2012

Yes! The tightening of the knot! The muddling of the lives. It is beautiful.
I love your letter, Amber.

Reply April 24, 2012

Hi...I am linking up for the first time...I have read the letters but have never written...this one I knew...and may never know how much you can love until you experience loss. Loss can move us forward if we allow the grace to come and walk us through. blessings to you~

Reply April 24, 2012

That imagery, of roots intertwined and reaching for nourishment, meets me where it counts. Reading these letters feels like sitting my marriage down for a coffee with yours, and I'm grateful as always (so grateful!) for your openness. (Also, I hope the breathe-through-a-straw sensation passes soon. Huge, exuberant wind is gusting through our yard today, and I'd send you an extra-deep lungful if I could.)

Reply April 24, 2012

I think you two are definitely best muddled together! Love you!

Reply April 25, 2012

Thank you for sharing. "The tightening of the knot" is such a great picture!

diana trautwein
Reply April 27, 2012

Lovely truth, Amber. Thank you. I'm home now, beginning to breathe a bit from 4 days of intense community work, and hope to have a review up at Amazon by Saturday. LOVED the book. Loved it.

Reply April 28, 2012

Oh, so true. I never would have asked for any of the pain, but God has brought so much healing and intimacy through our hardest times. Beautiful.

Merritt | LiveSimplyLove
Reply February 14, 2013

So beautifully written. We have experienced the same and can attest to the truth you speak. Thank you.

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