I’m sorry, husband, that I couldn’t figure out a way to continue to try and hold it all together. That I couldn’t let being your caretaker be sufficient. That I married you when maybe we didn’t love each other enough. That I was too young and stubborn to recognize problems sooner. That I blamed sex, infertility, finances, cancer, job woes and other interference for all the things that were actually wrong with us. That you carried the weight of thinking you were a failure as a man. That I wasn’t the wife you needed.
I’m sorry, Dad, that I can’t explain it better. That you’re disappointed I ended up in some situation where I felt dependent and trapped. That I’ve let you down so, so many times. That you’re the one listening to me cry on some random afternoon. That I can’t be all the things you wanted and hoped for. That the Katie you know and remember and love has gotten bitter and angry. That I am not the beaming example of a perfect daughter.
I’m sorry, Mom, for keeping everything so private when you first saw the signs I was in pain. That I didn’t reach out to you, even though you were there. That I kept so much of myself from you because I thought there was no way you’d understand. That I’m not as strong and resilient as you are. That I can’t live up to the example you set.
I’m sorry, N, that you think I’m cruel and heartless. That you think I’ve abandoned this man, this friend that you’ve known since I was in diapers.
I’m sorry, D, that I lean on you. That I can give you all the advice, but not take any of my own. That you haven’t gotten to see what I’m like when I’m not in the middle of this chaos.
I’m sorry, brother, that you have to lose your connection to him; That you feel you have to choose.
I’m sorry, Kate, that you aren’t stronger to withstand this exit with grace. That you still weep silently. That all the little things you have to do to leave are so much harder than you expected. That you feel like a fool when your father tells you he doesn’t think you and your husband ever loved each other the way people should when they walk down the aisle. That you’ve had to question everything. That you’ve not gotten more than a handful of hours of sleep over the last week. That you feel like a failure.
That I didn’t love you enough then to realize that he didn’t love you enough.