It’s been 3 years since the death of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the man who inspired the hit “American Sniper” film, but for his wife, the wounds often feel as fresh as yesterday.
Yesterday, on the 3-year-anniversary of his death, Chris’s widow Taya wrote a beautiful yet bittersweet love letter to her late husband on Facebook, and it has moved the nation to tears with her:
“These last few months have been particularly hard. I think we all try to make sense of our lives and sometimes we have to get comfortable with it not making sense.
As most of you know, 3 years ago Chris and Chad were taken from us from an act that, in my opinion, was pure evil at work. Rather than focus on the pain and grief that continues to have a life of its own – meaning I cannot predict it and cannot do anything but try to have the courage to accept it, feel it and keep moving through it – I will focus on what I have learned.
I read your comments and appreciate all you have taught me through them. You have inspired me, comforted me and sometimes taught me that people may just need an outlet to be mean. I can embrace the kind support and I can overlook the mean comments with compassion or dismissal in ways 5 years ago I could not have. I am learning to be grateful for those lessons too.
I have learned:
Some loves will last forever.
Wishing you could go back is futile, but the lessons learned you can take with you on the journey ahead.
People can rob us blind and hurt us, but God keeps his promise to counteract evil with beauty. It’s our job to wait and keep our hearts open to seeing it.
Justice for the big and even smaller offenses take time. The timing is not in our control.
I have learned…
We are never alone in our pain; never the only ones suffering in life – it’s part of the human walk.
Everyone needs a helping hand and a kind, understanding ear.
Joy/happiness is not a destination, sometimes it’s simply a choice.
Hard work – spiritually, emotionally and physically – is worth the results/reward. Our work is never done.
Dreams take time to realize. It’s the process that matters.
Children grow up fast.
God puts the right people in our path at the right time.
Traditional family isn’t our only family.
People have an enormous capacity to love even through their own pain.
The actions we take in life, the love we show, the character we prove in our actions….all live on long after we do.
The beautiful things we do in life MATTER, we may never know the effect of each small ripple of kindness we put into the world. Trust me though, it lives on.
I have learned the way you love a child,or any person for that matter, will be frozen in time when your number comes up, so make it a love that will carry them through life. Chris did an extraordinary job of this and I am grateful every singe day.
I have learned…
There was only one Chris Kyle. People say you learn to live with the pain, and maybe that’s true. I have learned how to survive, to do my best at carrying on his spirit and his legacy but I have not learned to fully live without the man.
I have learned…
I don’t heal without help. I am immensely grateful for those who have helped.
I am not a quitter even when I feel like quitting.
I have learned that showing up, putting one foot in front of the other, is 90% of the battle.
There are so many loving people who will help another, not for fanfare and not for personal gain, but simply because love guides their life. I am blessed to have met many of these people and have them in my life.
I am grateful to God for showing me love lives and our spirit lives on.
To Chris, thank you for loving me and letting me love you. As my wedding ring is inscribed, you are “My love, My life” I would run this race, loving you every step of the way, all over again. The best thing I ever did was give my heart to you.
God Bless you all as we continue to live, and to learn.
(My soul rests quietly only when it looks to God; from him comes my deliverance.)