Police Wife Finds Hidden Letter Husband Wrote Before He Was Killed


Editor: We have no words.  The widow of this fallen police officer did not share her identity with us.  She tells us that she’s sharing this letter with us so that people can know the heartache that she felt when her husband was killed in the line of duty… and the heartache he felt before he was.

If you’d like to send her a note, feel free to do so in the comments at the bottom of this article.

Dear Law Enforcement Today-

Just over six years ago, my husband was killed in the line of duty.  If he had only been shot twice, he would have survived.  He’d still be here with his kids and me.  But he was shot three times.  And that third bullet took him from us.

We have been grieving ever since.  We have two kids.  When he was killed our children were both under the age of 3.

I struggled to understand.  That struggle started with anger.  Then pain.  Then anger.  Then pain again.

I felt heartache.  I felt empty.  I wanted to take my own life with one of his old guns.  The irony of that would have been laughable.  I went so far as to plan it out.  I knew where his guns were.  I had never touched them because I had never needed to.

His parents stayed close to our children.  I had my husband’s parents take the kids for the weekend.  I was going to go out of town for work, I told them.

If they knew what I had planned, they did not let on.

I cooked dinner for myself that night.  It was his favorite meal.

Police Wife Finds Hidden Letter Husband Wrote Before He Was Killed

I opened a bottle of wine that night.  It was the bottle that was given to us on our wedding night.  We were saving it for our 20th anniversary that would never come.

I finished dinner and I finished the wine.  Then I put on the video from our wedding night.

And I went to get his gun.

I opened the safe.  It was our anniversary date.  The day he bought the safe he told me he was using our anniversary date.  “Not that you should ever need a gun, I pray,” he told me.  “But if you do you’ll know how to get it because we will never forget those numbers.”

Our love wasn’t just any love.  It was warming.  Holding.  Encompassing.  It was everything.  It was the kind of love you have that when you think about it sometimes you can’t breathe.  It was my lifeblood.  It was my spirit.  It was my soul.

I opened the safe for the first time.

And on top of the gun was an envelope.

There was only one word on it.  It was my name.

I couldn’t breathe.  It was my husband’s handwriting.  It was a plain white security envelope.  It was sealed.

A bill?  A birth certificate?  I had no idea what to expect.

It wasn’t.  It was a letter.  My legs collapsed.

Breathe.  Breathe.  Breathe.  

I couldn’t.

I knew he wasn’t alive.  But in that moment, just that moment, he was.  He was there with me.

I could feel his love.  I could feel his warmth.  I could feel his embrace.

This is how my dead husband saved my life.


My Love,

If you are reading this letter, it is because something went horribly wrong.  You have never gone in this safe before.  I know how you feel about guns.  If you had just gone into the safe to get a gun to protect yourself because I wasn’t home and something bad had happened, you’d be dealing with a problem and not a letter.

But no, my love, you are reading this letter because I am gone.

And I am so, so sorry.  I am sorry that you have to read these words.  I am sorry for the pain you and our children are experiencing.  I am sorry that I will not be there for our holidays.  Our anniversary.  The birthdays.  The graduations.

My heart aches as I write you this letter.

I pray you will never read it.  I pray that one day, after I’m retired and we’re moving to Maui I will find this and laugh at it and throw it out while we are packing.

But you are reading it.  And that means that for as hard as I tried to protect our family, I failed.  And I am so sorry.

citizen outcry
Police Honor Guard. (Photo courtesy Paula Fitzsimmons)

Do you remember our first anniversary?  When we stopped at that ice cream shack on the side of the road because you had to pee so bad?  And then you insisted we get ice cream after, only to spill it all over the ground when went to get in the car?  

“Shit happens” you told me.  “Sometimes it’s just ice cream and sometimes it’s really bad shit but no matter what we just have to smile and make the best of it.”

You changed me, love.  You took the anger out of me.  The frustration.  The darkness.

You know I swore I’d never get married.  You broke me.  But you broke me in a way that a man needs to be broken, in a way that opens his heart like surgery to make it stronger, in a way that a soldier is broken to become a better man.  You did not do a damn thing but you did everything at the same time and the way you looked at me broke me and built me and made me the man I am today.  Or should I say the man you came to know.

I can not take away your pain right now.  I can not take away the emptiness you must feel.  I know that if you are reading this I am looking down on you.  I am holding you.  I am protecting you.  I hope that I will be able to I believe that I will be able to I know that I will be allowed to.  If there is a God like I think there is a God than He is merciful and will not totally take me from you and the kids.

Police Wife Finds Hidden Letter Husband Wrote Before He Was Killed

Do you remember that night on the ranch? When you said the kids were too little to camp under the stars?  Six months old he was a little man he’d be fine I knew it.

You held (our child) and I held (our other child) and we all looked up under the stars.  The kids slept.  The crickets and the frogs and the animals and our breathing were all we heard and it was US.  Just US.  Just our family.  I might have been taken from you and our kids but nobody can take that from us.  I will always be there in that moment with you and our kids.  When you go outside and it’s too cold and you all should really be inside because you think the kids shouldn’t be camping under the stars, I will be out there with you.

Our children.  I cannot wait for their little personalities to explode.  They are already so much like you.  They feel my stress but they fix my stress and they are my loves.  They are sensitive oh so sensitive but they pull that from you.  That is something that is in the DNA of a person.  Cherish that.  Grow that.  Help them know the power that is in their love and their empathy.

(Courtesy Heidi Hogan)

I want our children to not be afraid to be protectors like I tried to be.  If you are reading this then there is a good chance that I’m not here because of work.  Do not let that break you or them.  We have to be good.  We have to be helping.  We have to be loving.  If we are not all of those things like our family is then we can’t teach others around us to have those qualities.  If we aren’t willing to see the good in people then who will be?

Whatever happened to me, do not let it harden your heart or their hearts.  I know that will be tough because I didn’t talk to you about so much at work.  It was difficult.  It was painful.  I didn’t want you all to see the bad that was out there but the truth is that in that bad was good.  There was so much good.  So much love.

I never told you this, but I had to give mouth to mouth to little kids more times than I could count.  At the writing of this letter to you my love I’ve brought back 9.  I will never forget those faces.  Their parents’ faces.  I got to do good.  And that makes all of that bad and evil worth having fought.  Because I have to believe that those nine lives and their families and one day their children will make the world a good and beautiful and happy place for people.

Love, when you can, please find a way to help other wives.  When the time is right.  When the kids are ok.  This is important to me.  It’s important to me because I know it will help you heal because I know your heart and I know your love.

abortion, baby

Please, explain to our children I never wanted to leave them.  Tell them how proud of them I am.  Tell them how much I love them.  Tell them that when they look up to the stars on that cold and clear night, they can see me winking at them.  Please tell them that the greatest thing to ever happen to a salty old guy like me was that I had you.  And we had them.  And that made my life perfect.

I will never stop loving you. We will be together again one day. Be strong because now you have work to do.  You have lives to save.  I can’t be the protector I was anymore but maybe you and the kids can do it for me.

You are my everything.  You are my heart.  You are my love.

Now fight for others.  Because that is what this family does.

Love eternal,

Your husband.

Editor Note: This powerful submission by this brave police wife made us think of a video produced last year by our National Spokesman, Kyle Reyes, and Graham Allen of Rant Nation.  We leave you their words and this tribute…
This is a message to the families of fallen police officers… 
From the America they fought for.
We can’t begin to imagine the pain your family has experienced 
The loss you’ve felt 
Or the heartache you suffered
We can only imagine the feelings you get
When you see people protesting police
And you know your loved one died to protect people like that
But those people don’t represent the Americans your loved one lived for
Died for 
WE are their America
We are wives
We are the silent majority of America.
The people that support you
Stand beside you in church
And mourn the loss of your loved one with you.
Your loved one didn’t choose between black or white
Gay or straight
Republican or democrat
Christian or Jew or Muslim
They chose between good and evil
They stood for the American flag 
For one nation, under God
For love
For law and order 
For faith
For America 
Your loved one made the ultimate sacrifice
As did your family
Because they were a protector 
They didn’t do it because they wanted to leave you
They did it because of such a deep love for you – 
for the community
for those they never knew the names of
For US
Some of your loved ones were killed in the line of duty
Some by their own hand 
because society didn’t support their battle against pTSD
Please know their legacy lives on
In your family 
In your children
In our children 
And in true Americans 
Their love is in our hearts now
Their spirit in our souls
And now WE will fight to honor them 
And to honor you
God bless you
God bless America
Please share this along with a prayer 
For the safety of all first responders 

Law Enforcement Today is proud to stand behind C.O.P.S. and encourages those who were touched by this video to support this incredible organization.

Each year, between 140 and 160 officers are killed in the line of duty and their families and co-workers are left to cope with the tragic loss.  C.O.P.S. provides resources to help them rebuild their shattered lives.  There is no membership fee to join C.O.P.S., for the price paid is already too high.

C.O.P.S. was organized in 1984 with 110 individual members.  Today, C.O.P.S. membership is over 48,000 survivors.  Survivors include spouses, children, parents, siblings, significant others, and co-workers of officers who have died in the line of duty according to Federal government criteria. 

C.O.P.S. is governed by a National Board of law enforcement survivors.  All programs and services are administered by the National Office in Camdenton, Missouri.  C.O.P.S. has over 50 Chapters nationwide that work with survivors at the grass-roots level.

C.O.P.S. programs for survivors include the National Police Survivors’ Conference held each May during National Police Week, scholarships, peer-support at the national, state, and local levels, “C.O.P.S. Kids” counseling reimbursement program, the “C.O.P.S. Kids” Summer Camp, “C.O.P.S. Teens” Outward Bound experience for young adults, special retreats for spouses, parents, siblings, adult children, extended family, and co-workers, trial and parole support, and other assistance programs.

C.O.P.S. knows that a survivor’s level of distress is directly affected by the agency’s response to the tragedy.  C.O.P.S., therefore, offers training and assistance to law enforcement agencies nationwide on how to respond to the tragic loss of a member of the law enforcement profession.  C.O.P.S. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  C.O.P.S. programs and services are funded by grants and donations.

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