How opening an envelope gave me closure

The other night I came home to find a business-sized envelope addressed to me in a woman’s handwriting in blue ink.

“What’s this?” I muttered and opened it.

Inside was my original birth certificate, birth registration certificate from the Office of Vital Statistics, and my Social Security card. There was no note, but there didn’t need to be one, because only one person would be in the position to have them.

I immediately understood why I couldn’t find these things years ago. I’d assumed they got lost in the shuffle during one of my moves. With a mental shrug, I had replaced my birth certificate and SS card as I needed them, and didn’t give it much thought.

Here they were now, in my hands, sent by someone I’ve never met, but with whom I have something in common: A man. For me, it was years ago, and she’s with him currently.

FullSizeRender(32)I don’t know why they were sent, why now, or which party decided to send them. But I received so much more than some pieces of paper.

Having the originals gives me comfort, especially since both of my parents are gone now.

And it also gives me that closure that I never received when things ended. I thought maybe we could meet 30 years from now and have a fine chuckle over the messes we created for each other when we were young and spry, but receiving this envelope makes that unnecessary. When you assume someone you were with for 11 years now hates you, and then they perform a simple act of kindness and you realize they probably don’t, it’s a huge relief.

I briefly considered mailing a thank you note, since Mike and I are about to mail a bunch related to our wedding and we have a box of them. I even thought of three simple and sincere sentences of gratitude. But I decided to send my gratitude into the universe instead.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.



  1. said:

    That’s definitely the type of mail you’re happy to receive, and I can appreciate the strange relief of realizing someone you once loved does not despise you.

    Right before my wedding, when I was finally leaving my parents’ home, I found a box of random belongings — notes, photos, etc. — from former loves. Inside were the dog tags an ex-boyfriend, a military man, wore while deployed in Iraq. He gave them to me for safekeeping after coming home.

    He was my first love, and oh — oh — how madly and badly did I want things to work out between us, though they could not. I hadn’t spoken to or heard from him in half a decade when I rediscovered the dog tags, but I immediately found him online and offered to return them. He was kind, gracious and extremely thankful in his message back to me, something I didn’t necessarily expect. It was weird, but in a good way.

    After dropping them into the mail, I felt such a rush of extreme closure — and just weeks before my wedding, that couldn’t have been better timing.

    November 5, 2015
    • said:

      I can imagine the feeling of relief that you experienced when you sent them back. In doing so, you did something kind for him as well as yourself. 🙂

      November 5, 2015
  2. said:

    I’m in favor of closure in most forms. While I’m sure receiving it was quite a shock, it’s wonderful that it would come. The timing is good for this new stage in your life. I’m glad 🙂

    October 17, 2015

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