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  • Writer's pictureStephen Hart

An Open Letter To Karina

Updated: Mar 12, 2023

One year without you today; it is the last of the firsts.

Your birthday, our engagement day, Christmas, just a few of the firsts I had to survive this year. Each of those moments that we used to celebrate, that used to fill us with joy, this year felt empty, lacking your warmth that I grew to love over the years. Memories held in limbo, grateful for the love we shared, and sadness that it is over, longing for the deep connection that once was.

But here we are, one year from that fateful day, and I am alive. I made it through the hardest year of my life.

You once told me that you didn’t fear death, only what your death would do to the ones you loved. Fear not, for you have inspired greatness. You gave me a love for life beyond what I ever knew. Your death led me to see all of the things that you tried to explain over the years, but I just wasn’t ready to understand.

Since you transitioned into Spirit, I’ve been on a journey of expansion, like you always encouraged, like I promised you I would that night.

I live life how you always wanted me to live now. I am happy. I am free. I understand my emotions and my well-being is no longer tied to the ups and downs of my business. I don't take life so seriously and I no longer stress about all the little things, the things that you had to talk me through time and time again. I remember now, without you having to remind me, what is real, what matters, and why we’re here.

Some of my favorite memories with you were not climbing mountains in Nicaragua, or Mario Kart’ing down a mountain in New Zealand, but when I made a significant shift in my understanding of life and you expressed your pride, which was like gold to me. I savored your pride, and am still inspired today by what I know would make you proud.

When we talked about our wedding, you insisted that “until death do us part” was changed to “until our expansion stops, do we part.” I thought that was clunky, but I could tell how important it was to you. Expansion was everything. And you were clear and ready to walk away from me, Raja, our business, and everything we had if our expansion together ever ceased.

And I know that wasn’t an idle threat, because you did it once before. You left everything you loved behind when you felt the need to go on an adventure around the world a few years ago, recognizing that our relationship couldn’t proceed as it was without us both taking time for personal growth. You took the risk, knowing you may never get it back, and walked out the door through all of the sadness. I was so sad, but more impressed by your bravery and steadfast dedication to your journey.

In that time, you gave me a trial run on how to live life without you. It was so hard, but I found steadiness on my own two feet. And when you saw that I was okay, you came back, and our love deepened. We committed to each other for life, and we discussed our wedding, and named our children, and planned our future together.

Though, I see now that this was not meant to be. You were not meant to be my wife or the mother of my children. Your role in my life was even more important. You were here to show me how to live. And your final lesson was showing me how to die.

As much pain as I felt, the oceans of tears I’ve shed, the moments of yearning for you to come back, for me to wake up and have all of this just be a bad dream, it is all worth it. Because you changed me at my core, and everything has shifted.

I live life differently now. I see things as you once did. But it is bittersweet. I know how proud you would be of me, but you’re not here to say it. I know how happy you would be to share this new life with me, but you can’t. Not in the way I want at least.

Everything you ever wanted from me, for us, in our relationship, I have now. But I don’t have you. I have the understanding, the time, the freedom, the money, the tools, the healthy body, the perspective, to live life as you dreamed for us. But I don’t have you.

This has been hard for me to swallow for some time.

But then I realized something. I couldn’t have both. I couldn’t be who I am today had you not made your transition one year ago. You and I continue to expand together, just not on the same plane. It had to be this way.

You knew this, even if not consciously. The number of things you said to me, the things you did in our relationship to prepare me for this experience, was beyond comprehension. And I can’t thank you enough. I’m still slightly mad at you, because a less evolved life with you by my side would have been great for me. But not for you. Expansion above all else, that was your thing. This was our time to part and step into the next phase of our existence.

I know you’re not gone though. I get that. I feel it. I see it. If anything, now that you are not confined to your body you are with me more than ever. You are whispering in my ear. You are guiding me along as I navigate this new life. And, one day, I know you will be there to lovingly escort me across the veil into the bliss of non-physical existence once again. I am not afraid of that day like I used to, because I’ll have you there to help me feel safe and comfortable, just as you always have.

The world is a better place because of you. Your years here were more impactful than most, and the ripple effect of your love has not diminished one bit. You told me, the night that the doctors shared your prognosis, that you had a dharma- to share your message of Love with the world on a bigger stage. You had already done that, and through me and so many others, you continue to do so.

“I’m so proud of you. I love you so much.” Those were the last words I said to you as I kissed your forehead, just hours before you left. You looked at me and smiled, squeezing my hand. You couldn’t speak, but your gaze, your smile, said everything I needed to know and remember for the rest of my life.

And so, it was time for my beautiful butterfly to come out of her cocoon and fly. You will never ever be forgotten. As the year's roll by, you will always be in my heart, until we meet again.

As we always said, for now and ever, we go Onwards and Upwards.


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