Part 16: Image Consultant

Posted: Thursday, May 29th, 2014
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About Letters Never Sent Series

A collection of never-sent, personal responses to real people in Martha's life, profound events and little encounters alike.


I held back, reserved opinion. I wasn’t going to be fooled. But I would hear you out, let you give your sales pitch. You sensed my reservation and resented it.

Your insult waited a week to dawn on me. It was mean. Still I heard you three times, bought your goods, introduced you. I received you and gave you gratitude.

I did hear your hostility, your pain.  It was in the dart you threw at me.  It was there in many things you said, gracious though you tried to be.

Others heard it too.

You said you knew Jesus. I wanted you to know Him as Healer of hurt, Light in the darkness. I would reach out to you . . . someday.

You were lovely. You took two hours to dress. “What can you do to fill two hours with just getting dressed?” I wondered. Still, I called it an “impeccable standard of excellence” and admired you for it.

Then just weeks before your daughter’s wedding,
you checked into a hotel,
put a gun to your beautiful face and left us.

No one knew you were that far away. Problems, yes, but not that!

Carol, the nurse, tells me that suicides are usually punishing those they leave behind. The timing, the brutality you chose, betrays that.

I grieve for you as though I knew you well. Maybe I did. Perhaps that’s my real grief. I knew you well enough to know you needed my God of Healing.

And I should have been quicker . . .

I am punished.

Copyright © 1985 Martha Kilpatrick, Letters Never Sent

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