A Letter To Those We Once Loved


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Dear one we once loved,

There was a time, wasn’t there? There was a time that we shared ourselves with each other. We shared laughter, tears, experiences, traditions. We shared our most intimate secrets with each other. We shared a bed — but even more importantly we shared wants, needs, desires, dreams, and visions for the future. We were completely exposed to one another — both physically and emotionally.

Uncensored. Trusting. Fully immersed. Unaware of what the future would bring. Ah, there was a time, wasn’t there? A time we created memories.

A time when a person, once a stranger, became our everything. And then, eventually, seemed to somehow become a stranger again. A stranger who will forever leave a space in their shape on our hearts and our minds. One who leaves memories in the way that one leaves a carving on a tree. A carving that someday may have other memories grow over it, making it invisible. But, it will always be there, no matter how deep it becomes buried.

The memories of experiences shared are now silhouettes in the backs of our minds that softly emerge when the right song is heard or the right scent is smelled. Memories that manifest themselves as a gentle smile across our faces, reminiscent of those that we once shared across the room. Smiles we shared when we were different people than we are now. When we were learning from, growing with, and just enjoying each other. Smiles we shared when we had no idea what the future held for us, but didn’t care. We were us.

And now you are you, and I am me.

We still don’t know what the future will bring. Maybe someday our paths will cross again. Paths that have traveled the world separately and somehow reconvened in line at a coffee shop or passing on the street. Maybe one of us will be married, or have children, or have lived a life of great experiences. A life full of stories to be told.


We will have laughter lines from laughs we did not share together and wrinkles from pains that we did not shield each other from. We will have traditions we have built with someone else and special occasions that were once only arbitrary dates on a calendar. We will have photos on our phones of experiences we did not share.

We will talk, reminisce and part ways again. We will hug, and for a fleeting moment our hearts will recognize each other and beat in unison, if only briefly. We will linger, remembering the times we shared. Then, before fading back into our separate lives and away from each other once more, one last smile of understanding and shared memories.

We will fade from each other’s lives but burn brighter in the ones we have created for ourselves with the one we now love. The one who taught us that it was okay to move on. The one who taught us that we could love again.

We will have new smiles. Separate smiles built by separate memories. Smiles full of love and family and the person who has accepted us fully, as we have accepted them.


Smiles of contentment that reflect the silent comfort that we have found happiness when, at one time, we did not think it was possible without each other. Smiles that understand that this is the way things were meant to be.

It always was.


  1. Nora Madigan on September 22, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    This is so beautiful.

    • Michelle on September 22, 2015 at 8:23 pm

      Very beautiful…..I was very touched by this!

  2. Leonor on September 22, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    At this point in my life this message brought tears to my eyes. When I took my vows I meant them but I’m tired of fighting for someone that doesn’t want to be with me. I’m now looking forward to finding someone who “wants” to make me happy!

    • Kangaroo on September 22, 2015 at 8:41 pm

      You will not believe how timely this was…to the second. I just came up to my bedroom in tears. I had been playing Mario Lanza’s rendition of “Because” to my 10 y/o daughter and we were smiling and laughing and dancing to it,and I had told her it had been sung as a special piece by a beautiful young lady in our wedding ceremony in 2000. My husband came in and interrupted with his typical insensitivity and loud booming voice, and we had to shush him just in time for the grand finale. I told him, do you remember? Our song for our wedding? He couldn’t remember it. He just kept making loud and mean insensitive and hurtful remarks and disrespectful gestures. I walked upstairs and turned on my iPad and here was this letter to those we once loved. Well, there ya go.

      • Lyn on September 23, 2015 at 1:24 pm

        Good luck on your journey..

      • Ana Paula Meneses Nazaré on October 2, 2015 at 7:54 am

        It´s incredible how people can be so insensitive and I know it too well. I burst into tears when I read this beautiful letter. I started remembering the happiness we shared a long time ago and wonder why it faded away. I It’s so difficult to live with someone that apparently doesn’t love us anymore but doesn’t want to admit it. Why? It makes life so painful.

    • Chantale Reve on September 23, 2015 at 10:48 pm

      As previously stated, Mr. Sama has penned a beautiful, touching post. Heartbreakingly beautiful.

      It’s difficult to let go. But your joy is your own — and someday not faraway, you’ll share that joy with another. For now, let go.

  3. Dee on September 22, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    Cherish the memories.

  4. Laura on September 22, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    Tugged at my heart, brought back some good memories of my 30 year marriage that I walked away from after so much mental abuse and alcoholism. He wasn’t always the beast he became but sadly the alcohol took control of him and made him someone I would never have married. Thanks for sharing such a heart felt letter.

  5. LostWanderingDrifter (@roweleebee) on September 23, 2015 at 12:08 am

    Came here for the feels… I shouldn’t have. Hello old wounds reopening from that time I went head on to the stranger I loved the most and for a time, was the solace from all the pain I faced. It’s a shame it all fell apart despite everything I ever did hoping to avert it. My only comfort left these days is that she’s happier now, as she chose someone else. What I’d give to be that source of her happiness. I miss her. One way or another. Even if she doesn’t.

  6. A Letter To Those We Once Loved | MetroGirl on September 23, 2015 at 4:15 am

    […] Source: A Letter To Those We Once Loved […]

  7. Martin on September 23, 2015 at 6:39 am

    Way too sugary James. Obviously, you’ve never had someone really do you wrong. Leave you for a drug dealer, for example, weaponize your own children against you or have a selfish, insidious agenda…so selfish that you end up feeling used and nothing but a paycheck. Oh, I have had the love you are speaking of, but obviously, I have also not. Always show both sides of the coin, or stop writing. Because, as a male reader, now I think your in it for the money.

    • James Michael Sama on September 23, 2015 at 7:10 am

      Hi Martin,

      Thanks so much for your comment. People who know me in person understand that I am an eternal optimist – for better or for worse. So, everything I write ultimately ends up having a positive or hopeful tone, I just refuse to see life any other way. Hence the sugaryness.

      While you are correct that I have never faced extreme situations like that, I don’t feel that changes the validity of my writing since it comes from my own personal viewpoint and experiences. However, I also don’t think it’s necessarily fair to make assumptions about what I have or haven’t been through. So let’s please keep that in mind.

      Lastly, I’d like to know what money you’re referring to, exactly? I write all of these articles on my own time for free and ask nothing from my readers. I don’t sell any products or videos or training programs…I just provide mountains of content at no cost…

      So, where is the financial motivation to be disingenuous, exactly?

      Again, thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I hope this response eases your concerns.

      – James

      • Ana Paula Meneses Nazaré on October 2, 2015 at 8:04 am

        Dear Martin,
        I loved your letter which is painful for someone who recalls her true love. Revisiting great memories is also rewarding and I feel blessed for having them. Thank you.

      • GailMail on December 11, 2015 at 11:07 am

        Mr. Martin

        Before you judge Mr. James Michael Sama, know the difference between your and you’re.


    • Bob on September 23, 2015 at 8:33 am

      Martin, the things that James writes aren’t for everyone all the time. For many people, including me, this was very resonant.

    • thatgirlwiththedarkhair on September 23, 2015 at 7:07 pm

      I don’t think it’s constructive to be that scathing on someone’s work. I see where your criticisms originate, but I think it’s presumptuous to make assumptions about what someone has or hasn’t been through when you don’t personally know that someone.

      • Chantale Reve on September 23, 2015 at 11:14 pm

        Just wanted to show my support of Mr. Sama, too. In life, there are aberrations, to be sure — such as violent experiences with lovers who promised eternal love and trust, con artists (both male and female) who bedded us right out of half our life savings, and even formerly undetectably insensitive types of people who eventually tried to make us choose them over our children, pets and/or our parents. Those aberrations happen when well-meaning, optimistic people unfortunatelycross paths with — or are Introduced to — sociopaths and psychopaths. However, statistically, there are more good-hearted people in this world than malevolent people. In that vein, let’s celebrate the fact that we are blessed to have our hearts and minds touched and healed by the sublimely poetic writer Mr. Sama.

        In it for the money, Martin? Really? Absolutely not. Martin, you have the right to comment, and you make the choice whether to approach life — and, within life, LOVE — with bitterness.

        Mr. Sama’s prose of his humanistic and completely altruistic blog posts — which are free of charge to read and reread and share — reflects his beautiful spirit and enlightening intellect. His words uplift our lives. He continually uplifts mine. I can’t erase the multiple counts of domestic abuse, partner abuse, conman deception and workplace abuse that I suffered (but, more importantly, SURVIVED); however, every day I choose to celebrate humanity, to celebrate living another day and having yet another chance to make someone smile or laugh and to giggle when I think of something funny that my lover said the other day.

        Garden salad may be quite healthy for us human beings, but I’ll always opt for honey over vinegar.

        Thank you, Mr. Sama. You’re a love god in romantic and agape contexts!

    • Mickey on September 24, 2015 at 5:35 pm


      You are not wrong!!!

      • Chantale Reve on September 24, 2015 at 10:25 pm

        No one said Martin was “wrong”; only bitter. He has the right to be bitter. It’s his funeral.

  8. Grace on September 23, 2015 at 9:05 am

    I’m sitting here at work with tears flowing over this letter. I was married for 22 years and got divorced 3 years ago due to my ex husband cheating on me. 6 months later I reunite with the man (also recently divorced) that I always had butterflies over in high school only to find out that he felt the same way. We both went to a small school so everyone knew each other very well. We have been together for 2 1/2 years and I have never felt the love I feel today. This letter hit home. Thanks for sharing.

    • thatgirlwiththedarkhair on September 23, 2015 at 7:08 pm

      Congratulations for finding that love you have today.

    • Chantale Reve on September 23, 2015 at 11:18 pm

      Like that lyric from the Great American Songbook: “I Wish You Love.”

  9. Amber Riley on September 23, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    Not yet.
    Beautiful James, thank you.

  10. Mickey on September 24, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    What’s THAT like?

  11. Mickey on September 25, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    @Chantal Reve:

    The problem is that when a guy has experienced nothing but male-bashing, man-hating hostility, the idea of finding this thing called true romantic love rings a little hollow. That’s exactly why I agree with Martin and do not believe for one second that he’s bitter.

  12. Ann on September 28, 2015 at 10:31 pm


    I have been following and read your blogs for quite sometime now. This one right here breaks my heart into million pieces again that everything is falling apart forever. To move on is very hard and I hate when I i found myself yearning for him. I am trying my best but a part of me is hoping that one day I will see him again. The fact that I m getting used to the life without him but still the memories we shared lives in me. Keep writing James…..♥

  13. […] A Letter To Those We Once Loved (jamesmsama.com) […]

  14. A Letter to Those We Once Loved - on October 2, 2015 at 4:02 am

    […] Originally appeared on James M Sama’s blog. […]

  15. Nicholas Marchand on January 9, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    Only read a few paragraphs and it touches my heart from personal experiences and looking forward to finishing your post. Thanks for sharing.

  16. bacimimi on February 9, 2016 at 4:50 am

    Although I was in the middle of work, I couldn’t stop myself from reading until the end. ***** Thanks for this lovely letter.

  17. A Letter To The Woman I Used To Love - Snoozer on April 17, 2023 at 5:51 am

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