This Week’s Letter

BlogMessage In A Bottle

20 Years Later

It was a cold and snowy afternoon in 2003.  I can still remember my black winter boots emerging from the snow as I was putting one foot in front of the other walking towards the doctor’s office with Bjarne.  Our life was about to change forever.  Although he was only 31, we were just about to find out, he had stage 4 colon cancer.  In…
June 18, 2024

About the Second Firsts Letters

Christina Rasmussen is an acclaimed grief educator, bestselling author of Second Firsts (Hay House, 2013) Where Did You Go? (Harper One, 2018) and the upcoming book Invisible Loss (Sounds True, 2023).

The Second Firsts Letters began 4 years after her 35-year-old husband died of stage 4 colon cancer. Her own devastating experience of grief catapulted her towards a long but necessary journey bridging the gap between grief and life.

What Readers are Saying About the Letters

The letter has a way of magically being just what you need at the time you read it! It is always precisely authentic, real, and raw! Your Friday letter shadows the true walk in grief; loss; and LOVE.


I feel heard, comforted, and encouraged. Grief will not be the end of us.


It was my lifeline in the early years. Gave me courage and recognized my feelings were the same as others.


The first letter I read of yours I had a feeling of relief. Relief that I wasn’t going mad, relief that this woman who I had yet to meet understood me, understood my inner feelings better than I did. Each letter continued to guide me and help me with the muddle of emotions and turn them into words. Words that I could finally relate to.


Peaceful… it brings peace and a smile to my heart and soul. We are never alone if we choose not to be.


Each letter is a lovely, short story validating my thoughts and emotions. And it allows me to be ok with where I am in this grief.

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Most Popular Letters

Message In A BottleBlog

Don’t get on the anniversary train

I have been writing to you for 4 years and I have never written about what to do with the anniversaries of loss. A wonderful woman reached out to me yesterday and asked me if I would write about this. So here it goes. Anniversaries of loss feel like a big train approaching the platform. Heavy, noisy. Old. Loud. And you can hear it coming…
May 2, 2014
BlogMessage In A BottleDating Again

The Letter to Heaven

Hubby in heaven, It will be 8 years this Monday since the day you left this world. I used to imagine how would the pain feel years from the day you left. A part of me wanted time to speed up and another part wanted time to go backwards. You left behind a train wreck. The girls wouldn't fall asleep at night without holding on…
July 18, 2014
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The Loneliness Lady

I discovered loneliness for the first time when my husband was diagnosed with cancer. That is when he was really taken from me. The diagnosis removed him from our life in a very invisible way. He went to a new world where he was not with us. But he was still alive. The cancer years were very lonely years. All 4 of them. Of course…
September 6, 2013
BlogMessage In A BottleThe First Year

Find the Proof

I first saw her in 2006 after my husband died. She was around 85 years old, grey hair. Sitting on a rocking chair. And she was alone. She was sad. And she was waiting to die. I would go visit her at least 20 times a day. She would look at me and tell me how sad she was. She would cry every time I…
June 13, 2014

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