“Love I use it every day, sometimes several times a day. I use it at the end of emails to my loving family. I even use it in emails to close friends. I use it when I’m leaving the house,” Hamel, 87, began in the poem, shared with Us Weekly by Somers’ longtime publicist, R. Couri Hay. “There’s love, then love you and I love you!! Therein lies some of the different ways we use love. Sometimes I feel obliged to use love, responding to someone who signed love in their email, when I’m uncomfortable using love but I use it anyway.”
Hamel continued listing the ways he’s used the word “love” over the years. “I also use love to describe a great meal. I use it to express how I feel about a show on Netflix. I often use love referring to my home, my cat Gloria, to things Gloria does, to the taste of a cantaloupe I grew in my garden,” he wrote. “I love the taste of a freshly harvested organic royal jumbo medjool date. I love biting a fig off the tree. I love watching two giant blackbirds who live nearby swooping by my window in a power dive. My daily life encompasses things and people I love and things and people I am indifferent to.”
As Hamel went on to explain, however, these versions of love are all different than how he felt about Somers.
“I could go on ad infinitum, but you get it. What brand of love do I feel for my wife Suzanne? Can I find it in any of the above? A resounding no!!!! There is no version of the word that is applicable to Suzanne and I even use the word applicable advisedly,” he wrote. “The closest version in words isn’t even close. It’s not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction. Unconditional love does not do it. I’ll take a bullet for you doesn’t do it. I weep when I think about my feelings for you. Feelings … that’s getting close, but not all the way.”
Hamel noted that he and Somers were together for 55 years and spent “not even one hour apart for 42 of those years,” adding, “Even that doesn’t do it. Even going to bed at 6 o’clock and holding hands while we sleep doesn’t do it. Staring at your beautiful face while you sleep doesn’t do it.”
He concluded: “I’m back to feelings. There are no words.There are no actions. No promises. No declarations. Even the green shaded scholars of the Oxford University Press have spent 150 years and still have failed to come up with that one word. So I will call it, ‘us,’ uniquely, magically, indescribably wonderful ‘us.’”
According to Hay, Hamel gave the letter to Somers the night before her Sunday, October 15, death. Hay confirmed in a statement that Somers “passed away peacefully at home in the early morning hours” of Sunday. “She survived an aggressive form of breast cancer for over 23 years,” Hay continued. “Suzanne was surrounded by her loving husband Alan, her son Bruce, and her immediate family.”
Hay further noted that Somers’ family plans to “celebrate her extraordinary life” on Monday, October 16, which would have been the late actress’ 77th birthday. “[They] want to thank her millions of fans and followers who loved her dearly,” the statement concluded. “A private family burial will take place this week, with a memorial to follow next month.”
Somers and Hamel tied the knot in 1977 after 10 years of dating. She shared Bruce Jr., 57, with first husband Bruce Somers, whom she divorced in 1968.
Suzanne announced earlier this year that her cancer had returned. She was first diagnosed with skin cancer in her 30s before battling breast cancer beginning in 2000. She underwent a lumpectomy and radiation treatment.
“As you know, I had breast cancer two decades ago, and every now and then it pops up again, and I continue to bat it down,” Suzanne wrote via Instagram in July. “I have used the best alternative and conventional treatments to combat it. This is not new territory for me. I know how to put on my battle gear and I’m a fighter.”