A Written Goodbye by AndromedaMarine

Elizabeth slowly, with shaking hands, unfolded the piece of paper that had been tucked inside an envelope. She'd found the envelope when it mysteriously appeared on her pillow. Their pillow. She began to read.

My Dearest, Darling, and Ever Beautiful Elizabeth,

I'm very sorry that you are reading this. Carson convinced me to do this when I still had time – and then he died. I can see how I would need it. God knows his letter helped Laura deal much better. You know that our jobs and lives are in constant threat from the Wraith, the Replicators and even the Goa'uld. You knew that one day this would happen – and you wouldn't be the only one to deal with it. We've all had losses before: Carson, Evan, Kate Heightmeyer, and almost Rodney. I'll never forget the look on his face when he was convinced he was going to die. It's almost ironic that I worked so hard trying to save him and here I am trying to give you one last glimmer of happiness before complete grief takes over. I know, I know – I should have been more careful, I should have done this, that, blah blah blah. But the fact and the point is that whatever event made this letter come your way was something that no one could stop. It wasn't an accident and it wasn't intentional. Now, I don't know what will cause it but I'm just attempting to make your part a bit easier.

Even now as I write this, watching you sleep, I think of how lonely your life will be once this letter reaches your hands. I'm not trying to make you feel worse – quite the contrary. I'm sure Rodney will show at least some tears over my absence (It took him ages to finally accept the loss of Carson).

Instead of a will (which I think is entirely unnecessary in another galaxy) I'm saying now that everything I had goes to you and our children. They may or may not grow up without a father. I might die tomorrow (and I don't want to think about that because tomorrow is our anniversary) or I might die in sixty nine years. Personally I'd choose the latter because the one thing I want more than anything else is to have a long, happy life with you.

You are the love of my life. You pretty much own my heart – ever since we met on Antarctica (strange place to meet, but still). Tell Rodney, Ronon and Teyla that I'll miss them. Tell Laura and Katie goodbye for me. And whatever you do, keep as much of me as you can in our kids' lives. Especially Tripp – he'll need a father if you get this while he's still young. Maybe Rodney or Ronon could fill that role (I'm not entirely sure about Rodney – he claims he's horrible with kids, but you remember Harmony).

Elizabeth, I love you so much that words just can't describe it. I hate to say it, and I really mean I hate to say it, but move on. Keep looking for happiness, in every sense of the word.

Until we meet again in heaven or on another plane, I love you,

Goodbye.

John A. Sheppard

By the time she finished reading her legs had buckled and given out, the paper was spotted with tears and she was curled in a corner with her infant son, Tripp, and her one-year-old girl, Nara.

The written goodbye was all she received from her husband on their anniversary.

John had ascended – his only choice over death.