Since Larry and Lisa created AfterTalk I finally feel I have a
pathway to write to you even though you died 21 years ago. I realized
that the only difference between writing a letter to someone who is dead
vs someone who is alive is an expectation of being with that person in
the future. In both situations the person is not with you in the
present. I cant conceive of an afterlife, but if there is one, than I
will be curious to know if we can resume our dialogue where this
conversation leaves off.
Our daughter was a little more than four and our son only eleven
months old when you ended our lives together by your own hand. For over
two decades, I have yearned to share you with our children. Larry and I
have been married for 19 years and he has been their father much longer
than you were. I’m sorry because I feel I have just hurt you by writing
I have been sad for twenty years because they feel the loss of not
knowing you; I continue to feel more remorse and guilt for not keeping
you in there lives. You and I were physicians together and yes, you
were in a severe depression, but I blame myself because I was a
physician , I am our children’s mother, and I was your wife and you were
their father. I keep wondering if there was something more I could have
done that might have kept you in our lives.
I want you to know how painful it has been to see you in both our
daughter and son and to not be able to have them see you in themselves.
Our daughter sees you in our son, and its both painful and wonderful.
As our son ages he is reminding both us of your appearance and
mannerisms. He likes opera and classical music just the way you did. He
specifically loves Mozart as you did. Yes I know;I also wonder what is
the neurobiology of musical preference? His facial expressions are
yours. He arrived unexpectedly one afternoon from college wearing
glasses and looked so much like you that our daughter, my mother and I
began to cry. He didn’t understand.
This hurt is difficult to describe and I am learning that its never
going to go away. Its part of our lives and to a large extent it holds
tremendous sway and shapes our daily lives. When you left, you left a
blank space forever present, never to be filled in the specific way you
would have filled it. We know it’s there, and will be there until we no
longer have a mind to remember you in.
The particular episodic minutiae of life’s consciousness are
infinitesimally innumerable and mounting up even as I pause to tell you
about them. They are each precious intricate pieces of a puzzle like
our son’s first bike ride on the pier. Our daughter at five years old
was staring so intently at the man at Toys ‘R Us when he was assembling
her new bike because she outgrew the one you had bought her. When I
asked her not to stare she told me “I cant help it; I am thinking of my
Daddy.” Since our son was a baby when you died, he didn’t remember your
voice. When he was a young boy, I played him a tape recording and later
showed him the precious pieces of video; he cried because you were and
are, unknowable, untouchable, and gone forever. Everything that is
something of them in my life I want to share with you but haven’t been
able to. Here I will try to begin writing to you about our children.
Love always, W