Letters to Tuvia#213 Strange Gifts (4-25-16)

Morning T,

It’s been a productive morning.  Even before Jon arrived for my weekly guitar lesson, I was up and working virtually with Christine on our dueling laptops, as she gets used  to her shiny new MacBook Pro.  We updated our website, adding a pricing page modeling our prices after other digital companies that offer similar products.  Of course our site will be cooler, our prices more reasonable.  One thing’s for sure, this new project is very exciting!

My lesson was unpredictable, given that I was already brain engaged with Christine, it was much harder to concentrate, but Jon and I stuck with it and moved forward. There’s nothing like playing music and the  guitar has been a great source of peace and pleasure in my life with and maybe even more now, without you.

I am shifting through memories… identifying the ones I want to cherish and thinking differently about those that make me wince when they appear without notice: the look on your face when you passed out next to me as I was driving, the pain I saw in your eyes when you fell on the steps just weeks before you died and the worst- the look on your face as you suffered through cardiac arrest-that’s the look I’d like to have erased from my memory banks.  That’s the look that kept Ami awake for weeks after you left us.

But those memories, the memories of your last few weeks are the memories that make your absence bearable. It was a gift T, the way you were taken… after just a month or so of real discomfort, and even in the midst of your gradual decline we traveled, we ate out, we went to movies, we spent time with family and friends,  we lived our lives together… and as you left, you sat across from me reading the Times, sipping coffee on a beautiful, fresh morning in August that was so normal…

A gift to you, and… a gift to me as well. We didn’t have to suffer from a loss of your dignity that was  your greatest fear.  As I talk with other widows, read accounts from blog posts of torturous months of dying I am so grateful that we did not suffer.

I never thought I would ever see your leaving as a gift to me, but yes, it was a gift to both of us… because all the other memories of us overwhelm the few horrors of death calling you.

I’m so grateful…

Bonnie S.

 

PS. Thanks to Facebook, I just found this memory

dsc_0052.jpg

Israel April 2010

We leave late tomorrow night.
Tuvia is watching a movie in Hebrew,
I am on my computer
Both of us in our worlds
Will give up distractions soon
And share our last evening together.

It’s been a trip for us
To walk at the edge of the sea
Eat pita and humus at Banana Beach,
Be with family and drink in friends.

I’m listening to conversations in Hebrew
Everywhere and even though I can’t make
real sense of it all
if I could get Tuvia to stay longer
I’d crack the code

But there’s a certain romance
In the unknown
Where I’ve come to create
My own conversations

Where I continue to dig my own path.

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15 thoughts

  1. I’m glad for you and Tuvia, too, Bonnie. That is the way I certainly would choose. I like hearing your excitement about this new venture, too. And too, so great to work with someone. Hugs for tomorrow. We have rain and cooler temps coming, no snow thankfully.

  2. It is hard to find things to be thankful for when going through a time like this, but you have managed to do so. I know we can’t pick how we leave this world, but to leave without losing one’s dignity I think would be high on just about everyone’s list. Thoughts remain with you.

  3. You have so many great memories and these are all the more vivid because you have photos and video. We never want our loved ones to suffer, you were given a gift, even if it delivers pain. There are many adventures ahead for you Bonnie.

  4. I lost my mother recently, and get this conflicted feeling. I wish she could still be here, but I’m glad she didn’t have to go through more of what she was going through. I remember leaving the hospital one day and looking around me. I was surprised that the world, in all it’s messy glory, was continuing on. Good luck to you.

  5. Very moving piece of writing, this letter to your T. I am especially moved by the paragraph about shifting memories, and being haunted by expressions on T’s face. The realization that ‘leaving’ quickly was a gift is more true than you can ever know, even though it seemed so brutal. I lost an uncle a year ago. Brutally. His children, and the rest of us were shocked. I lost my mother 7 months after, his sister. She suffered for 9 months, as she lost control of her life and her dignity. Horrible to experience. Horrible to witness. Best to you as you continue your journey with T in the winds…

    • Thanks so much for reading and sharing with me. It’s been a rough 8 months and the aghast seem to simple and yet critical to making sense of this life. I wonder how others get through loss.
      We are more resilient than I could have imagined.

      • I agree completely. I am not sure why we, as a culture, define accepted grieving time as a few days when the experience is so different for everyone. I am lucky to have had my mother so l9ng, yet to me she was so young. I wrestle with the world not understanding, but yet life continues. I miss her deeply but am grateful she left because it was better for her. I have learned a lot about friendship and family because of this loss and I, too, wrote about it a lot…it helped. It still helps. It is why I read your piece…be well.

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