Letters to Tuvia#233 Sounds and Silence (5-23-16)#sol16

Evening T,

I’m sitting here on my couch watching Dancing with the Stars: the Finale   The last dance, danced by a pro and a hunky model, who happens to be deaf,  held everyone is his silence. In fact, they danced to “Sounds of Silence.” Often I made you sit through my favorite dance of the night.  Often I know you were just being polite after the first half, but I think this one would have held you.  It inspired this letter.

Sounds and  Silence- that’s what I’m working on now… that’s the balance I’m creating.   So different from the balance I held on to with you- our balance was my time for you and  my time for everything else. I learned, over time just what you needed and what I needed and it worked for us.

Now I have it all… so my balance consists for the time I spend with others, out it the world of sounds and then the  one in silence So today  after my guitar lesson with Jon, after my lunch with Jonathan, Lisa and her mom, creating and catching up and returned home and  created a reading silence instead of mindlessly just clicking on the TV to catch up on the latest presidential polls that of course are worthless at this point in the process. I do wish Bernie would pack it in.

I changed into comfortable  clothes, grabbed up my Kindle, pulled out the porch cushions,carved out my spot on the new couch and stayed out there until it started to rain.  I’m still not a fan of rain- that hasn’t changed in 9 months.


The silence was powerful, especially now that I’m reading a tough book- Being Mortal:Medicine and What Matters in the End   by Atul Gawande,  an Indian surgeon who champions the geriatric branch of medicine  even when the medical profession seems to be moving  away from it. Here’s a Frontline that documents his work powerfully.

You left just the way you wanted to leave, spent your last months with your dignity intact. I’m so  grateful for that and  I want that for me too. I would never have had the courage to pick up a book like this if I hadn’t gone through the end with you and now beyond.  I’m not as young as I was when you were here with me, I wonder about what challenges lie ahead in this independent but very single life. We  lived in our life, in our present and future but rarely about the end, not the specifics… I think I want to think about the issues ahead.  I’m ready to take on this book.  I think you would have really enjoyed the conversation I had in New Paltz with Maggie who has so embraced advocacy for those coming to the end.  I’m going to learn a lot.

As I move forward in my new digital work, into lives of people sharing their legacies, I’m wondering how these new connections will help me to consider my own aging process.  I was with you as you aged graciously, so graciously that I never noticed you changing… well maybe just a bit. I hope I have the courage to take on this chapter of my life.

I’m digesting now… in a very sweet silence and thinking about you…

Miss you Tuv R.,  always,

Bonnie S.


21 thoughts

  1. A very hard book and a very hard subject to ponder. Be sure you are ready for these musings. The subject will always be there if you want to think about it at a later date.

  2. So many discoveries are ahead. You will tackle this journey of discovery and make it your own. That dance was incredible, it left me in tears.

  3. I love that you connected the dancing music “Sounds and Silence” with your life now, Bonnie. Reflection of what is and what will be is a good thing. My mother taught me that. I hope you’ll play something and share sometime!

  4. I read the Gawande book two months ago. I learned a lot. I feel in tune as I read this as if I had some secret decoder ring that allows me to read between the lines. The balancing is of course important as is the out of balance that happens alongside living. Peace to you. BTW, I wish Bernie would just stop too. Enough already.

    • So weird, I just started reading your slice as I watched your response appear back here. That book feels right especially as I begin a journey to work with hospice patients.

  5. I was squeezing in one last post before I have to get ready to go to a yoga class, when I came across your post. I was blown away by the sensitivity of your writing and how you organized it. I thought it was just me getting morbid, but I am grateful to read another’s thoughts on preparing for what’s to come. You’ve given me a model of love, dignity and acceptance that will be very helpful in the future. Thank you for sharing such personal thoughts and feelings.

  6. Courage and strength come from within. Bonnie, you have both and will be able to face whatever comes your way making decisions that are right for you.

  7. I still love that you write letters to Tuvia. I look forward to reading what is in them each week, where you are in the process, what you miss, what you still (are trying to) enjoy alone. Sometimes, more times than not, the silence is what is needed most. Congratulations for living it, enjoying it, and seeing its benefits.

  8. Hi Bonnie, I put Being Mortal on hold at the library when my mom was in the hospital. It has just arrived. I’m not sure that I have it in me to read it just now, but I also know that thinking ahead about my own end is much more important than it ever was before. Your posts inspire me more than I can say. Last week was a hard one for me, but reading about your own coping gives me hope.

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