After his death I found out how many mutual friends we have and one of them I talk to everyday and he told my crush to drive safe and shook his hand before climbing behind the wheel. He fell asleep behind the wheel drove through a fence into a tree then the truck caught on fire. His crash site is across the street from my grandparents. I did care for him deeply. This is one of the hardest death I have dealt with and I have lost way more people than most people ever will. My son died of an overdose 10 years ago. I cried some but was more numb. I have waited for real grief to come all this time…..
I have always said to myself and others that I am ok because I know he is still somewhere…I miss him and wish I could get to know him better. He had just turned 18 and was an old soul. But I also suspect that I have thought it was wrong to be angry and sad. If there is a dam and it breaks, I know I can share this with a few trusted friends. No one seems to remember but me. I suspect it scares them….. It is comforting to remember that your not alone and reading others comments reminds me that I am human and among many…..
My husband died almost 2 years ago. What do we call ourselves now? Why do men who are widowed seem to marry sooner and create a new family, while it seems the female version is not, and she is like that widow of Zarephath? Most of the time no one will introduce you to their single friends or fix you up. It only happens on TV Its uncomfortable for others for you to sit in the Family pews at Church , so now I sit in the back with the rest of the freaks lol Why is shame somehow attached to grief and loss.
Having the million dollar insurance policy is a MYTH. Be careful of Dating scams Your pets sometimes reject you. Sometimes your finances are a wreck, even if you were organized and on time before. Sometimes your Boss has no tolerance for your altered state, and sometimes your mind will not go into gear like before. So you struggle at work too. Sometimes and most of the day, you will be held hostage inside your head. No its not dementia Sometimes we need to just be with ourselves as opposed to being by ourselves, there is a difference. The dying part is hard enough. To think that the collection of atoms that came together to create the you, that is you, is impressive in itself.
Then, assigned such atoms actually obtain the ability to be aware of their own existence? Even though I am circling the proverbial drain I am still in awe. It is not the dying part that bothers me , it is the permanent part of the equation that throws me for the loop. The worst is the look of anguish in the face of my mother. My father and siblings have accepted the fact I shall not plan for my next birthday. Why can she not do the same? Wendy, she thinks I have no right to do such a thing to her. She is so distraught She is also correct.
From your response, I sure hope you did not have to bury a child!!! The 10 mg of morphine helps so much. I do not like the other pain relievers as they tend to wipe me out. I am sad for you and your family. Mom is devastated and one big reason is that there is nothing she can do to protect you. Your Dad must be covering it well, but I am sure it is killing him inside. There is nothing good parents would not do to keep you with them, make the pain stop, talk with you openly without being afraid to completely melt down. If you can, comfort those around you individually.
We are so small in the universe, and what we are made of is even smaller still. But, at the very end, which we still have not found in an atom, or at the end of the universe is some sort of electrical energy, a spark. In us, the spark makes it possible for us to grow and become. In us humans, it is the beginning of a being that is self aware. That awareness allows us to learn, about, ourselves, and others, our similarities but also how unique each of is. There is your body, and then there is your spirit.
They are intertwined right now. You r family will miss your spirit. Who you really are. Call a member of a family in and let them cry with you. You are his son. There is no bigger loss. Biggest fear of death, other than pain and the unknown, not being remembered. Help them remember you when the spark goes out and God steps in. I want to also add that after you move on, she may feel that her arms are empty. My son and his wife buried their newborn baby this past June. We knew she was going to die when she was born as she had no lungs. She lived for about an hour.
Their arms feel empty, They are incomplete until they all will be together again. I believe that you will still be you beyond the veil and that the veil is very thin. Cross with nothing left unsaid. That is your greatest gift to them. My brother, the computer guy, is setting up the auto-good bye message for me. Take Care and Go Red Sox!
My Grandfather thought they would never win! If there is an afterlife, to see my beloved grandfather again would be so great! Still, is there anyone there who can tell me how to stop my mother from crying? I realize that I am now making this about me. She, and my father, are the ones that have to deal with the aftermath. Yet, I can not stand it anymore! He was elderly and his health was failing. He died in his own home on his own terms. And that only made me feel guilty. That you would never thought that families would break apart. Other children make you feel like your nothing and splits the whole family by taking sides.
Fighting all the time. I lost my mom and 15 year old dog within a month of each other this year. All of these people promised to be there for me and to help me. She was my best friend and my eveverything. I have three girls and I gave birth to my third girl less then 12 hours after her funeral. I never thought I could make it a day without her and yet here I am.
My advice to you is screw your family. They will never understand what your going through. Live in honor of your mom. Choose to forgive them and move on from the hate and anger. I learned that when my dad passed 6 years ago. I had so much anger and hurt. People suck sometimes and no on has been there for me they way I was there for them.
Guess what their loss! We have everything we need to deal with the death of our moms. Just reach down inside you and make a promise to be everything you can be to make her proud and yourself proud. Smile and rejoice and give honor to her. She would love that. For me; loss of my spouse is more painful than any other loss of a relative or pet that I have had to endure.
I feel so utterly alone and unsure of what to do. I am trying to somehow get back into feeling normal, but maybe I never will. I have no appetite for travelling, visiting, nothing…. Thank you all for sharing…. Death sucks the life out of the survivors. Life is difficult but keep breathing and smiling. I once was in your situation, almost moved to another province, but it didnt work out Thank God Now I realize, nothing else matters, live life for the minute.
Maybe you made a mistake by moving, but it is only a mistake. You will get through this but it takes time…yes lots of time…there is no rush. Keep breathing… Yoga helps but believe me with each passing day…life gets better. I know you can do it. The self-punishment is just too much to bear at times.
When she lived with me, she was abusive, she kicked me, threatened to burn down my house, kill my dog, broke windows and sold my electronics. Life has no undo button but I keep thinking what could have been different, had I stayed. How do I get through every day? I feel just trashed, no good for anything.
I know how you feel! My Son died of and OD that then as soon as he was taken off life support and hooked up to morphine like your putting down an animal after they gave me his Mom that decision to make! He had been in jail and had only been out less than 27 hours but He had had a problem with Pain Pills and other things before but it was on and off until the Pain Pills that he started that was prescribed by a Doctor for his surgery on his shoulder but I know that rage when they are high and how painful it is!
Any pain and anguished that you know from that completely is gone when you are holding your dying Child and so Much Pain Your Heart is about to explode out of your chest and you start the nightmare that never goes away! Seemed like every time I was trying to do better someone or something brought me right back to almost where was! Add this one to the list. All those people who said: Call me if there is anything you need. I want to help. But most do not.
The ones who mean it will help you. You will think that they probably are saying yes, just out of embarrassment. So things to do pile on. You feel helpless and paralized. You will feel worse in the night when it all gets quiet. You may have trouble falling asleep and also getting out of bed. Your grief will physically hurt. Your stomach will hurt.
Your chest will hurt. The lump in your throat will hurt. And your head may feel like your brain is swollen. Pack it up, store it and when you are ready, let some of it go and keep a few representative things of their life. I kept a crystal bowl my mom took to parties filled with her popular fruit ambrosia. She was a good cook. Gave away stuff that was not my taste and obviously will never wear.
I kept one really nice, tasteful blanket. Giving away her clothes was as if she died again. It will come back to bite you. It has a life of its own and you have to respect it. You must allow yourself to pass through it from time to time. I struggled with my husbands stuff and I still do. He was just a person who enjoyed doing stuff so he collected the stuff he enjoyed. So my basement was filled with boxes of our life together. I did get rid of the things I nagged him about, but everything else lived in boxes. So I have recently started to open some boxes most of my stuff and pack some things to Good will.
So I decided to find the rare pictures that have me and him having fun at the same time and make a little memory board that I can look at every now and them. I am sorry for your loss, I am not sure when it will get better, but I hope we can all maintain. He was malnutrition bad and they turned the horse into a grand champion over the years they had him. Then THEY lost their mother from a long battle of cancer. It hit my brother his wife and their son very hard. Then our family was struck again with our nephew. He was in a horrific car accident after 10pm.
In his honor he chose to be an organ donor so others could live on if he could not. After trying to put some pieces back together in our family. My brother and his wife AGAIN were hit almost 4 months later that their brother passed away unexpectedly. Or say to make things any better. We were going numb. We were wrong again. Our family once again learned that our family had more devastating news that we never wanted to hear. My brother and his wife of over 21 years.
Who just lost their horse who was like a child to them. Who just lost Their mother who was one of the greatest people you could ever meet. Who just lost their only son together at just 25 years old. Who just lost their brother very unexpectedly. To finding out my brothers wife was diagnosed with rare myeloma and their is no cure. Although she could have many years to live with managed treatments. Today marks 1 year of their son and my nephew passing away. And no matter what we grieve everyday. Some days are very hard and others are harder. What we do know is that through all of the loss our family had within a year.
The one we grieve most is their son who was only 25 and my nephew. Nobody has figured out how to move on. Our only hope right now is that their son and our nephew will watch over his mom and Dad and give us a miracle and keep his mom around for the next 50 years ATLEAST so my brother will be able to keep the love of his life around him since everyone else has been taken so suddenly..
I lost my husband, the love of my life, days ago. He had a multitude of health problems and was sick for a long time. He was in hospice 18 months. We were married 30 years. Obviously I knew when his time was getting short, and I thought I was prepared for his death as I was tired of seeing him suffer. I miss him so much and grieve constantly. I miss his voice. I read your letter and can I ever relate. I too lost my husband of 47 years just 8 months ago. We too went through a very long illness cancer.
He was sick for 18 months as well. I too was so sad and tired of watching him suffer. I too thought I was ready to release him to God so he would be free of all he was going through. So hard to watch. I would have cared for him the rest of my life just to have him here. When your life partner dies and you are left behind, you are missing your other half. You become lost and so alone.
They call it separation anxiety. There are so many things to go through emotionally. Such a long hard journey. You wonder if this will ever end. I feel for all your going through. There is nothing worse than child loss and it happened to me 2x. I am been through tremendous loss in my life, but nothing compares to losing a child. I guess I am cold now to any other person because my children were taken. When an old person dies, there should be no grief, period. Yes, I have been through that so I know what I am talking about.
I was so sorry to read your post. We lost my brother when he was 37 years ago. She did nothing else. I took care of her until the last five years and she passed at It was not fair. I am so sorry and wish there was something that I could do to ease your pain. That pain never went away for my mom or the rest of my family.
Prayers are with you regarding you and your children. Is it because they had a long life compared to a child or young person that dies? We miss our parents, we loved them. My mom died in May. He passed 22nd Jan My family was very close up until mom died. Thursday 24 May I was off work because I was writing exams. I wanted to visit mom because she lived 20 mins away but I told myself that preparing for my exams was more important. I called her and she told me she was eating then dropped the call on me. My sister who lived with my mom sent me a message at 6pm that evening saying my mom had a stroke.
I rushed to the hospital to be with her. During the CT scan they made me pin her down even though she was in so much pain. The monday the doctor told us my mom was fine and that she would be discharged. There was nothing wrong with her. We took her for all her check ups prior to the stroke. A week later Thursday, 31st May my mom died.
They said she was coming home. They said she was fine. My mom was not ill so why. I lost my father and mother within 10 months of each other also. It was a horrible experience and continues to be a horrible feeling.
I try to make it everyday and am making some progress but it hurts so bad. I was 57 yrs old and still cry like a baby. Try to make time to go through the grieving process of shock, disbelief, anger etc. Miss them so much!!!! I lost both of my parents within 14 months. My mother died April 30, and my Daddy died July 1, Thank you so much for this post. Losing my dad December 1, , I never knew how hard my heart would continue to break.
I miss what our future was to hold, sharing memories with my boys. Nothing can prepare you for the loneliness of grief. I avoid most get togethers and holidays due to sadness. I hate those that have parents even thought I still have and cherish my mom. The emptiness never goes away.
64 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Grief
I think these are all awesome and spot on. I lost my wonderful soulmate -best friend-lover of 37 years marriage and 44 years of love from first sight this August 9th. She had stage 4 lung cancer that spread t her brain. We were downstate NY for it and we had to wait another week to leave and come home upstate to Buffalo where we had just moved into our retirement home, So yes we only got 2 months of retirement starting March. We bought our dream home- to have 20 or so Golden years- our time for the good life.
But the grief is never ending- the regrets- anger- denial all the stages hit at various moments-days-times- I can no longer enjoy the home that is now just a house or even better a tomb for me. I too feel as if family has already moved on and forgot. I could be wrong but I dont know- I am so alone but nobody calls. My daughter tries and gets me to go with my grandchildren to events but its not the same- I just feel bad because my wife is missing these times she came up here to have- she lived for the time to be with the grandkids and she was robbed of it all in only 2 months after diagnosis she was gone!
I came here to retire and live the good life and all I did was come up to bury her along with all our hopes and dreams. I have now lost my past-present and future! I am 64 she was only 62 and now its all gone!
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Why not- you already took my life-now take it all-please. When I see morning sunlight it just awakens the pain all over again. But again all your points here hit the spot! I hear the hope in your words. I once was in your shoes. It takes a long time to work thru the healing process but it is worth it.
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Just keep going thru the motions, try to make the best of the day, see the beauty in being alive somehow. I know it sounds weird but it is the only way thru this. I felt like I was walking 2 feet off the ground for the first 2 years and then I came back to earth…I didnt know it at the time but I do now…and now even though I still grieve my loss I am in control of my grief. I know what I am dealing with.
Please try to keep going for your dear loved one. She only wants you to go foreward and enjoy all that life has to give. She is watching from above. All the Best, Gary! Many of us seem to be in the same boat. Who ever thought it would come to this. I yelled at some family members during the days after my husband died. He lingered for twelve agonizing days in ICU before passing away on the operating table. Not even a phone call to see how I was doing.
I guess they will probably wait until hell freezes over! I learned some important things from this situation, however — family cannot always be counted on to be there for you in your darkest hour! And some family members are pitifully weak, selfish and ignorant when it comes to death and grieving! They have no children, so I wonder, who will be there for them? I had two wonderful sons who made my grief much more bearable — but who will be there for these so-called family members of mine?
I lost my mother three weeks ago to lung cancer she was I honestly feel I did most of my grieving whilst she was going downhill over the summer. Love to you all. My father passed 10 years ago, and looking back as I get older I realize just how difficult it was to process. I had a complicated relationship with dad, and when he passed suddenly it deeply affected me. In the months following his passing, I wrote a song expressing the very feelings I had and complex grief I was enduring.
I decided not too long ago to actually go in studio and get it professionally recorded. My mother and father have both passed in the last three and a half years. My mother suffered with kidney,heart, and pain everywhere for 10 years. She became unconscious, on a ventilator and life support.
They say the hearing is the last to go. I told her I would be alright because it was time for her to go to heaven and she had been sick long enough and that I lovedher and what a great human being she had been. I did not have to have them pull the plug. I think she was trying to hang on forme. After they pulled the ventilator she had a slight smile on her face. I cried and rejoiced because she is in heaven. How do I know this.?
They had to take it and she hemoridged. My dad was in the waiting room not knowing any thing was wrong. He was not mental. He saw a vision on the wall of my mother in a white gown walking up a dirt road. He saw the pearly gates and Saint Petey. Me and our 4 kids need her.
The doctor came out soon after and told my dad they pulled me out with forecepts and all her veins collapsed. Another Dr came down the hall and said the biggest vein is in her foot and saved her. With my dad he had cancer. He got his final wave of energy and thought he was being healed. I didn,t have the heart to tell him this is part of dieting so I never got to say goodbye. Although I told my mother to tell him when she was dying. She was finalising the estate of her mum who died last November — she died the day she was due to fly home.
Her burial was incredibly rapid — she died in the Monday and I was at her funeral on the Thursday. There is no rule book for grief and mourning- but a lot of the stuff on this list is right. So many people gave me advice — alot of it was because they wanted to help. I wish someone had told me that people would rather avoid you than comfort you, and that most of your tears are shed alone.
Tell Your Story
My GF died 8 weeks ago and it is by far the worst period of my life. Everything, everyplace reminds me of her. After 5 years of marriage I discovered that the man I love so much started acting funny and suddenly changed his password that he has been using over the years now and always keeping his phone to himself. He is always on calls and getting his phone off him is like trying to take a bone from a hungry dog. I told my best friend about it and she told me about a particular hacker. This has been wonderful to read. I lost my rock, strength, my everything my husband on August 4, We have two wonderful boys.
I try and not see me cry all the time. But they have been my rocks through a lot. Grief really changes you. He was 49 and it was sudden and out of the blue. I have to keep reliving that day, because I keep thinking he is going to show up. It is a living nightmare everyday. Crying yourself to sleep every night, and waking up crying!!!!
It was very sudden, being a car accident. Anyway, the knowing that you will never get to talk ever again ever. Knowing he will never come home and walk through the door ever aha is terrible. I have now started grieving for the next two closest people to me — my mom and my husband — even though there is not a single thing wrong with them, save for bad genetics. I have realized that anxiety is simply an impatient version of grief waiting for its cue to enter — and it is perpetually waiting in the wings for me.
Usually at the same time. As an atheist with no children, I truly fear for what will become of me when the last two that I love the most are gone. What do I do with me? I have no faith to hold me here. No children to be obligated to care for. The last two people keeping me tethered to this world will likely die before me. I am certain I will not be able to find joy without them here. I will only be a burden to anyone who is left. My mom just passed away almost 2 weeks ago. She was 57 and battled stage 4 metastatic melanoma for 9 years. Little did I know this was the last text my mom was going to send me.
Crying in fact DOES come in waves and completely out of nowhere. I cried when I told her my goodbyes in the hospital, I cried when everyone said their goodbyes to her. I cried at the viewing and funeral, very little. Now i catch myself crying very little and very randomly over the smallest things. I lost my mom on All my other siblings had the time to say their goodbyes and have their conversations but my niece and I were on duty. I made myself take a few moments alone to say my goodbyes but the other thing no one tells you is that the person you are caring for may become angry with their caregivers.
Mom did and that could not be the furthest from who she was normally. I had been her primary care giver for her 6 year cancer battle, and it was an honor to be by her side. Though the last 2 weeks were different brutal really. I relive that final 24 hours more than anyone knows. Not sure I will ever be able to let those go. Oh… Hospice… who knew how little help or guidance you really get from them. I sure as heck did not. Family feuds— from what i know now are not uncommon but lord are they unnecessary and horrible. I lost my beloved husband. It comes out of no where.
She found out May 10 four days after her birthday that she had pancreatic cancer that had spread to her liver. We were counting on chemo but she died the week she was supposed to start treatment. She took a major turn for the worse mainly because of acute liver failure and lived for only six more days after going to the hospital.
I talked to her a lot and made her as comfortable as possible while she could still tell me what she needed. Not being able to talk back and forth with her was particularly sad because we had wonderful, heartwarming conversations over the years. Like the loved ones dirty socks still lying in their bedroom floor or whenever you see their favorite candy.
The biggest surprise for me was the physical aches and pain. The physical sickness I feel from grieving. It like the flu almost. But last much longer. My mother has only been gone 2 months but the waves keep pounding me. Sometimes, without even realizing it, you not only mourn the loss of a person, but you mourn the loss of a life you thought you were going to have.
My mom died a few months ago. We were very close even though we had a difficult relationship. My whole body aches. I recently lost my husband of 10 years. He died of hypertension just 2 days in hospital. He died 15 June ,I am still in shock. He left me I was 9 months pregnant and was due the following week he died. I could not do body viewing and I did not go to bury him. I have recently been blessed with a baby boy and I have 2 beautiful girls. T have lost my dad but death seem to be new. I have all the feelings and emotions you can think of,my world is upside down. This is also a very good post which I really enjoyed reading.
It is not every day that I have the possibility to see something like this.. With havin so much content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement? Do you know any methods to help prevent content from being stolen? I definitely love reading everything that is written on your site. Keep the tips coming.
I wish I had known how physical grief could be. I thought I had some kind of disease until I figured out it was literally the weight of the grief I was carrying. No one really understands how deeply we hurt for our loved ones, it makes you realize how alone you truly are. I watch her videos almost every day, I touch her on the screen, wanting to feel her soft skin and warm breathe on my face, her smell….. She passed on March 19, , I held her in my arms on the way to the hospital and kissed her and told her I how much she meant to me and to our other family members, she brought them up, she nutured them and helped to make them whole.
I told her that if she cannot breathe I will breathe for her. She is mine and I am hers and that will be forever. Such a great list. I really appreciate with this. I will must share it to others and also to my facebook page. Thanks fo rthe sharing such a informative article. I lost my brother in law, Chance, more of a big brother less than a month ago.
We were very close. I never knew I was going to feel crazy when Chance died. I tune out the world and hear songs and his voice so clear like he is sitting right next to me. I still send him messages telling him about my day and how his daughter is doing. I miss him and I will love him forever. I do wish I would have let him stay in my house where he would have been safe guilt. I told a close friend that I intended to create a page on instagram directed to other males that very close to their mothers.
Itreally a great and useful piece of info. I am satisfied that you shared this useful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this. The dream always finds a way to rear its ugly head and you grieve it all over again. In 17 years, through guilt of being alive, I have systematically lost everything my beautiful husband and I worked so hard for, that I now have nothing. I ruined my relationship with my beautiful girls, and I am still so very lost. I wish my doctor had visited me after my husband died… or someone had put me somewhere for my own protection from myself, until I could cope.
I still cry everyday with grief for jom. I lost my son on June 24, I was devastated to say the least. That scared me because at that time I was doing good just to breathe. So maybe people should be careful on advice to a person who is in the beginning stages of grief. I was afraid that if I was never going to get better then I may have to be placed in an institution. I know now logically what people meant but at that time I was not thinking logically. One day at a time and I manage to get out of bed, work and function. Just hold off on advice the first days afterwards.
I lost my absent dad a few months ago. So when he died suddently I just feel like the restablishment of contact came too late, when things were just getting better he left this world. It feels like a cruel ending. She was very functional and we had a loving life. We had both acknowledged that I would outlive her, so should have been prepared? No, sudden unexpected death of even a terminally ill person hurts terribly; maybe more so in the fact that we knew the end was nearer than we would have liked.
People may mean well, but this is about YOU and what you need right now. It sounds like his toothbrush is important to leave where it is, so leave it, my dear. These responses really are as bad as we think they are. Let me assure you that there is nothing wrong with you at all, Dawn. Please find ways via the internet or other, to be with people who can support you, and listen instead of telling you what to do xxoo. I am so sad for you that you believe you can do nothing about whatever wrongs you feel you may have done.
I believe that you can do so, and I believe your wife already knows how much you love her, and the great sorrow you bear. John, have you heard anything about continuing bonds? While this is a problem, it also suggests a solution, as you can seek resolution through working to make amends to her, just as you would have in life. He passed away suddenly at 53 and since then, I feel completely lost. He is the first thing I remember when I wake up, and the last thing before I fall asleep.
I was crying all night and then I found this site accidentally. But I think the only thing that gets better with time is your emotional control in front of others. It still hurts so badly and you miss that person so much. English is not my first language, but I hope you will understand me and some could maybe find yourselves in my words and feelings. Suddenly losing a beloved has not only the grief but the shock too. Losing my mom was an ongoing affair…years of sliding down the path of dementia.
Outbursts, and her struggles to stay in control, could be intense, sometimes with her striking out. But there were times of exquisite sweetness; I slept with her several times, to keep her safe when my father was away. It always made her smile and the energy in our hearts would glow.
I sang her Sufi chants several nights a week, while she was in bed at the nursing home in her finally year, readying for sleep. These memories of loving more then, have sustained me in her loss. She is Always with me! For some of us, writing thank you notes and letters after a death and funeral or memorial event is part of the healing process. I wanted everyone to know how very much I and our son appreciated their caring thoughts and deeds. It is not always a cruel thing as stated in this list and is an incredibly personal decision whether to write them or not.
As I read through these posts, my heart is broken for each one of you. Our grief is so individual and so real. My fiance, the love of my life, my soulmate passed away suddenly on March 22nd. Like so many of you, we had so many beautiful memories and so many plans for the future. I find myself pretending to be okay. I go out to dinner with friends. I pretend that I am happy. I, too, have experienced this. I cling to the people who are there and who do their best to the best of their ability.
So now I sit and I wait and I fear for the future. I know that I will never have another, I know that I will never love the way I loved this man. My heart is broken. They do not know. How can one be strong when half of her heart is missing, one of her lungs is gone, half of her soul and spirit are gone… And the other half that remains is so deeply wounded.
I do agree with all of the ideas you have presented in your post. They are really convincing and will certainly work. Still, the posts are too short for newbies. Could you please extend them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post. She was not diagnosed until weeks before she died. Im a ONLY child and Her 2nd husband passed in of a stoke and we did not know.
We thuoght it was just a flu since he had flu like symptoms. We missed the arm not being able to lift up. Im not even a Christian anymore and this person just keeps on saying this stuff and it does not help me. No it does not. I miss my mom everyday. Sometimes my days ate good. Mothers Day im with a friend and mother. And ppl expect you to be all gine and happy like nothing ever happened.
May be if that person lost their brst friend and mother abd was her catetaker of 2 lsst years…. I lost the love of my life on January 26, he had turned 55 on Jan The dearest kindest man I have ever known. I was married to a Monster for twenty years then alone for 13 years before finally agreeing to date him hesitation being my strong suit. I had four years , one and and half married to the best man anywhere before god took him home. I am so thankful for the people I grew up with it Oregon who truely understand.
I feel changed, older, and have missed her since the moment my dad called to tell me. But it still feels unfair and too soon. I want to talk to my friends about it, and I do to some extent, but the harder stuff.. I buried my best friend, soulmate, and husband of 28 years on March 5, Perhaps he said this hoping to minimise in my mind the importance of his indiscreet intervention, perhaps it was because he was of a cowardly nature, and lived gaily and idly in an atmosphere of falsehood, as jelly-fish float upon the surface of the sea, perhaps because, even if he had not been of a different race, as other people can never place themselves at our point of view, they do not realise the magnitude of the injury that words uttered at random can do us.
The parents of the little girl whom I had brought into the house for an hour had decided to lodge a complaint against me for corruption of a child under the age of consent. There are moments in life when a sort of beauty is created by the multiplicity of the troubles that assail us, intertwined like Wagnerian leitmotiv , from the idea also, which then emerges, that events are not situated in the content of the reflexions portrayed in the wretched little mirror which the mind holds in front of it and which is called the future, that they are somewhere outside, and spring up as suddenly as a person who comes to accuse us of a crime.
Even when left to itself, an event becomes modified, whether frustration amplifies it for us or satisfaction reduces it. But it is rarely unaccompanied. My innocence of the alleged crime was never taken into consideration, for that was the sole hypothesis which nobody was willing to accept for an instant. Nevertheless the difficulty of a conviction enabled me to escape with an extremely violent reprimand, while the parents were in the room. Anyhow, you can find dozens of girls better than that one, and far cheaper.
It was a perfectly ridiculous amount to pay. Every passer-by, until I was safely at home, seemed to me an inspector appointed to spy upon my behaviour. And this took its place once more, but in an almost joyous tone now that Saint-Loup had started. Now that he had undertaken to go and see Mme.
Bontemps, my sufferings had been dispelled. I believed that this was because I had taken action, I believed it sincerely, for we never know what we conceal in our heart of hearts. What really made me happy was not, as I supposed, that I had transferred my load of indecisions to Saint-Loup. I was not, for that matter, entirely wrong; the specific remedy for an unfortunate event and three events out of four are unfortunate is a decision; for its effect is that, by a sudden reversal of our thoughts, it interrupts the flow of those that come from the past event and prolong its vibration, and breaks that flow with a contrary flow of contrary thoughts, come from without, from the future.
But these new thoughts are most of all beneficial to us when and this was the case with the thoughts that assailed me at this moment , from the heart of that future, it is a hope that they bring us. It is in reality our anticipation, our hope of happy events that fills us with a joy which we ascribe to other causes and which ceases, letting us relapse into misery, if we are no longer so assured that what we desire will come to pass.
It is always this invisible belief that sustains the edifice of our world of sensation, deprived of which it rocks from its foundations. We have seen that it created for us the merit or unimportance of other people, our excitement or boredom at seeing them. It creates similarly the possibility of enduring a grief which seems to us trivial, simply because we are convinced that it will presently be brought to an end, or its sudden enlargement until the presence of a certain person matters as much as, possibly more than our life itself.
One thing however succeeded in making my heartache as keen as it had been at the first moment and I am bound to admit no longer was. It is all very well our loving people, the pain of losing them, when in our isolation we are confronted with it alone, to which our mind gives, to a certain extent, whatever form it chooses, this pain is endurable and different from that other pain less human, less our own, as unforeseen and unusual as an accident in the moral world and in the region of our heart, which is caused not so much by the people themselves as by the manner in which we have learned that we are not to see them again.
Albertine, I might think of her with gentle tears, accepting the fact that I should not be able to see her again this evening as I had seen her last night, but when I read over again: There is in inanimate objects, in events, in farewell letters a special danger which amplifies and even alters the nature of the grief that people are capable of causing us. But this pain did not last long. Nevertheless, I rejoiced at the thought. In future it would be impossible for me ever to bring a little girl into the house to console me in my grief, without the risk of being put to shame in her eyes by the sudden intrusion of an inspector, and of her regarding me as a criminal.
And at the same instant I realised how far more we live for certain ideas than we suppose, for this impossibility of my ever taking a little girl on my knee again seemed to me to destroy all the value of my life, but what was more I understood how comprehensible it is that people will readily refuse wealth and risk their lives, whereas we imagine that pecuniary interest and the fear of death rule the world. For if I had thought that even a little girl who was a complete stranger might by the arrival of a policeman, be given a bad impression of myself, how much more readily would I have committed suicide.
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And yet there was no possible comparison between the two degrees of suffering. Now in everyday life we never bear in mind that the people to whom we offer money, whom we threaten to kill, may have mistresses or merely friends, to whose esteem they attach importance, not to mention their own self-respect. But, all of a sudden, by a confusion of which I was not aware I did not in fact remember that Albertine, being of full age, was free to live under my roof and even to be my mistress , it seemed to me that the charge of corrupting minors might include Albertine also. Thereupon my life appeared to me to be hedged in on every side.
And when I thought that I had not lived chastely with her, I found in the punishment that had been inflicted upon me for having forced an unknown little girl to accept money, that relation which almost always exists in human sanctions, the effect of which is that there is hardly ever either a fair sentence or a judicial error, but a sort of compromise between the false idea that the judge forms of an innocent action and the culpable deeds of which he is unaware.
I would have liked to telegraph to her not to come back. And immediately, drowning everything else, the passionate desire for her return overwhelmed me. The fact was that having for an instant considered the possibility of telling her not to return and of living without her, all of a sudden, I felt myself on the contrary ready to abandon all travel, all pleasure, all work, if only Albertine might return! Ah, how my love for Albertine, the course of which I had supposed that I could foretell, on the analogy of my previous love for Gilberte, had developed in an entirely opposite direction!
How impossible it was for me to live without seeing her! Then the competition of other forms of life thrust this latest grief into the background, and, during those days which were the first days of spring, I even found, as I waited until Saint-Loup should have seen Mme. Bontemps, in imagining Venice and beautiful, unknown women, a few moments of pleasing calm. As soon as I was conscious of this, I felt in myself a panic terror.
This calm which I had just enjoyed was the first apparition of that great occasional force which was to wage war in me against grief, against love, and would in the end prove victorious.
This state of which I had just had a foretaste and had received the warning, was, for a moment only, what would in time to come be my permanent state, a life in which I should no longer be able to suffer on account of Albertine, in which I should no longer be in love with her. And my love, which had just seen and recognised the one enemy by whom it could be conquered, forgetfulness, began to tremble, like a lion which in the cage in which it has been confined has suddenly caught sight of the python that is about to devour it.
From time to time I succeeded, by letting some current or other of ideas flow through my grief, in refreshing, in aerating to some slight extent the vitiated atmosphere of my heart, but at night, if I succeeded in going to sleep, then it was as though the memory of Albertine had been the drug that had procured my sleep, whereas the cessation of its influence would awaken me. I thought all the time of Albertine while I was asleep. It was a special sleep of her own that she gave me, and one in which, moreover, I should no longer have been at liberty, as when awake, to think of other things.
Sleep and the memory of her were the two substances which I must mix together and take at one draught in order to put myself to sleep. When I was awake, moreover, my suffering went on increasing day by day instead of diminishing, not that oblivion was not performing its task, but because by the very fact of its doing so it favoured the idealisation of the regretted image and thereby the assimilation of my initial suffering to other analogous sufferings which intensified it.
Still this image was endurable. But if all of a sudden I thought of her room, of her room in which the bed stood empty, of her piano, her motor-car, I lost all my strength, I shut my eyes, let my head droop upon my shoulder like a person who is about to faint. The sound of doors being opened hurt me almost as much because it was not she that was opening them.
When it was possible that a telegram might have come from Saint-Loup, I dared not ask: But the fact that my heart had already performed this daily task four times proved that it was now capable of continuing to perform it. I shall say nothing of the letter conveying a declaration of affection which I received at this time from a niece of Mme. Such incidents which might prove gratifying to our self-esteem are too painful when we are in love.
We feel a desire, but shrink from the indelicacy of communicating them to her who has a less flattering opinion of us, nor would that opinion be altered by the knowledge that we are able to inspire one that is very different. From the moment of waking, when I picked my grief up again at the point which I had reached when I fell asleep, like a book which had been shut for a while but which I would keep before my eyes until night, it could be only with some thought relating to Albertine that all my sensation would be brought into harmony, whether it came to me from without or from within.
If I felt myself in better health, not too miserable, I was no longer jealous, I no longer had any grievance against her, I would have liked to see her at once, to kiss her, to live happily with her ever after. The act of telegraphing to her: If I was in a sombre mood, all my anger with her revived, I no longer felt any desire to kiss her, I felt how impossible it was that she could ever make me happy, I sought only to do her harm and to prevent her from belonging to other people.
But these two opposite moods had an identical result: And yet, however keen my joy at the moment of her return, I felt that very soon the same difficulties would crop up again and that to seek happiness in the satisfaction of a moral desire was as fatuous as to attempt to reach the horizon by walking straight ahead. The farther the desire advances, the farther does true possession withdraw. So that if happiness or at least freedom from suffering can be found it is not the satisfaction, but the gradual reduction, the eventual extinction of our desire that we must seek.
We attempt to see the person whom we love, we ought to attempt not to see her, oblivion alone brings about an ultimate extinction of desire. And I imagine that if an author were to publish truths of this sort he would dedicate the book that contained them to a woman to whom he would thus take pleasure in returning, saying to her: The bonds that unite another person to ourselves exist only in our mind. Memory as it grows fainter relaxes them, and notwithstanding the illusion by which we would fain be cheated and with which, out of love, friendship, politeness, deference, duty, we cheat other people, we exist alone.
Man is the creature that cannot emerge from himself, that knows his fellows only in himself; when he asserts the contrary, he is lying. Presently, as Saint-Loup remained silent, a subordinate anxiety — my expectation of a further telegram, of a telephone call from him — masked the other, my uncertainty as to the result, whether Albertine was going to return. Listening for every sound in expectation of the telegram became so intolerable that I felt that, whatever might be its contents, the arrival of the telegram, which was the only thing of which I could think at the moment, would put an end to my sufferings.
But when at length I had received a telegram from Robert in which he informed me that he had seen Mme. Bontemps, but that, notwithstanding all his precautions, Albertine had seen him, and that this had upset everything, I burst out in a torrent of fury and despair, for this was what I would have done anything in the world to prevent. Then I told myself that, if this attempt had failed, I would try another. Since man is able to influence the outer world, how, if I brought into play cunning, intelligence, pecuniary advantage, affection, should I fail to succeed in destroying this appalling fact: We believe that according to our desire we are able to change the things around about us, we believe this because otherwise we can see no favourable solution.
We forget the solution that generally comes to pass and is also favourable: The situation that we hoped to change because it was intolerable becomes unimportant. We have not managed to surmount the obstacle, as we were absolutely determined to do, but life has taken us round it, led us past it, and then if we turn round to gaze at the remote past, we can barely catch sight of it, so imperceptible has it become. In the flat above ours, one of the neighbours was strumming songs. I applied their words, which I knew, to Albertine and myself, and was stirred by so profound a sentiment that I began to cry.
Since Manon returned to Des Grieux, it seemed to me that I was to Albertine the one and only love of her life. Alas, it is probable that, if she had been listening at that moment to the same air, it would not have been myself that she would have cherished under the name of Des Grieux, and, even if the idea had occurred to her, the memory of myself would have checked her emotion on hearing this music, albeit it was, although better and more distinguished, just the sort of music that she admired.
But be the ending as happy as it may, our love has not advanced an inch and, when we have shut the book, she whom we love and who has come to us at last in its pages, loves us no better in real life. In a fit of fury, I telegraphed to Saint-Loup to return as quickly as possible to Paris, so as to avoid at least the appearance of an aggravating insistence upon a mission which I had been so anxious to keep secret.
But even before he had returned in obedience to my instructions it was from Albertine herself that I received the following letter:. My dear boy, if you needed me why did you not write to me myself, I should have been only too delighted to come back, do not let us have any more of these absurd complications. So that I had merely to do what she said, to write to her that I needed her, and she would return. I was going, then, to see her again, her, the Albertine of Balbec for since her departure this was what she had once more become to me; like a sea-shell to which we cease to pay any attention while we have it on the chest of drawers in our room, once we have parted with it, either by giving it away or by losing it, and begin to think about it, a thing which we had ceased to do, she recalled to me all the joyous beauty of the blue mountains of the sea.
And it was not only she that had become a creature of the imagination, that is to say desirable, life with her had become an imaginary life, that is to a life set free from all difficulties, so that I said to myself: Meanwhile, I read her letter again, and was nevertheless disappointed when I saw how little there is of a person in a letter. Doubtless the characters traced on the paper express our thoughts, as do also our features: But all the same, in the person, the thought is not apparent to us until it has been diffused through the expanded water-lily of her face.
This modifies it considerably. And it is perhaps one of the causes of our perpetual disappointments in love, this perpetual deviation which brings it about that, in response to our expectation of the ideal person with whom we are in love, each meeting provides us with a person in flesh and blood in whom there is already so little trace of our dream. And then when we demand something of this person, we receive from her a letter in which even of the person very little remains, as in the letters of an algebraical formula there no longer remains the precise value of the arithmetical ciphers, which themselves do not contain the qualities of the fruit or flowers that they enumerate.
And yet love, the beloved object, her letters, are perhaps nevertheless translations unsatisfying as it may be to pass from one to the other of the same reality, since the letter seems to us inadequate only while we are reading it, but we have been sweating blood until its arrival, and it is sufficient to calm our anguish, if not to appease, with its tiny black symbols, our desire which knows that it contains after all only the equivalent of a word, a smile, a kiss, not the things themselves.
But no, I did not ask and I shall not ask you to return; our meeting — for a long time to come — might not be painful, perhaps, to you, a heartless girl. To me whom at times you have thought so cold, it would be most painful. Life has driven us apart. I would have told you this when I awoke, when I received her letter at the same moment as yours.
Perhaps you would have been afraid of distressing me by leaving immediately after that. And we should perhaps have united our lives in what would have been for us who knows? If this is what was in store for us, then I bless you for your wisdom. We should lose all the fruit of it were we to meet again. This is not to say that I should not find it a temptation.
But I claim no great credit for resisting it. You know what an inconstant person I am and how quickly I forget. You have told me often, I am first and foremost a man of habit. The habits which I am beginning to form in your absence are not as yet very strong. Naturally, at this moment, the habits that I had when you were with me, habits which your departure has upset, are still the stronger. They will not remain so for very long. As I never expected that my mother would approve, as on the other hand I desired that we should each of us enjoy all that liberty of which you had too generously and abundantly made a sacrifice which might be admissible had we been living together for a few weeks, but would have become as hateful to you as to myself now that we were to spend the rest of our lives together it almost hurts me to think as I write to you that this nearly happened, that the news came only a moment too late , I had thought of organising our existence in the most independent manner possible, and, to begin with, I wished you to have that yacht in which you could go cruising while I, not being well enough to accompany you, would wait for you at the port I had written to Elstir to ask for his advice, since you admire his taste , and on land I wished you to have a motor-car to yourself, for your very own, in which you could go out, could travel wherever you chose.
The yacht was almost ready; it is named, after a wish that you expressed at Balbec, le Cygne. And remembering that your favourite make of car was the Rolls, I had ordered one. But now that we are never to meet again, as I have no hope of persuading you to accept either the vessel or the car to me they would be quite useless , I had thought — as I had ordered them through an agent, but in your name — that you might perhaps by countermanding them, yourself, save me the expense of the yacht and the car which are no longer required.
But this, and many other matters, would need to be discussed. Well, I find that so long as I am capable of falling in love with you again, which will not be for long, it would be madness, for the sake of a sailing-vessel and a Rolls-Royce, to meet again and to risk the happiness of your life since you have decided that it lies in your living apart from myself.
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No, I prefer to keep the Rolls and even the yacht. Alas, to-day is no longer either virginal or fair. As for the Rolls, it would deserve rather those other lines of the same poet which you said you could not understand:. I retain a very pleasant memory of it. I make no reference to what you tell me of the alleged suggestions which Saint-Loup whom I do not for a moment believe to be in Touraine may have made to your aunt.
It is just like a Sherlock Holmes story. For what do you take me? No doubt, just as I had said in the past to Albertine: Then, having foreseen the possibility of a reply in the negative, I ought also to have foreseen that this reply would at once revive in its fullest intensity my love for Albertine. And, no doubt, this would have been, after three enormous blunders, the worst of all, after which there would be nothing left but to take my life in front of her house.
But the disastrous manner in which the psychopathic universe is constructed has decreed that the clumsy action, the action which we ought most carefully to have avoided, should be precisely the action that will calm us, the action that, opening before us, until we learn its result, fresh avenues of hope, relieves us for the moment of the intolerable pain which a refusal has aroused in us. With the result that, when the pain is too keen, we dash headlong into the blunder that consists in writing, sending somebody to intercede, going in person, proving that we cannot get on without the woman we love.
But I foresaw nothing of all this. The probable result of my letter seemed to me on the contrary to be that of making Albertine return to me at once. And so, as I thought of this result, I greatly enjoyed writing the letter. But at the same time I had not ceased, while writing it, from shedding tears; partly, at first, in the same way as upon the day when I had acted a pretence of separation, because, as the words represented for me the idea which they expressed to me, albeit they were aimed in the opposite direction uttered mendaciously because my pride forbade me to admit that I was in love , they carried their own load of sorrow.
But also because I felt that the idea contained a grain of truth. As this letter seemed to me to be certain of its effect, I began to regret that I had sent it. For as I pictured to myself the return so natural, after all , of Albertine, immediately all the reasons which made our marriage a thing disastrous to myself returned in their fullest force. I hoped that she would refuse to come back.
She was not certain how many stamps it required. I opened the newspaper; it announced a performance by Berma. It seemed to me that what I had so often repeated to myself, and had heard recited in the theatre, was the statement of the laws of which I must make experience in my life. There are in our soul things to which we do not realise how strongly we are attached.
Or else, if we live without them, it is because we put off from day to day, from fear of failure, or of being made to suffer, entering into possession of them. This was what had happened to me in the case of Gilberte when I thought that I had given her up. If before the moment in which we are entirely detached from these things — a moment long subsequent to that in which we suppose ourselves to have been detached from them — the girl with whom we are in love becomes, for instance, engaged to some one else, we are mad, we can no longer endure the life which appeared to us to be so sorrowfully calm.
Or else, if we are in control of the situation, we feel that she is a burden, we would gladly be rid of her. Which was what had happened to me in the case of Albertine. But let a sudden departure remove the unloved creature from us, we are unable to survive. Hippolyte is about to leave.
She comes to him to confess her love, and this was the scene which I had so often repeated to myself:. And there is nothing, not even the harshness with which, as I had been told, Swann had treated Odette, or I myself had treated Albertine, a harshness which substituted for the original love a new love composed of pity, emotion, of the need of effusion, which is only a variant of the former love, that is not to be found also in this scene:. So it is that jealousy, which in love is equivalent to the loss of all happiness, outweighs any loss of reputation.
And no doubt we are wrong when we suppose that the accomplishment of our desire is a small matter, since as soon as we believe that it cannot be realised we become intent upon it once again, and decide that it was not worth our while to pursue it only when we are quite certain that our attempt will not fail. And yet we are right also. For if this accomplishment, if our happiness appear of small account only in the light of certainty, nevertheless they are an unstable element from which only trouble can arise.
And our trouble will be all the greater the more completely our desire will have been accomplished, all the more impossible to endure when our happiness has been, in defiance of the law of nature, prolonged for a certain period, when it has received the consecration of habit. In another sense as well, these two tendencies, by which I mean that which made me anxious that my letter should be posted, and, when I thought that it had gone, my regret that I had written it, have each of them a certain element of truth. In the case of the first, it is easily comprehensible that we should go in pursuit of our happiness — or misery — and that at the same time we should hope to keep before us, by this latest action which is about to involve us in its consequences, a state of expectancy which does not leave us in absolute despair, in a word that we should seek to convert into other forms, which, we imagine, must be less painful to us, the malady from which we are suffering.
But the other tendency is no less important, for, born of our belief in the success of our enterprise, it is simply an anticipation of the disappointment which we should very soon feel in the presence of a satisfied desire, our regret at having fixed for ourselves, at the expense of other forms which are necessarily excluded, this form of happiness.
It did not fail to introduce into my mind certain pleasing images which neutralised somewhat by their attractions the dangers that I foresaw in her return. The pleasure, so long lost, of having her with me was intoxicating. Time passes, and gradually everything that we have said in falsehood becomes true; I had learned this only too well with Gilberte; the indifference that I had feigned when I could never restrain my tears had ended by becoming real; gradually life, as I told Gilberte in a lying formula which retrospectively had become true, life had driven us apart. I recalled this, I said to myself: And now that the worst moments are over, ought I not to hope that she will allow this month to pass without returning?
If she returns, I shall have to renounce the true life which certainly I am not in a fit state to enjoy as yet, but which as time goes on may begin to offer me attractions while my memory of Albertine grows fainter. I have said that oblivion was beginning to perform its task. In this novel aspect of her, oblivion which nevertheless was engaged upon making me accustomed to our separation, made me, by shewing me a more attractive Albertine, long all the more for her return.
By repeating her name incessantly I sought in short to introduce, like a breath of air, something of herself into that room in which her departure had left a vacuum, in which I could no longer breathe. Then, moreover, we seek to reduce the dimensions of our grief by making it enter into our everyday speech between ordering a suit of clothes and ordering dinner.
Monsieur, Mademoiselle Albertine has forgotten to take her rings, she has left them in the drawer. Give them to me, I shall think about it. She loathed Albertine, but, regarding me in her own image, supposed that one could not hand me a letter in the handwriting of my mistress without the risk of my opening it.
I took the rings. You are talking nonsense. You can count the feathers. She pointed out to me also the similar inscriptions, to which, it is true, others were added upon the ring with the ruby. As soon as I looked at them I could have sworn that they came from the same place. You can tell it as you can tell the dishes of a good cook. I might have taken the wrong box of medicine and, instead of swallowing a few capsules of veronal on a day when I felt that I had drunk too many cups of tea, might have swallowed as many capsules of caffeine; my heart would not have throbbed more violently.
I would have liked to see Albertine immediately. To my horror at her falsehood, to my jealousy of the unknown donor, was added grief that she should have allowed herself to accept such presents. I made her even more presents, it is true, but a woman whom we are keeping does not seem to us to be a kept woman so long as we do not know that she is being kept by other men.
And yet since I had continued to spend so much money upon her, I had taken her notwithstanding this moral baseness; this baseness I had maintained in her, I had perhaps increased, perhaps created it. Then, just as we have the faculty of inventing fairy tales to soothe our grief, just as we manage, when we are dying of hunger, to persuade ourselves that a stranger is going to leave us a fortune of a hundred millions, I imagined Albertine in my arms, explaining to me in a few words that it was because of the similarity of its workmanship that she had bought the second ring, that it was she who had had her initials engraved on it.
But this explanation was still feeble, it had not yet had time to thrust into my mind its beneficent roots, and my grief could not be so quickly soothed. And I reflected that many men who tell their friends that their mistresses are very kind to them must suffer similar torments.
Thus it is that they lie to others and to themselves. It is to such sufferings that we attach the pleasure of loving, of delighting in the most insignificant remarks of a woman, which we know to be insignificant, but which we perfume with her scent. At this moment I could no longer find any delight in inhaling, by an act of memory, the scent of Albertine.
Thunderstruck, holding the two rings in my hand, I stared at that pitiless eagle whose beak was rending my heart, whose wings, chiselled in high relief, had borne away the confidence that I retained in my mistress, in whose claws my tortured mind was unable to escape for an instant from the incessantly recurring questions as to the stranger whose name the eagle doubtless symbolised, without however allowing me to decipher it, whom she had doubtless loved in the past, and whom she had doubtless seen again not so long ago, since it was upon that day so pleasant, so intimate, of our drive together through the Bois that I had seen, for the first time, the second ring, that upon which the eagle appeared to be dipping his beak in the bright blood of the ruby.
For another thing, what I myself called thinking of Albertine, was thinking of how I might bring her back, of how I might join her, might know what she was doing. Bontemps, of Saint-Loup stooping over the sloping desk of a telegraph office at which he was writing out a telegram for myself, never the picture of Albertine. Just as, throughout the whole course of our life, our egoism sees before it all the time the objects that are of interest to ourselves, but never takes in that Ego itself which is incessantly observing them, so the desire which directs our actions descends towards them, but does not reascend to itself, whether because, being unduly utilitarian, it plunges into the action and disdains all knowledge of it, or because we have been looking to the future to compensate for the disappointments of the past, or because the inertia of our mind urges it down the easy slope of imagination, rather than make it reascend the steep slope of introspection.
As a matter of fact, in those hours of crisis in which we would stake our whole life, in proportion as the person upon whom it depends reveals more clearly the immensity of the place that she occupies in our life, leaving nothing in the world which is not overthrown by her, so the image of that person diminishes until it is not longer perceptible. In everything we find the effect of her presence in the emotion that we feel; herself, the cause, we do not find anywhere. I was during these days so incapable of forming any picture of Albertine that I could almost have believed that I was not in love with her, just as my mother, in the moments of desperation in which she was incapable of ever forming any picture of my grandmother save once in the chance encounter of a dream the importance of which she felt so intensely that she employed all the strength that remained to her in her sleep to make it last , might have accused and did in fact accuse herself of not regretting her mother, whose death had been a mortal blow to her but whose features escaped her memory.
Why should I have supposed that Albertine did not care for women? Because she had said, especially of late, that she did not care for them: Never once had she said to me: And to my silence as to the causes of her claustration, was it not comprehensible that she should correspond with a similar and constant silence as to her perpetual desires, her innumerable memories and hopes?
And her belief seemed to be founded upon something more than that truth which generally guided our old housekeeper, that masters do not like to be humiliated in front of their servants, and allow them to know only so much of the truth as does not depart too far from a flattering fiction, calculated to maintain respect for themselves. Bontemps, this alarm, hitherto quite vague, that Albertine might return, increased in her. You have only to let me know the name of your agent. You would let yourself be taken in by these people whose only thought is of selling things, and what would you do with a motorcar, you who never stir out of the house?
I am deeply touched that you have kept a happy memory of our last drive together. You may be sure that for my part I shall never forget that drive in a twofold twilight since night was falling and we were about to part and that it will be effaced from my memory only when the darkness is complete. I felt that this final phrase was merely a phrase and that Albertine could not possibly retain until her death any such pleasant memory of this drive from which she had certainly derived no pleasure since she had been impatient to leave me.
But I was impressed also, when I thought of the bicyclist, the golfer of Balbec, who had read nothing but Esther before she made my acquaintance, to find how richly endowed she was and how right I had been in thinking that she had in my house enriched herself with fresh qualities which made her different and more complete.
And thus, the words that I had said to her at Balbec: Similarly, for that matter, when I said to her that I did not wish to see her for fear of falling in love with her, I had said this because on the contrary I knew that in frequent intercourse my love grew cold and that separation kindled it, but in reality our frequent intercourse had given rise to a need of her that was infinitely stronger than my love in the first weeks at Balbec.
She spoke to me only of writing to my agent. It was necessary to escape from this situation, to cut matters short, and I had the following idea. And at the same time I wrote to Albertine as though I had not yet received her letter: I have acquired, from having you staying so charmingly in the house with me, the bad habit of not being able to live alone. So that all this may not appear too sudden, I have spoken to her only of a short visit, but between ourselves I am pretty certain that this time it will be permanent.
You know that your little group of girls at Balbec has always been the social unit that has exerted the greatest influence upon me, in which I have been most happy to be eventually included. No doubt it is this influence which still makes itself felt. I told myself that probably she was making an improper use, down there, of her freedom, and no doubt this idea which I formed seemed to me sad but remained general, shewing me no special details, and, by the indefinite number of possible mistresses which it allowed me to imagine, prevented me from stopping to consider any one of them, drew my mind on in a sort of perpetual motion not free from pain but tinged with a pain which the absence of any concrete image rendered endurable.
It ceased however to be endurable and became atrocious when Saint-Loup arrived. Before I explain why the information that he gave me made me so unhappy, I ought to relate an incident which I place immediately before his visit and the memory of which so distressed me afterwards that it weakened, if not the painful impression that was made on me by my conversation with Saint-Loup, at any rate the practical effect of this conversation.
This incident was as follows. You need only hide the things that he has to take in. My aunt will be furious with him, and will say to you: Now I had always regarded him as so good, so tender-hearted a person that this speech had the same effect upon me as if he had been acting the part of Satan in a play: Anyhow, I can put a spoke in his wheel, I shall tell my aunt that I admire your patience in working with a great lout like that, and so dirty too.
And I asked myself whether a person who was capable of acting so cruelly towards a poor and defenceless man had not played the part of a traitor towards myself, on his mission to Mme. This reflexion was of most service in helping me not to regard his failure as a proof that I myself might not succeed, after he had left me. But so long as he was with me, it was nevertheless of the Saint-Loup of long ago and especially of the friend who had just come from Mme. Bontemps that I thought.
He began by saying: How I repeated them to myself, renewing the shock as I chose, these words, shed, passage, drawing-room, after Saint-Loup had left me! In a shed one girl can lie down with another. And in that drawing-room who could tell what Albertine used to do when her aunt was not there? Had I then imagined the house in which she was living as incapable of possessing either a shed or a drawing-room?
No, I had not imagined it at all, except as a vague place. I had suffered originally at the geographical identification of the place in which Albertine was. When I had learned that, instead of being in two or three possible places, she was in Touraine, those words uttered by her porter had marked in my heart as upon a map the place in which I must at length suffer. But once I had grown accustomed to the idea that she was in a house in Touraine, I had not seen the house.
With the words shed, passage, drawing-room, I became aware of my folly in having left Albertine for a week in this cursed place, the existence instead of the mere possibility of which had just been revealed to me. She had regained her freedom. My grief turned to anger with Saint-Loup. They had assured me that she was not in the house. But you are not being fair to me, I did all that I could.
In fact, a little later she told me that she was touched to find that we understood one another so well. And yet everything that she said after that was so delicate, so refined, that it seemed to me impossible that she could have been referring to my offer of money when she said: As soon as we met I saw what sort of person she was, I said to myself that you had made a mistake, that you were letting me in for the most awful blunder, and that it would be terribly difficult to offer her the money like that. I did it, however, to oblige you, feeling certain that she would turn me out of the house.
Therefore, either she had not heard you and you should have started afresh, or you could have developed the topic. She told me that you yourself had informed her niece that you wished to leave her. Nevertheless I was in torments. No one else could have done more or even as much. Try sending some one else. Saint-Loup as he left the house had met some girls coming in.
I had already and often supposed that Albertine knew other girls in the country; but this was the first time that I felt the torture of that supposition. We are really led to believe that nature has allowed our mind to secrete a natural antidote which destroys the suppositions that we form, at once without intermission and without danger. But there was nothing to render me immune from these girls whom Saint-Loup had met.
All these details, were they not precisely what I had sought to learn from everyone with regard to Albertine, was it not I who, in order to learn them more fully, had begged Saint-Loup, summoned back to Paris by his colonel, to come and see me at all costs, was it not therefore I who had desired them, or rather my famished grief, longing to feed and to wax fat upon them? Finally Saint-Loup told me that he had had the pleasant surprise of meeting, quite near the house, the only familiar face that had reminded him of the past, a former friend of Rachel, a pretty actress who was taking a holiday in the neighbourhood.
And the name of this actress was enough to make me say to myself: And after all why should not this have been true? Had I found fault with myself for thinking of other women since I had known Albertine? On the evening of my first visit to the Princesse de Guermantes, when I returned home, had I not been thinking far less of her than of the girl of whom Saint-Loup had told me who frequented disorderly houses and of Mme. Was it not in the hope of meeting the latter of these that I had returned to Balbec, and, more recently, had been planning to go to Venice?
Why should not Albertine have been planning to go to Touraine? Only, when it came to the point, as I now realised, I would not have left her, I would not have gone to Venice. Even in my own heart of hearts, when I said to myself: Only, whatever I might feel in my heart, I had thought it more adroit to let her live under the perpetual menace of a separation. And no doubt, thanks to my detestable adroitness, I had convinced her only too well. In any case, now, things could not go on like this. I could not leave her in Touraine with those girls, with that actress, I could not endure the thought of that life which was escaping my control.
I would await her reply to my letter: But as soon as I should have received her answer, if she was not coming back, I would go to fetch her; willy-nilly, I would tear her away from her women friends. Besides, was it not better for me to go down in person, now that I had discovered the duplicity, hitherto unsuspected by me, of Saint-Loup; he might, for all I knew, have organised a plot to separate me from Albertine. And at the same time, how I should have been lying now had I written to her, as I used to say to her in Paris, that I hoped that no accident might befall her.
The suppression of suffering? The suppression of grief! As I glanced at the paragraphs in the newspapers, I regretted that I had not had the courage to form the same wish as Swann. If Albertine could have been the victim of an accident, were she alive I should have had a pretext for hastening to her bedside, were she dead I should have recovered, as Swann said, my freedom to live as I chose. Did I believe this? He had believed it, that subtlest of men who thought that he knew himself well.
How little do we know what we have in our heart. How clearly, a little later, had he been still alive, I could have proved to him that his wish was not only criminal but absurd, that the death of her whom he loved would have set him free from nothing. I forsook all pride with regard to Albertine, I sent her a despairing telegram begging her to return upon any conditions, telling her that she might do anything she liked, that I asked only to be allowed to take her in my arms for a minute three times a week, before she went to bed.
And had she confined me to once a week, I would have accepted the restriction. She did not, ever, return. My telegram had just gone to her when I myself received one. It was from Mme. The world is not created once and for all time for each of us individually. There are added to it in the course of our life things of which we have never had any suspicion. She was thrown by her horse against a tree while she was out riding. All our efforts to restore her to life were unavailing. If only I were dead in her place!
And yet, had I not told myself, many times, that, quite possibly, she would not come back? I had indeed told myself so, but now I saw that never for a moment had I believed it. As I needed her presence, her kisses, to enable me to endure the pain that my suspicions wrought in me, I had formed, since our Balbec days, the habit of being always with her. Even when she had gone out, when I was left alone, I was kissing her still. I had continued to do so since her departure for Touraine.
I had less need of her fidelity than of her return. And if my reason might with impunity cast a doubt upon her now and again, my imagination never ceased for an instant to bring her before me. My life to come? I had not then thought at times of living it without Albertine? All this time had I, then, been vowing to her service every minute of my life until my death? This future indissolubly blended with hers I had never had the vision to perceive, but now that it had just been shattered, I could feel the place that it occupied in my gaping heart.
Here are two letters from Mademoiselle Albertine. I was not even glad, nor was I incredulous. I was like a person who sees the same place in his room occupied by a sofa and by a grotto: I am sure that she will be delighted to accept, and I think that it will be a very good thing for her. With her talents, she will know how to make the most of the companionship of a man like yourself, and of the admirable influence which you manage to secure over other people.
I feel that you have had an idea from which as much good may spring for her as for yourself. As a matter of fact, she must have written her two letters at an interval of a few minutes, possibly without any interval, and must have antedated the first. For, all the time, I had been forming an absurd idea of her intentions, which had been only this: It contained only these words: I shall abide by your decision, but I beg you not to be long in letting me know it, you can imagine how impatiently I shall be waiting.
If it is telling me to return, I shall take the train at once.