Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Bea’s Journal (4)

• September 6, 2000. I have, of late, suffered loneliness and a sense of loss. My husband, Paul, died November 16, 1999. A few days before he died, he made love to me more rapturously than ever before in our 55 years of marriage. At the time of his death, I had come to realize that maybe people appreciate an acknowledgement of their right to die. I forever remember the look in his eyes, which expressed such love and somehow conveyed departure. He was a fine man, and I am glad I was able to have two children with him. I miss him.

• This is the last week in the year 2000. I am now 91.The important fact in my life is that my husband, Count Paul Alexandrovich Grabbe, died at the age of 97 ½. I tell myself that people do not live forever. I think of St. Francis saying, “Grazie, Signore, per la morte, nostra sorella corporale.” I do not want to identify my remaining days with the inevitability of death but rather to have the pleasure of recalling special moments of joy in my life …

• Experiencing the death of a loved one I find to be the most traumatic experience of a lifetime. It well may be the source of religious belief. In my experience, only giving birth, in its extremity of feeling, comes close to it …


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