Love Letter 19

The Death of Minnehaha by William de Leftwich Dodge

Death comes to us all.  But when the pallor rests on your cheek, when the hollows deepen by your eyes, when your skin grows colder and your appetite lessens, the effect of all of this will be personal.  When you go gently into that good night, perhaps raging, perhaps calmly, hopefully not willingly, my heart will not pass undisturbed.  Your passing will be for me specific, distinct, pitiless, and raw.

How can we two be separated?  How can I go on without you?  You are my light, bed-side companion, fellow dreamer, reveling cheerful knight.  Your absence will be felt, deeply, in my heart. My heart, whenever the time comes, will be torn.  Torn for you, not because of you, but that you only live in my memories and never again will we pass again upon this earth.

Death will tear you from me.  Of course the tears run down my face.  My breath is only gulped in hoarse gasps.  Wailing will pierce the quiet silence of the surrounding air.  With a bowed head, senseless of time and space, full of physical pain that momentarily numbs the grief that crashes in on me as a tsunami.  I will not be able to stand against the raw force of that blow.  Who could?

My lovely, when death takes you, it will take a part of me, the part that you touched …

Someday I can recover my tranquility.  Someday I will remember you in lighter moments and pleasanter scenes.  But the person I was when I existed alongside you will be gone.  For us both, I will grieve.  Goodbye my lover, goodbye my love, goodbye my hope of the continuing full enjoyment of love.

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