He wrote me a letter without ending it. No good bye, no love, not even his name underneath, it was as if he just stopped writing, forgot all about it and instead to press ‘save as.. for now.. to finish it at a later time’ he pressed ‘send’. It was a letter written out of a saddened soul. It was a letter about aging and proximity of heart. About how with the footsteps following the clock forward he increasingly said goodbye to the fit person he once was, physically and mentally. Now he was just tired, and to his dismay also tired to have me around, not because of me, but because of him, because he just didn’t have anything to say any more. As if not just the lust of life dried up, but also the words inside. He lost the will to connect.
As I brusquely turned my head, said goodbye, walked out the door and got on my bike, I got an image of a wedding, and I saw how the best man took the groom aside to the closesd room with a lock on the door. They were all dressed up, hyped up, for the occasion, and here is the best man telling the groom what all this is doing to him. Is that allowed, or even appropriate? It made me think of a female friend who abruptly ended a what I thought was a friendship, after I had sent her a letter to let her know how much her new role as a mother had affected me. This isn’t about you, she had said, it is me who gave birth to a child. That incident caused me to ask my pregnant sister years later what I was expected to do when I came for a visit – I didn’t want to make the same mistake. She said: just say the baby’s cute and listen to the delivery story. And so I did.
When two years ago I lost the man in my life with whom I was verbally dearly intertwined, I lost exactly the person whom I needed to share this all with. I could have born the loss of Mike, if only I could have taken shelter under his arms. Then I would write him, telling him he died and that I am devastated over it. And then he would just write back, comfort me and all things would be a little bit more bearable. I did write the letter though. Just never sent it.
But then this one letter was sent. To me. The letter without an ending. And I wondered, does everyone has a right to his own feelings, his own desires, his own space? Even at the expense of others? How are we even to know what other’s expenses are? In his letter he wrote how he longed for going back in time, five years ago, and I knew why he wanted that, because five years ago he wasn’t as old as he is now. But for me those five years couldn’t be more in the past where I like to leave them shackled to time past, because five years ago I didn’t know God, five years I go I was selfmutilating, I was hopelessly unhappy and upon waking I hoped that it would turn evening soon, so I could go back to bed. And even though I grieve over the gap that has been exposed between him and me after me saying yes to Jesus, I will never go back to five years ago. How would I have reacted if he had written me a stern letter on how my conversion has affected him? And how does one prevent words that express a feeling to be interpreted as or turn into words of accusation? Would he have been able to handle me writing back, musing over or expressing myself on how all of this is for me? Ah, just some rhetorical questions.
My love for this man is beyond any rhetoric, and I swaddle myself in his memories about car trips we took together, so many mature years ago, where him and I were babbling together, making up new words and new sounds, having fun together. And I realize there will be no ending, him and I will always talk, in whatever new form we come up with.