As many of you know, one of our commenters Gex lost her partner Kate to cancer recently. I just wanted to mention that Gex emailed me to thank you all for your support, care and kindness. As she puts it:
People love to latch on to how technology can distance us from others. It’s true, it can. But it has such a great capacity for connecting us. I see that with the community supporting us on Facebook and here at Balloon-Juice. Beyond losing Kate, this massive outpouring of love will be life changing for me, I think. Cole may be the crankiest misanthrope ever, but I’m right up there. I’ll be slipping down in the rankings, perhaps unranked, by the time this is over.
Relatedly, I saw this the other day on the wonderful Letters of Note website. In April 1998, while excavating a 16th century tomb in Andong City, South Korea, archaeologists found a letter which had been placed onto the chest of the deceased, a 30 year old man, by his widow. I find it inexpressibly sad, but also very beautiful.
To Won’s Father
June 1, 1586
You always said, “Dear, let’s live together until our hair turns gray and die on the same day.” How could you pass away without me? Who should I and our little boy listen to and how should we live? How could you go ahead of me?
How did you bring your heart to me and how did I bring my heart to you? Whenever we lay down together you always told me, “Dear, do other people cherish and love each other like we do? Are they really like us?” How could you leave all that behind and go ahead of me?
I just cannot live without you. I just want to go to you. Please take me to where you are. My feelings toward you I cannot forget in this world and my sorrow knows no limit. Where would I put my heart in now and how can I live with the child missing you?
Please look at this letter and tell me in detail in my dreams. Because I want to listen to your saying in detail in my dreams I write this letter and put it in. Look closely and talk to me.
When I give birth to the child in me, who should it call father? Can anyone fathom how I feel? There is no tragedy like this under the sky.
You are just in another place, and not in such a deep grief as I am. There is no limit and end to my sorrows that I write roughly. Please look closely at this letter and come to me in my dreams and show yourself in detail and tell me. I believe I can see you in my dreams. Come to me secretly and show yourself. There is no limit to what I want to say and I stop here.
If you’d like to help Gex out then the give forward page for Kate is here.
[Image: A Widow – Thomas Couture (1815-1879)]