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Friday, December 30, 2005

THE SHADOW OF HIS SMILE

FRIDAY, Dec. 30/05

It's been a difficult few months getting through the grief of losing my dear friend Anibal. I have sometimes wondered when the tears would stop, and just when I think they have, I'll suddenly burst into weeping again often quite unexepectedly on buses or while walking down the street. I've tried to keep busy, occupied with happy pursuits, not dwelling on the loss. Most of all, trying to erase from my memory those last weeks when he was suffering so terrible, had grown so thin and the horror of watching him losing it and slip away day by day. I realize now, I was quite traumatized by that experience.

The most fantastic gift that has come out of this ordeal is getting to know his family. We have made such a beautiful connection, and I have grown to love them like the are my own children.
This week the girls came for lunch and two of the youngest grandchildren -- sweet little kids, so shy. The girls and I had such a lovely visit and while they were here we phoned their Mom in Chile. It was so good to talk to her. She told me how she had showed A. all around her house and took him (his ashes) to the beach where she's erected a little shrine so he'd have some solitude (which he would like). She said "He's happy now." And I'm sure he is.

I'm hoping in 2006 to go to Chile to visit her.

Then last night, when I was walking home I met A's son. We hugged and had a brief chat. It was like another 'gift', a glimpse of A. That same smile, the way he looked when he was younger and thinner. His son, like him, is apparantly a writer and has inherited his dad's journals. I would very much like to get to know him the way I have become aquainted with the girls, and I'm sure that in the future I will. Most of all, I know that Anibal is happy about this, and now when I 'see' him, I visualize him the way he was before he got so dreadfully ill: especially that big shining smile of his.

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