My darling Gillie,

Ican’t put into words the pain I feel, not just about your death, but about the sadness and suffering you went through. The last few years were so hard on you, and of course every problem you had became my problem. And when you got ill and found out how damaged your heart had become, you didn’t stop talking of dying. Every time you did, I thought my heart would break, although I understood your desperation about not being able to live a normal life. I felt with you the frustration of losing control of everything that makes life worth living and I felt helpless. Still I am grateful for those four months we had together, we had a chance to become even closer than we were before. It made me happy how much you enjoyed all the goodies I prepared for you, especially the chocolate cake with whipped cream! I loved our evenings together when we chose a movie that we both liked (which wasn’t always easy). I tried so hard to encourage you and to give you strength, and not to give up hope, but to no avail.

And then, at the funeral, an amazing thing happened. There were so many people who came to show their love for you, although the weather was terrible – it was raining and blowing, and we hadn’t even put any notices up. The family was of great comfort to me. Apart from Irit, Tamar and Yael, Ken and Guy were with us too. But you should have seen all your friends and especially your former girlfriends! Quite a number showed up, and they all cried and cried. You must have broken many hearts over the years.

It is now four days since you died and the house hasn’t been empty. People are coming and going all day long. Your friends are telling stories about you from the years before the accident when you were happier, when you played your music and enjoyed life. We are looking at old pictures, we even watched a disk where you played in a band. It shows me a different Gillie, one that wasn’t always unhappy. Before that all I could think of was the waste, the self-destruction and your pervading despair. But now, when I see all this outpouring of love, I feel comforted. It does not make your loss any easier, but at least now I see how many lives you touched in the most wonderful way, I feel your life was far from wasted.

I hope you found peace at last. I will always love you.

Lucy Mandelstam February 2007