Last year the Sunday Times carried a letter written by Andre Gorz, a French philosopher, to his terminally ill wife. Here’s an excerpt:
You’ve just turned 82. You are still beautiful, graceful and desirable. We’ve lived together now for 58 years and I love you more than ever. Lately I’ve fallen in love with you all over again and I once more carry inside me a gnawing emptiness that can only be filled by your body snuggled up against mine.
At night I sometimes see the figure of a man, on an empty road in a deserted landscape, walking behind a hearse. I am that man. It’s you the hearse is carrying away. I don’t want to be there for your cremation; I don’t want to be given an urn with your ashes in it. I hear the voice of Kathleen Ferrier singing, ‘Die Welt ist leer, Ich will nicht leben mehr’ and I wake up. I check your breathing, my hand brushes over you.
Each of us would like not to survive the other’s death. We’ve often said to ourselves that if, by some miracle, we were to have a second life, we’d like to spend it together.
They committed suicide together.
(Link via email from Peter. Pictures courtesy the Times.)