Adele De Leeuw to
Her Sister(I)

My dearest,
You've gone.And I can never get you backagain??except by talking to you.It's childish,Iknow.But perhaps it will give me some relief fromthe pent-up sorrow that makes me feel as if myheart will burst.
How often we gently scorned the people whoused euphemisms for death!“She has left us.”“Hehas passed over.”Where was their strength,wewondered,that they could not acknowledge deathfor what it was,and speak of it as death?I understand them a little better now.But at least Iwill demand of myself the will to call death by itsown name.
I know what they were trying to do.Theywere attempting to conceal the ultimate finality...at least until they could bear it.Nature bestows anumbness on us at first,giving us time to adjust tothe brutal truth.But the numbness does not lastlong enough,and the truth breaks through the veiland stabs us again and again.
Friends have been marvelous.They have surrounded me with affection and concern;theytalk or fall silent as they perceive my mood;theybring gifts of flowers or themselves;they plan littleoutings and include me in their gatherings.Theywrite letters that make the tears stream down myface,because they appreciated you so...they tellme,in warm words,how sweet you were,how brilliant,how witty,how talented,and how blessedthey were to know you.It is a comfort to read oftheir appreciation,to realize that they were awareof all your wonderful qualities.But my loss,as I goover their words,grows greater and greater.I amutterly bereft.I have been abandoned;I feel as if apart of me has been amputated.For we were soclose,we knew each other so well,we were soattuned to each other's moods??different thoughwe were in a dozen respects.
There was one letter that helped me more thanmost.It came from an editor whom you never met.She told me something which has been a kind ofbulwark,for she said,“No one truly dies who isremembered with love.”
And I know this is true.I remember you withlove.I remember everything about you,with undying love.When I think I cannot stand theloneliness any more,something will come to mind,something that I loved in you and it gives me thecourage,if only momentarily,to go on.
So that is what I will do,as I write to you.Iwill think of the things that made our life togetherthe charmed experience it was.I will remember youwith love.

阿黛尔?迪?莱乌致
姐姐(
  1)

我最亲爱的:
你离去了。我再也不可能唤醒你,我只能向你诉说,我知道这很幼稚。也许只有这样,才能使我从那被压抑着的撕心裂肺的悲痛中得到一点儿解脱。
我们多少次温和地嘲笑那些用委婉语代替“死亡”一词的人们!“她离开了我们”,“他去世了”。我们感到怀疑,他们不承认“死亡”这一事实,不提“死亡”这个词,他们的勇气到哪里去了?现在,我有些理解他们了。但至少我要求自己有意志力用死亡的原名来称呼死亡。
我知道他们在努力做什么。他们试图隐瞒这最终的结局……至少隐瞒到他们可以接受这一事实的时候。人的本性首先给我们以麻木的感觉,并给我们一些时间去适应那残酷的事实。但这种麻木的感觉不可能持续多久,事实就会从面纱下暴露出来,一次又一次地刺痛我们。
朋友们对我好极了。他们充满爱心与关切,陪伴在我身旁。他们有时与我交谈,有时保持缄默,似乎能看出我的心情;他们给我送来鲜花或者他们自己做的礼物;他们安排了一些外出游玩活动,让我参加他们的聚会。他们写来的信使我泪如泉涌,因为他们是如此欣赏你。他们用热情洋溢的话语告诉我,你是多么可爱,多么才华横溢,多么诙谐风趣,多么有才能,他们能与你相识是多么幸福。看到他们对你的欣赏,知道他们对你所有的优秀品质如此了解,我深感欣慰。但当我看到他们的那些话语,我感到我的损失越来越大。我非常地悲伤和孤独。我被遗弃了;我感到似乎是我身体的一部分被砍掉了。因为我们是如此亲密,我们是如此地相互了解,我们是如此地感情融洽??尽管我们在许多方面都不相同。
有一封信对我的帮助最大。这封信来自一位你未曾谋面的编辑。她说了一些使我感到慰藉的话,因为她说:“被人们满怀爱戴之情回忆的人是不会真正死去的”。
我知道这是真的。我满怀爱戴之情回忆你,我满怀爱戴之情回忆与你有关的每一件事。当我感到我再也无法忍受孤独时,某种东西就会浮现在我的脑海里,那就是你身上具有的某种令我深爱的东西,它给了我继续生活的勇气,哪怕只是短暂的一瞬间。
因此,那就是我所要做的,如同我写信告诉你的。我将回忆那些使我们的共同生活成为美好的经历的那些事情。我将满怀爱戴之情回忆你。
 

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