I started reading "The Time Traveler's Wife" a little before my honey got sick. I have been reading it and telling him this story while he was in the hospital. I got to the point when Henry learned he died shortly before my honey passed away. And then I read this goodbye letter a week after my honey has been put in his columbary. I read this now, knowing that if he had been able to tell me a lot before he died, he would have said almost the same things (in italic).
My heart is assured that he's safe and happy now. I just know, though I can't tell you how (yet). He loves me very very much. I love him just the same, and maybe even more. Time is nothing. I want to live because he said so. Nothing that anyone could have said or done to me or to him would matter now. This love is superfluous. Nobody knows how much love we have shared between us two. Only God could have born witness to that. I can't help but feel we're a little bit of Clare and Henry.
As I write this, I am sitting at my desk in the back bedroom looking out at your studio across the backyard full of blue evening snow, everyting is slick and crusty with ice, and it is very still. It's one of those winter evenings when the coldness of every single thing seems to slow down time, like the narrow center of an hourglass which tiem itself flows through, but slowly, slowly. I have the feeling, very familiar to me when I am out of time but almost never otherwise, of being buoyed up by time, floating effortlessly on its surface like a fat lady swimmer. I had a sudden urge, tonight, here in the house by myself (you at Alicia's recital at St. Lucy's) to wirte you a letter. I suddently wanted to leave something, for after. I think that time is short, now. I feel as though alll my reserves, of energy, of pleasure of duration, are thin, small. I don't feel capable of continuing very much longer. I know you know.
If you are reading this, I am probably dead. (I say probably because you never know what circumstances may arise; it seems foolish and self-important to just declare one's own death as an ou-and-out fact.) About this death of mine, I hope it was simple and clean and unambiguous. I hope it didn't create too much fuss. I'm sorry (This reads like a suicide note. Strange) But you know: you know that if I could have stayed, if I could have gone on, that I would have clutched every second:whatever it was, this death, you know that it came and took me , like a child carried away by goblins.
Clare, I want to tell you, again, I love you. Our love has been the thread through the labyrinth, the net under the high-wire walker, the only real thing in this strange life of mine that I could ever trust. Tonight I feel that my love for you has more density in this world than I do, myself: as though it could linger on after me and surround, you keep you, hold you.
I hate to think of you waiting. I know that you have been waiting for me all your life, always uncertain of how long this path of waiting would be. Ten minutes, ten days. A month. What an uncertain husband I have been. Clare, like a sailor, Odysseus alone and buffeted by tall waves, sometimes wily and sometimes just a plaything of the gods. Please, Clare. When I am dead. Stop waiting and be free of me. Put me deep inside you and then go out in the world and live. Love the world and yourself in it, move through it as though it offers no resistance, as though the world is your natural element. I have given you a life of suspended animation. I don't mean to say that you have done nothing. You have created beauty, and meaning in your art, and Alba, who is so amazing, and for me: for me you have been everything.
After my mom died, she ate my father up completely. She would have hated it. Every minute of his life since then has been marked by her absence, every action lacked dimension because she is not there to measure against. And when I was young I didn't understand, but now, I know, how absence can be present, like a damaged nerve, like a dark bird.
If I had to live on without you, I know I could not do it. But I hope, I have this vision of you walking unencumbered, with your shining hair in the sun. I have not seen this with my eyes, but only with my imagination, that makes pictures, that always wanted to paint you, shining; but I hope that this vision will be true, anyway.
Clare, there is one last thing, and I have hesitated to tell you, because I'm superstitiously afraid that telling might cause it to not happen (I know: silly) and also because I have just been going on about not waiting and this might cause you to wait longer than you have ever waited before. But I will tell you in case you need something, after.
Last summer, I was sitting in Kendrick's waiting room when I suddenly found myself in a dark hallway in a house I don't know. I was sort of tangled up in a bunch of galoshes, and it smelled like rain. At the end of the hall I could see a rim of light around a door, and so I went very slowly and very quietly to the door and looked in. The room was white, and intensely lit with morning sun. At the window, with her back to me, sat a woman, wearing a coral-colored cardigan sweater, with long white hair all down her back. She had a cup of tea beside her, on a table. I must have made some little noise, or she sensed me behind her.. she turned and saw me, and I saw her, and it was you, Clare, this was you as an old woman, in the future. It was sweet, Clare, it was sweet beyond telling, to come as though from death to hold you, and to see the years all present in your face. I won't tell you anymore, so you can imagine it, so you can have it unrehearsed when the time comes, as it will, as it does come. We will see each other again, Clare. Until then, live, fully, present in the world, which is so beautiful.
It's dark, now, and I am very tired. I love you, always. Time is nothing.
And yes, time is nothing. Until then, I know though time travel is not of this world, your spirit, your love would be with me and I will go on. Come see me whenever you feel like it. I will always think of you, though not waiting. I will try to live because it will be what you want for me. I will love you always.
I will see you soon, I know. The world has nothing to offer me anymore for you were everything to me. I will do my best to share the happiness you so loved to share with everyone around you. I will be better than the woman you have loved with your whole heart that you will be proud of me while you watch over me in heaven.
This won't be goodbye. Until then, I love you forever honey.