Autumn leaves

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Ville de Québec, 2017

My dear Lucy,

If you are reading this letter it means that I cannot be physically by your side anymore, to weep the tears that will come with it. Now you must be wondering why you just got to read it since it was hidden behind the same bookshelf you have been seeing every day since you were born. I do not have an answer for that. All I hope is that this little piece of my heart finds you when you need the most a kind of comfort that no one can give you besides me.

I guess now you know what took me away from you, and how hard I tried to hold things together long enough for you to remember me. I truly hope you do. Although I know how much I was loved by those around me, while I was fighting for my life, I was actually fighting for you. My biggest fear was that from the moment my heart beat for the last time, losing me would haunt the most beautiful moments you were about to live. To be honest, I was ready to go but I would never be ready to leave you.

Anyway, I am not here to talk about my disease itself, neither about what I went through because of it. Fortunately, I just died once. I lived for years. I can say without any fear of being wrong that there is no recipe for a happy life. Nevertheless, you have in your hands countless ways to pursue it, and I wish some of my words can help you find your own.

The ICU walls are filled with regret. “I should have spent more time with my kids”, said the woman with hopeless eyes while she was waiting for her fifth surgery. “I should have said ‘I love you’ to her as much as I could” said the man watching his wife’s heart rate getting slower. Only when people feel life fading away, they realize they are not living.

For me death used to be exactly like the concept of tomorrow; we do not know how it is going to be but eventually it is coming. While I was in hospital I saw how it really looks like several times. I realized then that it is always going to be tragic. However, the way it is going to echo inside people’s mind is all up to you. Have you ever noticed that autumn’s wind whispers? I feel it is nature sighing as it says: “it is my last breath, I will make it beautiful”.

You know my life was not as long as I wished it to be. I did not get to buy a new car or to move to a giant house by the beach. Still, my life was complete. I got to share my last years with one of the most beautiful hearts I have ever met. I got to cry an ocean of happy tears when I heard your heartbeat for the first time, and even more when I felt you moving inside of me. I had a universe of love while my body did not have any strength. Life is just a whisper that echoes within the walls of an abyss for a tiny little second. Make sure that this one precious chance is filled with love and beautiful emotions. You will still have space for other things but always put what really matters first. Live like the sun; filling every single space with light, and leave this world like the autumn’s leaves do.

I love you with every single piece of my heart, even though it does not beat anymore.

Lots of love,

Mum

[Luísa Tibana, Ville de Québec, Winter 2017]

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