BY BELISARIO RIGHI
Photo by Belisario Righi
"Only now that she is no longer with me, do I know how happy I was, even though I didn't realize it and didn't understand how important she was to me, until I lost her." So said a friend of mine, who had just broken up with his woman. I was in my early twenties and because of the arrogance of youth and because I still did not fully understand the meaning and values of life, that sentence seemed rhetorical and perhaps even ridiculous to me, but today it turns out to be sadly true. It is not happiness that I am talking about. Happiness is a big word, a jumble of illusions and unattainable goals. I just want to talk about myself, how I feel, the emptiness I have in my heart. It's been years now since I lost my wife, who died from an incurable disease and those words come back to my mind and rape me, hurt me, for their cruel truthfulness, unleashing feelings of guilt, even making me feel guilty of being survived his death, as if my continuing to live were an offense to his passing. Gesualdo Bufalino in his Diceria dell'untore admirably describes this unnatural sense of guilt that affects all human beings. We could have done that or that, we should have behaved in a certain way and we didn't, and so on. Guilt feelings!
We feel on trial and remorse for our indolence poisons our existence. Maybe we deserved all this, maybe it was right that it was so, but the truth is that everything happens without asking our permission and we, dazed, witness the unfolding of events without having the possibility to modify them, without being able to intervene in any way. Destiny overwhelms us, renders us powerless in the face of the important and decisive events of our existence and our good intentions melt like ice cream in the sun. We are on this earth without any justification, without a just reason. We are here and we must passively accept what fate has in store for us. Perhaps we do not have the intelligence or foresight to understand the reason for our succubance, but alas, so it is and our reproaches for a destiny that imposes on us behaviors that we would never accept, if only we had the possibility to reject the effects. There remains only the sad task of ascertaining what has been chosen for us. Marina, my wife, companion of my life for thirty-seven years, as in a sordid lottery, it was decided that she had to leave the affections and loving care and neither the tears, nor the love of her loved ones, could prevent her from traveling to nothingness. But I do not suffer for this, because I have already known, for a long time, that our existence is fleeting, instead I cry because the void that remains is unbridgeable, and there are no circumstantial phrases and metaphysical considerations that can diminish the perception of emptiness that it descends from it.
"Life is a constant separation, and what is sadder is that too many times there is no time for a fair goodbye." Ang Lee.