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#51 (27Jan01) Bill Writes

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Subject: Jen wellness update #51 (27Jan01) A Watcher Writes
From:      Bill Rivers

Bill is an old friend of Karl's from England: he and his wife Vicky met Jen several times, both in Reading (UK) and San Francisco. They were her favorite British couple - although, in her view, they drink too much.... 

Bill has come across from the UK to be with Karl in SF - here's a note from him for you all.


Being far away from SF is frustrating for Jen Watchers, doubly so at this time of such sorrow. So as a friend of Karl & Jen's just arrived in SF I thought I'd share some impressions of what it's like to be here for those of you unable to make it at this time.

The apartment seems so much Karl & Jen's place. It's almost as if she has popped out and is expected back shortly.

Everyone's trying to hold up and keep in control. There's laughter and activity, then all of a sudden someone has tears in their eyes and a lump in their throat as some unexpected turn or phrase jolts them back into the despair of grief. However there's comfort on hand, someone appears at your side and the barb of pain is pulled back.

The Perlmans are meeting the Hortons in person at last and many of Karl & Jen's friends are meeting for the first time. Many have commented that this should be happening at the planned wedding celebration and that it's so ironic for this to happen now without her. But there's a very strong sense of community and mutual support - people who've never met before are embracing with such depth of feeling. It's as if Jen is here making this sharing happen. The feeling of community extends well beyond those physically present here; Jane, Larry, Robert and Karl in particular are drawing on the strength of Jen Watchers around the world and this counters the isolation of grief.

Robert must have a special mention. His tasks have been so physically and emotionally demanding in the last stages of Jen's illness, but he seems to have grown thru this ordeal. His help has meant so much to Karl as well - I really can't imagine the state Karl would be in now if Robert hadn't been there to share this burden.

The thoughtfulness of their friends is very apparent. A gift arrives, the giver leaves after a short visit, anxious not to intrude. A friend phones and takes on some errand. An email comes with just the right expression of sympathy and Karl feels lifted again.

The services in SF and NY are providing a good focus for our energies. A timetable provides something to orientate by. We believe that tomorrow's service will be something special and an important stage in our mourning.

Bill Rivers

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Page last updated: Monday, 05 March 2001 18:13:14 Eastern Time.