Subject: Jen wellness update #56 (08Feb01) Questions
after New York
From: Bill Rivers
I wanted to write some words about the NY ceremony to capture
some of its spirit for those unable to attend. But I can't do it justice. The
beautiful eulogies are being posted by Karl and you'll just have to imagine the
Manhattan skyline as a backdrop fading into darkness and twinkling lights as the
There are a few questions that people keep asking. You may find
these questions in poor taste - in which case skip reading this email. Here's a
personal take on the responses:
1. Did Jen suffer in the last days?
Yes, there was suffering, physical and mental as she fought the
rapid progression of the disease, but this suffering was alleviated by medicines
whenever appropriate. Jen and Karl worked together to find a balance between
mental alertness and pain: she was able to dictate the amount of morphine taken.
Immediate family were always present with her and in the most crucial moments
her dear oncologist friend Angie was there to provide the professional guidance
and care that Jen needed.
2. How is the loss different for us all?
Karl has had such a brief time with Jen. Long enough to know how
great it was, too short to have the family they were both so right for. So Karl
mourns for that lost potential. The reality is that in time we can hope that he
may find another partner; whether or not children will be possible for him is
Larry, Jane and Robert have a loss that nothing can temper.
Their daughter/sister is gone and no other person can ever stand in that role
3. What are Karl's plans?
He knows from experience that grieving takes a long time and
that any changes he makes now are likely to be ill-considered ones. So expect to
see him in SF, working at Oracle and living at 4504 for some time.
In a short while the apartment, which was always Jen & Karl's, will be empty
except for Karl - and these may be some of the hardest times yet for him.
4. What of Jen's Ashes?
Jen's ashes will be divided into two wooden urns. At Baker Beach
in San Francisco and the garden of the Connecticut house Jen's immediate family
will simultaneously scatter Jen's ashes. This will be a private ceremony.
5. What can we do to help?
Anyone who has seen Jane, Larry, Robert or Karl in the past few
days will know how much they have relied on the support of friends and family
over this time. Emails are a good way to do this; the recipient can read them at
a time that's good for them and needn't make a response if they're not feeling
up to it.
So, please keep sending the emails: