So, that’s that.


Apologies for the pessimistic post title. I have just received a response from the British Library in response to an enquiry about this. Seems the door has closed - the trail ends at the passage in Confessions about the passing of his friend:

 But what speak I of these things? for now is no time to question, 
but to confess unto Thee. Wretched I was; and wretched is every soul 
bound by the friendship of perishable things; he is torn asunder when 
he loses them, and then he feels the wretchedness which he had ere 
yet he lost them. So was it then with me; I wept most bitterly, and 
found my repose in bitterness. Thus was I wretched, and that wretched 
life I held dearer than my friend. For though I would willingly have 
changed it, yet was I more unwilling to part with it than with him; 
yea, I know not whether I would have parted with it even for him, 
as is related (if not feigned) of Pylades and Orestes, that they would 
gladly have died for each other or together, not to live together 
being to them worse than death. But in me there had arisen some unexplained 
feeling, too contrary to this, for at once I loathed exceedingly to 
live and feared to die. I suppose, the more I loved him, the more 
did I hate, and fear (as a most cruel enemy) death, which had bereaved 
me of him: and I imagined it would speedily make an end of all men, 
since it had power over him. Thus was it with me, I remember. Behold 
my heart, O my God, behold and see into me; for well I remember it, 
O my Hope, who cleansest me from the impurity of such affections, 
directing mine eyes towards Thee, and plucking my feet out of the 
snare. For I wondered that others, subject to death, did live, since 
he whom I loved, as if he should never die, was dead; and I wondered 
yet more that myself, who was to him a second self, could live, he 
being dead. Well said one of his friend, "Thou half of my soul"; for 
I felt that my soul and his soul were "one soul in two bodies": and 
therefore was my life a horror to me, because I would not live halved. 
And therefore perchance I feared to die, lest he whom I had much loved 
should die wholly.

 St Augustine’s Confessions, book 4.

It grieves me to let this go, saddens me more than anything. Letting this go is like letting another small part of her go. I know it’s only a quote, but knowing where it came from would be nice, and might also be useful. (I’m holding out a vague hope for further comfort.)

At least for now, it’s not to be.

Wishing all of those who are celebrating the Day of the Dead a joyous occasion, as remembrance of our lost ones should be.

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