Monday, April 23, 2007

Keeping Alive

My former psychotherapist, A., died suddenly a few years ago, in his late fifties. It was around Thanksgiving, and he didn’t show up for a dinner invitation, I heard, which surprised everyone, as he’d been enthused about going. He had had a heart attack at home. Although we hadn’t been in touch in some years, I was upset enough that I didn’t mention it to my present psychotherapist, C., a far cleverer and more sensitive man. In fact I didn’t mention it until we met for the last time. Going into the obvious questions about why I might’ve felt that knowledge of a previous therapist’s death would somehow be threatening to C., I said I was puzzled because I thought A. had not been someone I imagined myself needing to “keep alive” in some way:

R: He wasn’t much on my mind, he wasn’t someone I had imaginary conversations with, unlike you.
C: He died of neglect.

Image: Albert M. Fine, mail art

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