I’ve been slowly working my way through a collection of personal correspondences centered around Richard Feynman, and I just can’t forget his final, heartbreaking love letter to his first, departed wife Arline. You can read the full text online at Letters of Note; an excerpt is below. It was written several years after Arline Feynman passed away after a long battle with TB.
I adore you, sweetheart.
I know how much you like to hear that — but I don’t only write it because you like it — I write it because it makes me warm all over inside to write it to you.
It is such a terribly long time since I last wrote to you — almost two years but I know you’ll excuse me because you understand how I am, stubborn and realistic; and I thought there was no sense to writing.
But now I know my darling wife that it is right to do what I have delayed in doing, and that I have done so much in the past. I want to tell you I love you. I want to love you. I always will love you.
For an even bigger punch to the heart, you can also watch Oscar Isaac read this letter live on stage. It seems to be part of a series of videos of actors reading famous and well-know correspondences live.
My last blog post was about communication as well, but this is the kind of communication that just knocks me out.every time. What a privilege to read these words and what a tragedy that they had to be written at all.