With Love to Bernice and Len

November 14th was the anniversary of The passing of Leonard Bornstein, the husband of my dear dear friend Bernice.  Here is my original post in Len’s memory:

Among Bernice’s many, many accomplishments as a mother, wife,  grandmother, nurse, psychotherapist, Woman of the Year when she and Len lived in Eagle Lake, Texas. (Thank goodness she’s lost her drrrrrrawl since moving back to California!) she’s a writer, poet, incredible hostess but one of my dearest, long time friends.

We met in 1985 when we were psychotherapy interns together at Long Beach Family Service. (I’m not good at numbers but as I recall we were about 20 years old, give or take a decade . . . or two. . . or three or four).
Bernice and I created the annual “Birthday Season” that I wrote about on my birthday blog post.
After you read Bernice’s poem I’ll tell you why her poem and acrylic paintings reflect how  we all share a common bond with loss.
It came too quickly
He was too young
We never dreamed
It could happen to us.
It did
So we lived each day
took evey minute
To savor life
Share joys and loss
And did.
We gave our all
To win the battle
To keep hold of life
To conquer death
We didn’t.
Death came and went
Without devastation
For we shared it fully
Believing in eternity
I do.
by Bernice Bornstein, wife of Leonard Bornstein, M.D. who died November 14, 2008 
Here’s the series of pictures Bernice painted – one for each stanza.  

“It came too quickly”
One minute we are fine and the next moment, searing, burning pain. Like the black breaking through.
“So we lived each day”
We try to “be normal”.  Bits of flashes of color (hope, relief) but always against a background of grey
                      “To keep hold of life”
We attempt to hold onto who & what had been but the
background gets grayer and the color leaves our life.
Deep grief is felt over the empty loss

Bursts of life energy periodically blossom, against the gray.
“For we shared it fully
Believing in eternity
I do.”
“Wert thou to attain to but a dewdrop of the crystal waters of divine knowledge, thou wouldst readily realize that true life is not the life of the flesh but the life of the spirit. For the life of the flesh is common to both men and animals, whereas the life of the spirit is possessed only by the pure in heart who have quaffed from the ocean of faith and partaken of the fruit of certitude. This life knoweth no death, and this existence is crowned by immortality.”