Karl said little about gratitude (or so I thought) while he was alive.
So I am astonished to hear him speaking in a “grateful” voice after his death. “Big Karl” relishes every moment of his Earthly life and basks in the joy of knowing that he is deeply loved by his friends — and by me.
On 26 September 2016, nearly eight months after his death, he writes humbly:
Thank you so much for loving me, Wadie, and not trying to make me feel guilty. I am so touched by your love and devotion.
Many months into our communication, Karl finally begins to speak about his dreams:
I have no unfulfilled dreams. With you, I had a life I would never have imagined. I fulfilled much of my potential that I had buried or discarded. I got an education. I used my mind. I created things. I had all the love in the world — from you. I am more than content. That is a lot for me. I know we have the “Big Love” — despite all our issues. It is gigantic for me. It is the biggest, most wonderful thing that ever happened to me. It was so hard for me to believe so much love. But because you are not blaming me — and you have kept in touch with me — I can deal with my sadness.
this brave thing you did with me
In February 2017, a year after his death, Karl elaborates:
Even though I am “up here”, I can still remember those wonderful times. I couldn’t believe my luck! I was getting a second chance at a good life. That’s it, Wadie! You gave me a second chance by seeing who I really was and what I was capable of. We both fell off the wagon, now and then. I accept that. But – overall – you trusted a new love with me. You were brave, too, Wadie. This brave thing you did with me: don’t forget the “brave” part.
In the same month, anticipating his role in finding a new lover for me in Vancouver, Karl says:
How I see it now, it’s all the same love – expressed in different human contexts. Because you have been able to open your (broken) heart to the new me, you have also been able to access this “Big Love”. It’s like having seasons tickets (or maybe a lifetime membership) to love: to “Big Love”.
Andrew is the absolute best
One of the most delightful aspects of Karl’s gratitude is his appreciation of the people I love, who also love him. Top of the list is my surrogate son, Andrew Curthoys, a former student, my close friend, and my primary support and caregiver following Karl’s death. In life, Karl simply did not know what to make of Andrew. Now he can see deeply into him.
Ten months after his death, Karl exclaims:
Andrew is the absolute best. Knowing Andrew has been a shock to me because before I met him, I did not believe that such people existed. Now I have seen how Andrew has taken care of — and empowered — you. It’s a revelation. What a wonderful man and what a wonderful friendship to have!