I came to the conclusion that somehow Dr.Viktor Frankl could be a lifeline in my time of need. I called the University of Vienna and asked to speak to Dr. Frankl. Much to my amazement he answered his phone and I blurted out”I want to study with you.” He calmly said “where are you?” I told him I was in Rome and then he said “Wonderful come and visit me next week.” I did not know it then but my life was to be altered beyond measure.
In Vienna I took residence in the German hous…e of studies and attended Dr.Frankl’s lectures every day. He was most kind to me before and after class and I knew enough German to follow along. He was fluent in English and went out of his way to assist me in my studies. After two weeks of classes I went to his office and for two hours poured out my confusion and sadness. I temporarily forgot that he had been in four concentration camps and lost everything he held dear, He had been robbed of his freedom, his profession and most of his family had been murdered by the Nazis.
He never interrupted and let me go on and on about Jack’s death and the absurdity of what had happened. When I was through he said two things that changed my life. “You feel great pain because you loved your friend”. He then added “There will come a point in time when you will have to make a choice. You will get in the grave emotionally with your friend or despite your pain you will continue to embrace life. If you bury yourself with Him I do not think you understand who he was.”
Those profound words did not make the pain go away, but I realized that I must in Jack’s memory live as fully as possible.