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Love Letter: The Strongest Bone

This week’s stunning Modern Love essay is one of the most striking, human and moving essays I’ve had the pleasure of coming across in our ever-growing submission inbox.

In “My Last Shopping List for Him,” Amalia Melis describes disinterring her husband’s bones, six years after a fatal nighttime fall cracked open his skull. In Greece, Ms. Melis explains, bone exhumations are common practice given a lack of space.

Her essay is tethered to a particular time and place, yet it seems to transcend particularities.

Ms. Melis’s writing recalls the bittersweet gravedigger scene in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” (looking at the skeleton of Yorick, the jester, Hamlet laments, “That skull had a tongue in it and could sing once”).

Her essay also holds the stark reality of Jane Hirshfield’s poem, “My Skeleton,” which renders the ordinary fact that we carry bones within our bodies extraordinary.

Please join me in reading and enjoying Ms. Melis’s essay:

“I look into the pit like a weary archaeologist, nearly missing what is right under my nose — bones laid deep in the dirt, ripped pieces of lace from inside the coffin lid, long bones where your arms were, those arms that once held me.”

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Mohammad SHiblu

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