Steve & Lisan
"Carlos has been a part of our lives for more than two decades. His wit, intelligence and thoughtfulness have been guides to us as we shared with Carlos and Pamela the pleasures and rigors of becoming new parents, raising children, and seeing them leave; of learning how to age and grow, and exploring how to be thinking human beings in spite of the vagaries of suburban parenthood. He is the philosopher next door, the professor in the neighborhood. He was the good neighbor, the good friend, the good person, who was always there. He ensures that we appreciate the importance of loved ones, of friends, of books, and of continuing to think deeply in the midst of sippy cups and student driving. He is loved, and appreciated. We are no longer next door -- life, and sickness, has moved us inevitably apart -- but that is unavoidable, and does not change the basic relationship -- of love and appreciation."
We send you our love.
Hola, les escribo en español porque me es difícil trasmitir en inglés adecuadamente lo que siento, lamento no poder compartir estando ahí presente pero estaré desde mi pensamiento y corazón.
Carlos fue y es parte de mi vida desde hace 4 décadas y siempre los recuerdos lo evocan como de las personas más importantes de mi vida por todos sus valores y aportes. Este diciembre compartimos unos hermosos días con hijos incluidos que confirmaron lo precioso y privilegiado que sigue siendo nuestro cariño.Vaya un gran abrazo con beso incluido de mi parte como de Sarah y Maria.
Until we meet again, thank you my friend.
I am sending two pictures with Carlos. Both are in NJ when I was an au pair there, in 1994. Carlos came to visit and we had a great time. I remember Carli asked me to take a picture of him carrying the baby and send the picture to Tania, as that would probably be the only time he would have hold a baby in his life... and then he had two beautiful babies that are great guys now! (The lady next to Carli is Estefi Martinez).
"Carli, te acordas que me pediste que te sacara esa foto para Tani? que probablemente fuera la única vez que te viera con un bebe en brazos... por suerte no tuviste razon!!! te quiero!"
When I met Carlos for the first time, I thought he was a psychiatrist; I always felt he was a better listener than talker (one of his qualities where he has succeeded Ted). I have always liked him a lot, and he has been much in my thoughts lately.
The way Carlos said goodbye to Ted this morning reminded me of my eldest sister.
A few months before she died of cancer a decade ago, we went out in Amsterdam. Walking home, we realized it would be one of the last times we would meet. So we basically said goodbye in the middle of the street. Last October my brother passed away, my last remaining sibling, with whom I had become close in the last decade. After the losses of several close family members I realized it is more important to be close to someone during life than during a funeral ceremony, and to say goodbye while still able to do so.
So thank you Carlos to keep contacts over the last years, and for sharing the hard times of your life with us.
Kay and Dan
Carlos, we are so grateful for your friendship.
You are perhaps the brightest and most intellectually engaged of all the people we know. You find joy in ideas – whether based in philosophy, science, psychology, or history – and you impart that joy to others. Your embrace and analysis of ideas is never just an intellectual exercise but, rather, in furtherance of the quest for an improved world, a world with less anguish and pain, more beauty and joy.
In our book club, you invariably have profound insights about plot, character, social and historical or psychological context but, equally or more important, you help us, through both exhortation and example, to be our better, more generous, less contentious selves.
You’ve given us a reading list that will keep us engaged for years, and always thinking of you.
You’ve been Dan’s spiritual guide to meditation, for which both of us will always be grateful.
You take the long view, when we’re all getting blown about by the short. In these final trying months, you have continued to take that view, providing an example that we will always cherish and, if we are lucky and very very good, follow.
You are a warm, engaging, and gentle soul, whom we have loved spending time with.
The world will be a far less interesting place without you. And we will miss you greatly.
Kay & Dan
Laura & Rick
Rick and I have so many happy memories with you! From dancing at your wedding, to celebrating Asher’s Bar Mitzvah with you and Pammy and the boys in CT, to celebrating with you all at Gaby and Mati’s Bar Mitzvahs. We have loved sharing these heartfelt milestones with you.You have brought love and wisdom, sensitivity and charm to our lives, and we are forever grateful for that!Would that we lived closer to you all these many years, as I know we would have shared many many more deep conversations and laughter.....
We send you our love,
Rick, Laura, and Asher
"Te acordás cuando me dabas clases de latín en tu depto de Apolinario Figueroa? Fuiste único que me hizo ver el lado matemático de esa lengua y gracias a vos es que logré aprobarla...
Te mando un fuerte abrazo!!!!
When I first met Carlos, I was charmed, as I imagine most are, by his lively and penetrating intellect. I could tell he was a moral and serious person, but it was his mind more than his heart that I engaged with. We loved jousting about ideas.
Then, several years after that meeting, I visited Pamela and Carlos at a time when I was beset with a very personal and troubling problem about which I had spoken to very few people. It was a given that I would open up to Pamela, whom I have always trusted absolutely, but what surprised me was how easily I trusted Carlos with this confidence, given that I lived in Connecticut and really did not know him all that well. I then saw a very different side of him: an profoundly kind, compassionate, empathetic, and wise person who brought me enormous comfort. He may not even remember this encounter, for it lasted only an hour or two twenty-five years ago, and he does not need to. He just needs to know how much he helped me, as I am sure he has helped many others.
The other is a silly story also related to his caring capabilities. Roger and I once were visiting Pammy and Carlos after Roger had surgery for tennis elbow. Rog had a drain in the wound and I was supposed to clean it or change it or something horrible. I got a brilliant idea and said, "Wait, Carlos, you are a doctor. You do it!" Carlos pointed out that he had never really been that kind of doctor, but he gamely stepped up.
Thanks, darling Carlos, for these and for all of the wide-ranging conversations we have enjoyed over our many years of friendship. You have a wonderful mind and many impressive achievements, but far more importantly, you have a great, deep, wise heart.
Lots of love,
Lauren & Alex
Weekend Warriors (a poem by Lauren and a drawing by Alex)
Stretching my calves and Achilles tendons
in anticipation of our grudge match,
I notice it’s already 3:10,
and the blazing mid-afternoon sun
is melting the SPF 30 lotion
smeared over my nose, cheeks, and chin.
Despite the 70s-style terry cloth sweatband
stretched across my forehead,
a drop stings the edge of my right eye
when I adjust my shades.
At 3:15 I glance at my watch,
but I haven’t given up hope
about your imminent arrival.
I know you’ll show up here at Palisades
before we must forfeit our court time at 5 o’clock.
Are you stalling because you’re wary
of my devious underhand serve?
Worried about my relentless mix of deep lobbage,
sliced drop shots, and no-man’s-land junk
intended to make you regret
that heavy pile of tortellini marinara
you gobbled down for lunch?
You bike into the parking lot at 3:18,
full of apologies about your tardy arrival–
something about signals crossed with Pamela
and a soccer carpool pick-up;
then you forgot your racquet and had to return home.
You look concerned when you see my bulky knee brace,
Velcro ankle wrap, and hot pink shoulder tape,
and you ask if I feel okay enough to play.
I assure you that my durable medical equipment
is merely preventive, not a sign of vulnerability
or worthy of your pity–
After warm-ups, we get into a rhythm of cross-courts, drop shots, lobs,
and occasional volleys–long rallies, mostly,
and we rehydrate while catching our breath at every court change.
Your shirt is stained through,
and I’ve gulped half of the ice water in my thermos
by the time we get to 4-4 in the first set.
Few outright winners and lots of deuce and ad points feel interminable
as they test our patience, endurance,
medial meniscus cartilage,
and our unyielding will.
Finally, at 4-6; 7-5,
though I’m so desperately eager to break the tie,
and the momentum is clearly on my side,
for the sake of our joints,
we decide to hold off on a third set.
After a sweaty handshake and a quick kiss on the cheek,
I pour a fresh thermos of water over my head
and lie down in the precious shade of the gazebo
to begin my post-match stretching routine.
You climb onto your 10-speed,
racquet slung over your shoulder,
and ride back home–neither the victor
nor the vanquished.
Thanks for writing and for keeping all of us informed. As you may know, I've exchanged some letters with Carlos over the past year. Being able to do that means a great deal to me. I live in Mexico still and I won't be able to travel any time soon. It's very possible that I won't see Carlos again. But I think about him everyday and I am incredibly grateful to him for staying in touch with me.
If you find a moment, please tell him that. And also tell him that Nicolas is doing great. And that Nicolas knows Carlos' story, and will not take a single day of life for granted. Nor will I.
Danny & Phyllis
Carlos, we actually met you through Pamela and we met Pamela through Larry and Margie. Initially, I was excited to learn that Pamela would be willing to play tennis with me. Shortly after that, I decided that with her last name being Garlick, she (and you) absolutely had to come to our garlic dinner. I believe that when the two of you came to our garlic extravaganza that that was the first time we met you. Not long after that, Larry invited you to join our book group, and that is how we both really got to know you. In addition to the twinkle in your eyes, the terrific part of having you in the group is that you bring intellectual rigor and cogently make your case when offering your take during our discussions. In addition, we appreciate that you’ve successfully challenged the group to read more non-fiction. Finally, even when our discussions get boisterous, your calmness and wittiness invariably help keep us on an even keel.
Funny how certain events stick in the brain- one of those is the first time you, Pamela, Joe and Linda came over to dinner at our house. As it so happened, Joe, Michael, and Pamela sat on one side of the table, and you, me, and Linda on the other, when the conversation turned to counseling and various minor disorders, as it does, and it turned out that everyone on one side of the table had been diagnosed with adult ADHD. I still think it is a quintessentially 21st century moment, certainly one of my favourite DC memories – a little weird and wonderful and also full of friendship.
I do not have any photos of that evening, but I recently was traveling back from the West Coast, and I think I had just read one of your beautiful descriptions of meditation – and this sky somehow encapsulated all that for me. I will miss you!
With love. Ariane
Elyse & Sam
You have been a part of our family since our girls were small so many years ago.
Our first memory of meeting you was a Thanksgiving we drove up to Northampton: you sang and played the guitar to Beatle songs; Howie danced with the three girls. We thought you were handsome and charming and sweet and very knowledgeable about a multitude of subjects. You were then, and you still are today. We have been together for countless vacations and celebrations, as well as times of stress and pain - through it all you have remained a constant friend, a true brother-in-law, whose warmth and caring ways we have grown to count on, and to love.
With love and affection,
Ly and Sam
Carlos - You don't know me; and I know you only through my friendship with Pamela since our kids' days at Murch elementary school. (My daughter and Gabe were in the same grade and sometimes the same class.) It is through Pam that I have known of your illness and received updates from time to time. Today she sent an email with a link to your CaringBridge blog. (This is a site I have been on way too many times in recent years, but that's another issue )
I am writing to you because I just read through all of the posts you wrote. They are beautifully written and, in many ways, inspiring. I plan to check out several of the books you mentioned out of curiosity and because you made me want to expand my knowledge and experience something new. Thank you!
You also made me wish I had had the opportunity to know you better over all these years. What I do know is that you have had more than your share of medical trials (not meant to refer to clinical trials, although there have been those, too) in your life. It is unclear to me what a "fair share" of illness or suffering is in this world, but it is pretty clear that some are required to shoulder more much more of it than others. Gratitude for all the healthy days, loving people, caring friends and even strangers, opportunities, chances to give back, and especially times we can watch our children grow and flourish is the lens we all should use as we look back on our lives - whether we are near the end, in the middle or just starting out. Truthfully, we can never really know where we are with certainty as any day would be our last.
I didn't mean for this "comment" to be as long as your posts, but I want you to know that writing them meant something...at least to me. I am thinking of you...and Pam and the boys...and hope your days ahead are as comfortable and filled with love and kindness as possible. (I worked for an organization called Last Acts years ago and knew JoAnn Lynn then. She is the best there is in hospice care. You are in good hands.)
Querido Carlitos. Quizás otros que leen estas líneas o que saben de tus peripecias sientan, como me sucede a mi estos días, que tu presencia me acompaña en lo cotidiano. A mí me invita a sostener a la distancia lo que parece al mismo tiempo fragilidad y entereza, tristeza y tranquilidad, acompañados de fragmentos de memoria de nuestros años de cercanía que retornan como una luz bienvenida. Estoy con vos y te doy un abrazo de gol.
Debbie Ruder and Eric
Dear Carlos -- Eric and I send you love from Boston and wish we were closer to bring you soup and hugs in person.
Thank you for sharing, so beautifully and honestly, your insights about your cancer journey. You've been through so much these past few years, trying new treatments and learning how to cope with extraordinary grace, dignity, and intelligence. We loved seeing you up at Tufts, cap on your head, to hear Gabe's fabulous jazz band, and talking about how meditation has helped you focus on what matters most -- and achieve a sense of peace.
I am so sorry the last round of treatment sapped your energy, and I admire your decision to transition to comfort care so you can be present with your family and dearest friends. As I'm sure you know, many people wait too long to make that transition. May the coming weeks fill your heart with peace and comfort and love.
xoxox Debbie Ruder
How r u my friend. I have been kept in the loop via Elaine/Paul, Michu, Carola. I’ve learned in life you never give up hope, and to live your life to its fullest. Just know you are loved by so many and we’re sending you only “positive vibes” from New Jersey and Detroit where I am writing this now. Remember all of this connectivity started many, many years ago with you and Elaine back at Berkshire medical. I think I have the name right. The next thing I knew Carla then Manchu showed up at our house!!Paul and I are ccoming to BA first week of July. Love you Carlos! My email is email@example.com if it’s easier to communicate this way.
Carlos--you are extraordinarily clear and concise about how and why you have chosen comfort care--hospice in the Medicare program--and I ache at the thought of this happening. We have seen each other more in the last few years than before, but I still visualize you as we met in a Smith Collge session decades ago. I can recall writing some letters on your behalf to spend time in Canada. And through the years I have thought about you as a member of a band of brothers brought together by a conviction that the US could do much better in medicine if we only did our research, writing, and administrating with dedication and direction. We will miss you very much, as i am sure you will understand. It a call from me would be comforting, let me know when and what number. My respect and love, Carlos, Ted
Gracias infinitas, tocayo, por habernos invitado a compartir las vicistudes de vos-y-el-visitante-intrusivo y tu pristina filosofia de vida, en una trayectoria verdaderamente inspiradora que nos permite estar contigo en los altos y bajos del tobogan (te toco uno un poco mas explicito) de la muerte anunciada de cada uno de nosotros. Cada entrada es un canto a la vida, una inspiracion, y un abrazo, que espero lo sientas reicpoco. C.
What strikes me about you is your great ability to share—your experience, your emotions, your thoughts about what you’ve been reading—which make interactions with you substantial and meaningful. We love you Carlos.
Equanimity, fortitude, good humor, and deep thought. A good way to live in rather difficult circumstances.
Thanks for the update and the reviews. Y mil gracias por ponerme a leer The Better Angels of our Nature. Having spent a over the years pointing out that both individual and aggregate data show that many violent individuals and abusive relationships (certainly many more than popularly believed to be the case) move towards nonviolence and that we would do well learning more about the conditions promoting these positive changes, I have found the first part of the book fascinating.
I will let you how it goes as I move into the 2nd half of the Better Angels game... Just ordered Harris' book and will try to use it as an additional incentive to stay on course and finish Pinker's book. I have added The Beginning of Infinity to my "Learning from Good Friends Curriculum". BTW, another good friend recently gave me a copy of Strength in Stillness: The Power of Transcendental Meditation by Bob Roth. As a neophyte in the world of meditation I have found it useful and accessible. It is well written and short in case you are looking for other books to read.
Love to you and your family,
Dear Carlos, Thank you for this gift -and for your open and courageous heart and the wisdom you are sharing during this difficult journey. I feel blessed-for our times as best buddies and our runs and our talks. Healing prayers and thoughts are being sent your way. Know you are much loved, Elaine
Reconozco tu "creative joy" , algo de tu acido humor, tu curiosidad sobre todo, personas, culturas, paisajes, lugares, olores y musica de todos los lugares del mundo.
Tu escrito me recuerda y me llevo de inmediato a tu personalidad de "viajero". Bien liviano, poco equipaje y experimentando cada lugar con un libro en el idioma del pais que visitabas.
Te quiero mucho. Me gusto mucho leer tus palabras aunque las noticias no sean buenas. Estoy con vos.
Your voice - despite the progression - that you're sharing with us is deeply generous. Thank you for that my friend. Your are traveling with the strength of many.
Querido Carlos Pichon:
Los que estamos pendientes de vos no dejamos de conmovernos por tu fuerza, entereza y honestidad. Esto de acompanarte es un lujo para nosotros que aprendemos de vos. Prendo una vela mental para que haya algún recurso mas para vos. Acá seguimos, pendientes. Mariana, pichona
un fuerte abrazo. gracias por compartir tu profunda sabiduría que ganaste con el correr de estos anos difíciles
Pamela has shared with me that you are in the final months of your long and heroic journey through cancer. She also tells me that along with your family you have a loving community of friends that are helping you with this transition. I am so very heartened to hear you have this love and support. I imagine all we really can hope for is that we leave this world knowing we have loved and are loved, and you have and you are. It has been inspiring to me to see you live with such dignity and intention these last many years. It is one thing to know we will all die, it is another to have it loom so closely in the shadows.
I know you must get great solace and joy in the knowledge that you have shaped and nurtured two truly remarkable and loving sons. And I hope your heart is warmed knowing they will carry your memory and values forward.
I wish for you, dear Carlos, an easy transition surrounded by love and if I can be of any support, please let me know.
Sending you love,