When the dialogue is interrupted…

Suddenly, unexpectedly, speechless, in the very middle of an existential debate, we feel dissatisfaction and rebellion. So much still to be said, so much still to hear… Suddenly, there is no time for this discussion. And once again in life, in a moment of shock, when someone we have valued leaves us, we promise to ourselves that we will spend more time with our friends and acquaintances, those people who create our reality, whom we hurry to love before they leave… So, unexpectedly, ended our friendly dialogue with Jurek Perkitny. We want to scream, defenselessly: „this didn’t really happen! We still need you here!” There are moments in life when one can call out only in memory.

In our memories, Jerzy Perkitny is and remains an extraordinary person, a man of success and dialogue. Jerzy liked to engage in dialogue with everyone; he was the inspiration for neverending polemics on the nature of existence, belief in God, and our interior human dilemmas. „We don’t live for ourselves and we don’t die for ourselves,” said Father Jerzy Kusy in the homily at the funeral Mass. I held on to these few words, with tears in my eyes, thinking of Jurek Perkitny. He didn’t live for himself. Even more we feel the emptiness. An important, needed, loved person has left us. He was involved with many contacts and in many projects and inventions. He was, with us, as a friend, always smiling, open, sincere, inquisitive, an example of success in America. And suddenly he’s not there. Maybe someone else can take his place at work. But at home, in our hearts, in memory, in family, in society? In these areas of our lives there’s no replacement.

Jerzy Perkitny did not duplicate things in life that already existed; he arrived at the goal, always trying to be first. In 2002, Jerzy Perkitny told me, „Reality and intellectual space limit a person; the victor is the one who can defeat the boundaries, because, seeing things hidden, he can achieve the impossible” This idea of Jerzy’s was his key to success. Success, with a capital “S” was his achievement.

This saying was very characteristic of him: „We have the obligation to lead an interesting life, because we have only one life and if we waste it…we don’t get a chance to repeat it.”
It’s worth thinking about these words, because…no life can be repeated, life continues. And the worth of a life is not determined by its length, but by its quality – who we are for others; how much we mean for them is a measure of our worth.

Jurek’s unexpected passing leaves us with feelings of rebellion, dissatisfaction, disbelief, but also with an opportunity for deep reflection. One cannot remain indifferent in light of this death. To end in a reflective tone, consider the following, in light of your own personal values: „When you were born, everyone rejoiced, only you cried. Live, so that at your death, everyone cries, but you will be happy.”

Agata Foremska

Translated by Sean Martin

Forum, 5/2007