Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Letter to my body

Tereza Crvenkovic
Sydney, Australia


Me with My Body (author). Photographer: Lenny Christou

Dear Body,

Here we are clinging to this rope, swinging from side-to-side, above this great big stage with its pitch-black backdrop. Anything could happen to us. Anything.

How did it come to this? How did we get here?

I do not have the answer.

We have been together for some time now. We had a hard time early on and did not get off to a great start. Like star-crossed lovers, we often were not on the same page. But somehow, we worked it out. When I look back, I remember the things we have been through and how much you have had to endure.

I was there when you were small and scared, when men and women in masks stood around gawping at your “pathologies” and “co-morbidities.” I know how much you muffled the voice inside you when they inserted hard tubes and telescopes into your unyielding canals.

They cut you open and stitched you back together many times; they even replaced parts of you. I held your hand when you were splayed out shivering on cold slabs, soft pink tissue punctured, flesh hooked up. A deep silent howl rises up from the well inside me when I think about the ghosts that follow you every day of your life.

But you were never alone, dear Body. When you bled, I bled. When you wept, I wept. And when you screamed and all seemed lost, I always told you, “Everything is going to be alright.”

Nothing has changed now.

In spite of the ghosts, I smiled. I laughed and tasted the joy of life with every part of you. Through your eyes I have seen golden sunrises, crimson sunsets, and all of the hues in between. I danced all night in the dead of the dark to throbbing music, lights shimmering silver and gold, ecstatic with your every move.

With you, I have sensed granules of sand between my toes and felt the champagne bubble-froth of waves on my back and chest. I have felt love from your heart, through your fingers and lips. There have been moments too, when I felt eternity in your breath.

Dear Body, this is going to be some fight – a fight for our life. I know how painful and how hard it is, but we have to hold tight. For my part, I will never let you down. All I ask from you is, “Please do not let go.”

You may at times feel decimated but remember: you have not been destroyed. A small seed inside me sings softly of the things that will be tomorrow, the day after, and all the months and years to come.



TEREZA CRVENKOVIC, M.Phil, is a freelance writer and editor with a background in philosophy, performance studies, creative writing and dance. She has lived with multiple medical conditions from a young age and aims to articulate life stories from the experience of her body. She is currently working on a memoir based on a series of personal narratives.


Spring 2018  |  Sections  |  Personal Narratives

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