Welcome to the last “Liv Letter!” In Livia’s previous letter, she offered Juliet advice on how to escape from Verona. Now, here is Livia’s final letter to her best friend.
May 24, 1592
I can’t believe it has been over a month since your funeral. It was beautiful, Juliet, and so were you. If my heart hadn’t been so heavy with grief over your death, I could have imagined you to be alive. It was as if you were there with us. I can still picture you, lying there peacefully, your Romeo lying beside you. When they placed you in the tomb, there were white flower petals everywhere, and you were resting on a bed of them. Watching your body laid to rest was the saddest thing I’ve ever witnessed, and I felt like I had to write you one more letter. So, Juliet, my dearest friend, this is my last letter to you, to tell you how much things have changed here and how much I miss you.
Verona is not the same without you. Prince Escalus had decreed after you died that for a fortnight everyone wear dark clothes as a sign of mourning. The town was a sea of black for those 14 days; even now it is subdued. Maybe it’s just me, but people don’t seem to talk and laugh like they used to. Even the weather seems to be in mourning for you, as it rained for 4 days straight after the funeral, and it has been mostly gloomy and overcast the past month. Verona is devoid of a count, since Paris died without an heir. Friar Lawrence still gives confession, but I, for one, refuse to go to him. He’s deceitful and cheating and has no regret over the incident. Even if he was the only friar in Verona, I would go all the way to Mantua for confession. I wish the Friar had been punished for his involvement in your death, but the Prince believes the great loss of life we in Verona have experienced is punishment enough.
Your parents and Romeo’s father (his mother had died the same night as you) have changed without you in their lives. The feud has been ended, and while they’ll never be good friends, the street fights are now over. Your family is doing well, but they miss you as much as I do. Your father goes about his business with a heavy heart and seems to have lost any vigor for life. Your mother is distraught and, as I have been told, cries at night. During the day she runs the household and avoids your father, blaming your death on him. Your nurse has come to stay with us, since they have no need of her anymore (and I think she is too great a reminder of you). She goes about her work with sadness, and at night she speaks your name over and over. Romeo’s father has kept his promise and has erected a golden statue of you in the middle of Verona. Remember that painting I had of you? Well, they used that to fashion the statue. It looks just like you, Juliet. I know you would have liked it. The only problem is that every time I walk by it, I think of you and can’t help but cry.
I have changed without you, Juliet. I visit your tomb often, just to think. I know you can’t hear me, but I talk with you there. I’m still adventurous and willing to try anything, as you use to tell me, but I think I’ve matured because of this. I try and think through things a bit longer than I used to. My parents have no plans to find me a husband at this sad time. After your death, they are more scared to loose me, I think. Though they have no plans at this point, I certainly have my own. I hope they think of Benvolio as a possible suitor, because I know if he asked for my hand, he’d have it. I believe he would be a good match for me because he is very calm and a peace maker. He has been a good friend this past month and a great comfort to me. Besides, you remember how handsome he was when he wore that red cape of his. I wish you could be at my future wedding, Juliet! It won’t be the same without you.
Everything has changed without you, my dearest, sweetest friend in the entire world! I will never find a friend as good, as sweet, or as wonderful as you. I wish I could go back in time and see you just once more. If only I could have been at the tomb and stopped Romeo, maybe you would have lived! Why did you have to die, Juliet? I wish I could bring you back with a snap of my fingers. I often think how wonderful it will be when we are back together one day! But until then, good – bye, Juliet. Never was there a better friend than you.
Love until eternity,