Dead Giulio Giorello, his wife Roberta Pelachin: “our marriage, so cheerful”

Funny and surreal, as he was always, even in that marriage so wanted, and so accelerated, three days before his death. Brilliant and tender as to seem to come from a play. Roberta Pelachin Giorello the story is told with a thread of voice and a smile (here his memory). “He was tired, we had decided to give us a day of joy and pleasure.” It was so on Friday, June 12. “Julius in bed, not make it up, I and my three witnesses with him. The mobile phone, the my, stuck in the library, connected by a part with the official from the Municipality and from the other by Edoardo Boncinelli, his witness. It was all a laugh”. And the impression is that Roberta, teacher and writer, married for four days, and widow, by one, by six years the companion of life (but not home) of professor Giulio Giorello — who passed away the day before yesterday, to 75 years — especially this fail, the complicity and the irony of a man is extraordinarily intelligent. And sensitive.

Friday, June 12, Giorello, he had married his companion, Roberta Pelachin (with her in photo during a trip in Sicily)

Their paths had crossed in 2010. Roberta, as a teacher of History and Philosophy at the Scuole civiche di Milano, had to have his book Letter to Charles Darwin. Dear Charles I am writing to you in this dreamy summer evening… ( published by Edizioni Università di Trieste, italy). A couple of phone calls. “Professor, I would like to know what do you think, I have written of science in the form of a letter”. “I’ve read dr….”.

Other books, the poems of Roberta, one in particular dedicated to”the man of the door”, some knowledge in common. Then a dinner, a friendship that is as “light” until six years ago, when the feelings are made more profound. Every man to his house, though. He’s still smiling Roberta: “there was No room for me”. Books double parked everywhere, on all the furniture, even the refrigerator, notebooks, hand-written, sheets scattered in a large apartment close to the University — his State, where he had studied and taught — without a computer and without television, a mobile phone, “ancient”, only for calls, for anything “smart”. “I was her window on the internet, when he had to send an e-mail, he did with my e-mail box”. And it was not a pose, the attitude to snob of an intellectual outside the world. “For him to be there was there really be, without filters, without the social, without the crutch of artificial. For him, the connection was an exchange of glances. My: I would know when he was mulling something, when chasing a thought, would have made a joke”. But also that of the fans — that’s right, a host immense — that were enthusiastic and faithful to his lectures: “I Remember the conversation after an event, the simplicity of it with the public, garbo, not “if he would take it”, had a word for all, and generous always.”

Were years of conferences and travel, studies, and complicity. “We were in France, and in the cities of art, where good food, he said, joined with a certain aesthetic taste. Lately, also thanks to the friends “Laity trentini for civil rights”, we spent the summer in Pinzolo, where we did nice walks in the mountains (Giorello was due to receive the keys of the trentino town between July and August, ndr)”.

A walk, a glass of beer (irish, if possible), books and comics, the commitments to publishers, meetings, presentations, appointments. Yet, Giulio Giorello felt the weight of age, despite his young brain, the curiosity of childish for any proposal — smart — to be made, the open mind. Is Roberta to tell the story of these moments of sadness: “He felt like a useless old man, he told me. And then I arrabbiavo, contestavo, Giulio, don’t complain! But do you realize what you say? You know what it means to convey the pleasure of knowledge? You know how much good you have done and continue to do?”. Then came the Covid.

“It is what it is”, the voice of Roberta for the first time it cracks. A surge of anger: “of Course if, instead of making us wait six days before you store it… I Understand that in march the situation in the hospitals was tragic and Giulio had no cough. But arrived at a hospital with 62 saturation, the mind clouded from lack of oxygen… it was Not supposed to happen”.

Desperate conditions, but Giulio Giorello had made it. He had fought and won, also thanks to the support of Roberta. Two months of treatment. “He came home on the 27th of may, on his legs, he was fine, it seemed, wanted at all costs to leave behind the patient, the disease. And return”. Had in mind the marriage, ” he said. We had thought in the hospital, he wanted to do it. Soon. While the situation — a few days after the resignation, again sank: “it got Worse, but the doctor said it was normal, a tail of the infection, that the body was weakened. And this time, I was there beside him, I could follow him, be near him”. Yesterday morning Roberta would have to withdraw the analysis of professor Giorello. “To begin a new treatment”.

Was in bed for a week Giorello. Worse, fatigued. Roberta more and more distressed, tense. But still, “don’t worry, it’s normal, a little at a time will improve, stay quiet”. The professor was in bed and also last Friday, the day of her wedding. Smiling and cheerful, the exchange of rings, the promises, the laughter with the witnesses, the emotion. A serene day. And a thought conceived by time and a few times said: “Maybe a house together, even if each of us would have held his “spot”. Certainly not his”. A sigh. “It lasted just a little of our wedding, already. Very little”.

They had learned to live together despite differences, despite the disorder of genius he had found a loving balance. Roberta does not give in to the pain, even now: “I Want to think of everything that is beautiful and special about Julius knew to give. With him we could talk about everything, joking and reflecting, he loved to make jokes. It was ironic, never superficial. The sweet”.

16 June 2020 (edit June 16 2020 | 21:19)

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