Please forgive my writing a general letter like this but I have been inundated by people who wanted to express their love for Ileana- who died on the operating table on Saturday 3 December having been taken ill on stage on Friday evening.
Apparently a weakness in the aorta that she was born with but completely unaware of gave out during the first part of Hecuba,leaving her without the strength to continue.The doctor in the house suggested we go to the next door hospital to have it checked out.We drove
there in our car and the electocardiogram test was perfect but after the scan (tak) che was immediately rushed to a specialist hospital for an emergency operation to try to save her life.After almost seven hours she died on the operating table.We had time beforehand to talk and she was quite serene.She realised that it was very serious and made a great declaration of love to me that stopped the hospital.She said she has done everything she wanted to in her life and had also known the great love of her life.She said it was like Manon Lescaut and gave me a huge kiss before going into the operating theatre.We have been very lucky to have had so much for so long-I just wish it could have lasted a little longer.
Ileana always wanted me if she died to announce it after she had been buried,unfortunately the mass media got hold of it and there was such an overwhelming exibition of love for her that thousands of people appeared at all times of day and night wanting to express their loss.
Luckily I have so much to do in the theatre and looking after all Ileanas projects that I hope being busy will help with the loss of half of me.Ileana was not only my wife but my companion,best friend – just everything for almost 30 years,so I don’t expect it to be easy- but I will certainly try to keep the theatre going even if the motor has now gone.
I hope to be in touch with you all individually but just wanted you to know what had happened so unexpectedly.
Much love to you from Chris