In his "Historia Calamitatum," Abelard wrote: "Often the hearts of men and women are stirred, as likewise they are soothed in their sorrows more by example than by words. And therefore... am I now minded to write of the sufferings which have sprung out of my misfortunes..."
The story of Abelard and Heloise is tragic, but what's more important to literature and history is what happened after the agony was over...
Both Peter Abelard and Heloise continued to go on living--to write, to love, and to contribute to our literary history. They didn't kill themselves, or marry anyone else (unless you count the fact that both married the church). Heloise asks for his words, saying: "While I am denied your presence, give me at least through your words--of which you have enough and to spare--some sweet semblance of yourself." She ends the letter with: "I beg you, think what you owe me, give ear to my pleas, and I will finish a long letter with a brief ending: farewell, my only love."
To her passionate letters, he responds in part: "If since our conversion from the world to God I have not yet written you any word of comfort or advice, it must not be attributed to indifference on my part but to your own good sense... I did not think you would need these things..."
How do two lovers part after such a short time, with such a terrible end and no real beginning? They had been so close. And, then their only link is through their letters, and the works that Abelard left behind.
Heloise speaks of losing Abelard: "But if I lose you, what have I left to hope for? Why continue on life's pilgrimage, for which I have no support but you, and none in you save the knowledge that you are alive, now that I am forbidden all other pleasures in you and denied even the joy of your presence which from time to time could restore me to myself?"