FOR THE WEEK OF October 9, 2009

There are several commonalities between me and Mr. Monk - the character.

First, we are both a bit obsessive compulsive. My friends tease me about my "Monk-ish" behaviors.

Second, I also lost a wife, whom I loved dearly. Every episode regarding Trudy is so real for me. I used to keep an old robe of my late wife (Clara) around just to smell her and bring her back, just like Adrian did with the pillow in one/several episodes. My hope is that when the show ends, Trudy will be brought back via a witness protection plot, rather than via the resolution of her murder, I would wish for Adrian (the Character) to have his sorrow replaced with joy.

Third, Adrian/Trudy and Me/Clara both love Willie Nelson. One of my fondest memories of Clara is at a Willie Nelson concert in Atlanta - in the rain. I even rewrote the words to a Willie Nelson song and sang it to Clara. Still have that, too. I still listen to Willie -- with deep fondness and think the episode with the Red Headed Stranger is one of the best ever.

Next, the passion with which Adrian goes after Trudy's killer is something I also feel deeply about the medical community and their failures to do their jobs and kill women who have Breast Cancer (which took Clara). The oncologist in Athens, GA who, when repeatedly was asked about new diagnostics procedures - before Clara was diagnosed the third and last time with metastatic breast cancer - stated basically, "Don't Worry" -- and did no preventative testing. Clara died because of his neglect. Then there is the friend who also recently died from Breast Cancer because a Physician's Assistant would not pay attention to the symptoms she was having and cost her, her life too.

Last of all, Trudy (the character) and Clara look similar too (see the attached pics).

Please let Mr. Shalhoub know that I think his acting and playing of the character Monk is one of the most "real" portrayals of grief that I have ever seen.

Many blessings and care,

Doug F., Ph.D.

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