In the first letter, dated June 26, 1952, Gertrud writes about the challenges of life after her husband's passing, which had only occurred the previous summer: I was efficient only as long as I knew that I was needed for something!... I slowly begin to live, if one can call it living, if one worries from morning to evening without knowing why. What can still happen to me? Everything that was important to me 27 years is no more and nobody needs one. I now must learn to associate again with people and to understand them.
Gertrud includes a report about her three children, who are all thriving in Los Angeles, and closes with a request for Marya to mark the one-year anniversary of her husband's death: Light a candle on 13 July and think of Arnold Schönberg. Perhaps there will be 25 people who on that day will think of him.
In the second letter, dated January 13, 1963, Gertrud writes that she is enroute to Hannover to hear the premiere of three operas (premiere, because it is the first time that all three will be presented together, as Arnold always wished) and hopes that she can rendezvous with Marya the following month.