Chapter Eight

He bade no one a last farewell. – In memoriam

Chapter 8 – Communication

I wish there were more communication between this world and the next.

I think that God should allow us one last parting visit when there has been a sudden death. We could share our good-bye and share anything that was left unsaid. We could share a final hug and kiss.

When there is a long, lingering death people do have this opportunity, but sudden death is hard. This in Memoriam then me know I was not alone:

The blow was great, the shock severe

We little thought his death was near.

Only those that have lost can tell

The sorrow of parting without farewell.

Once when we casually spoke of dying, John said, “I am older so I will probably die first. But don’t worry, I’ll watch over you if I can.” I like to think John is watching over me but so far I have no proof.

I have dreamed of him twice.

In the first dream we were together at a motorcycle rally. He was wearing new black biker leathers as well as a rakish pirate’s patch. He was his big, strong, macho self confidently striding along holding my hand.

A lady remarked that he didn’t look 82. In fact she said he looked downright scary in that outfit. John looked pleased.

We were walking hand in hand amidst lots of people, who ignored us. I told John that his funeral was expensive but we still had enough money for him to buy the Spyder he wanted. He never replied.

Then we were standing there kissing and I woke up happy. I found myself wondering about the eye patch. I have never seen him wearing an eye patch.

In the second dream we were sitting close together playing with each other’s hair. John remarked about how gray we had both gotten since the funeral.

In both dreams I knew John was dead but he was still his normal living self, unchanged by death. He was happy and healthy.

One lady told me that dreams that occur just before we wake and involve physical touch are really visitations from the dead. I would love to believe that those two dreams were actually visits from John, however, surely if he did come to visit me, he would want to do more than discuss the greying of our hair.

When ever John went anywhere without me, he’s always come home and give me a complete account of where he’d been and what he had done and who he had seen. If he was able to visit me from heaven, I can imagine him speaking a mile a minute as he told me what he found there and what I could expect. He’d probably even tell me what to do so I would be sure to end up with him.

I have spoken to friends who have visited mediums to communicate with their husbands and they, too, get no information about the next world. The mediums always say the right things to comfort them but that is about all.

I like to think John is in heaven as described by Emanuel Swedenburg, the Swedish scientist who wrote Heaven and Hell. John and I read that book together years ago and we both like the idea of the dead being in a place that allows them to keep on developing their interests and talents.

I don’t need a medium to tell me he died suddenly or he loves me. I know that. What I want to know is exactly what he is doing as he waits for me and what I should be doing to keep up with him so I will be on the same level when I eventually join him.

I like to think of John making the most of things as he waits for me and that we will eventually be a couple again in the next world.

But then I start wondering and doubting. Jesus told us in Luke 35 “But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world and the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage.”

I have no doubts when it come to John being worthy of resurrection but if there is no marriage in Heaven what will our relationship be?

People who believe in reincarnation tell me that we incarnate with the same people in different roles until we get it right. John could have been my son in a past life and he might be my father in the next life. We might never have been married before and we might never be married again. In fact, he might already have been reincarnated. I think that thought very sad.

I would like to know for sure that John is in heaven waiting for me and preparing the place where I will join him. I want our marriage to continue in the hereafter. I want ours to be a forever marriage lasting through eternity.

Sometimes I find myself wondering “What would John do?” or “What would John think?” when I am undecided and the answer comes to me. I believe it comes through logic and is the result of 42 years of sharing his thoughts and finishing his sentences.

Perhaps I expect too much. Cemetery means “Sleeping Place” and the Persians called their cemeteries “The Cities of the Silent”. They expected no communication from beyond.

The Apostles Creed agrees with the Persian idea of the sleeping dead. We are told Jesus will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead “at the last judgement the trumpet will sound and the dead will awake. Their souls and bodies will unite and some will go to eternal bliss in paradise while others will be cast into Hell.” If this vision is correct, John is simply one of the sleeping dead now. That is why his grave faces east, so he can stand up at the time of the resurrection. That is also why couples are buried side by side – so they can stand together when the trumpet sounds.

It would be far less confusing and far more comforting if all religious folk lore, fiction, psychics and modern movies could agree on the afterlife.

Meanwhile the silence of the grave is reality for me. I visit the cemetery and pray, “Rest in peace, John, and God be with you.”

Sometimes I think the best way to cope is to “stop chasing the dead and start enjoying the living” as the saying goes.