...We’ve joked around for a long time about how much we love each other and who loves one another more, and I just want you to know… I love you more. And no matter what, i will always, always be there with you, and no matter how long it is until I see you again…I will see you again. And you remember every day, every day…
P.S I love you~
These were the last words my husband Chuck said to me on my phone. I knew, when he was in hospice, because of my previous hospice work experience, to ask him to call my phone and leave me a message so that I could have his voice forever.
He said other words too, as we spoke over those 3 weeks but I can’t for the life of me remember them. Shock, I suppose. But I have those words. I have his voice.
I need to listen to his words more often, in spite of the pain of longing that arises in me when I listen. I need to listen so that I can really hear his words, so that they can give me some comfort that maybe, just maybe, yes, I’ll see him again when I die.
God and religion and whatever afterlife is promised in various religions means nothing to me. Way too intangible for bottom line, practical me. Even though there are many times I wish I had the belief that gives so many comfort. A part of me would like to know as positively as so many do, that, well of course I’ll see my loved one again in Heaven! Duh!
Me? I knew Chuck. He was tangible in my life. I could see him and touch him and hear him. And he never broke a promise to me. Ever. If he said he was going to do something, he did it, by hook or by crook. He was a determined man and a man of his word.
I need to believe in something or go fucking insane. Getting in my head only gets me crazy so I need to learn, learn, learn, to listen to my heart and what my heart knows. What it always knew when he was alive and what I must know now that he’s dead.
He told me those words in no uncertain terms in his last message to me. He said he would see me again. He believed it, so I must also. Our 24 years together can’t be all that there was; I think I could actually be driven insane if it were so. But Chuck never lied to me, so my new task is to listen to this repeatedly, until it becomes a part of me; until it becomes my heartbeat and the blood humming along in my veins.
I have a favorite short film I watch that is spoken poetry about the end of life and what exists afterwards and it comes the closest to comforting me. In it, the man who has died is speaking to his love left behind and says that he will not look like himself but most resemble a pilot light, and that he will know when she has died because there will be a full swish of light that comes barreling towards him and he’ll recognize her and will say “oh, there you are. Now we can go”.
That, and the words from Chuck, I need to memorize. Even if I can’t believe anything for myself, I can believe him. Even if I don’t know that I’ll see him again, or recognize him if I do, I can trust that he’ll be looking for me. That he’ll find me.
Trust. I trusted him with my life as he lived. Now it’s time for me to trust him, in his death, to find me in my time.