When I’m in a cold lonely place and feeling down, like tonight in 13-degree (-10 C) Upstate New York, I think of my wife who is in a far colder and lonelier place.
Fourteen months ago in Intensive Care I held her hand, still warm in mine, to me a sign of life, and watched the moving line on the life-support machine and talked to her unconscious mind because I was told that hearing and touch are the last sensations to go and the hours went by and her hand turned cold and the nurse said it’s time and the machine was turned off and I was cast into a void of loneliness and fear. People lose loved ones every day so I’m not putting myself in a special category, I’m just telling my story.
In the hellish months since, well-meaning people have talked to me about God and Heaven, and I have tried to understand and embrace the notion, but in the end (as of tonight anyway) they remain fantasies — wonderful and lovely fantasies to be sure, but to my mind, illusions (I could say delusions, if I wanted to be cynical, but I don’t want to be cynical, I want to keep, as they say, an open mind).
Fourteen months to the day and the loss and the pain have never diminished, and, despite prayers and desperate cries in the night for the faintest presence of her spirit, some kind of sign from an “after life,” a glimmer of hope from “God” — nothing.
All my stubbornly realistic mind can grasp is that my wife is in an oblivion that is colder and lonelier than where I am tonight in 13-degrees Upstate New York.