You don't need to feel sorry for me; I hear it happens to everyone. It was a surprise at first, the last thing I remember was slipping on the bathroom floor. Perhaps pity me a little, I wish it could be a little less embarrassing, but it happened and now I am here.
I never expected the trumpets, angels, and pearly gates. After a certain age I stopped thinking Peter was waiting for me in white robes with a knowing, sympathetic smile. I had always just expected nothing, and I was right, though I must admit this was not the sort of "nothing" I expected.
I had thought death was the end. I would be gone and that was that. That is not in fact, that. This sort of nothing had substance, a void of absence, like a bottomless pit without sides. This was a different nothingness, one which unexpectedly left me with only my thoughts for company.
You never get the chance to really think when you're alive, there's always a distraction. Even in the quietest hours of the morning, when the world is sleeping, your mind is still distracted with thoughts of the future. There are worries about money or perhaps where life is going. There's hope and excitement about new opportunities and new people. When you're alive there are always the distracting thoughts of expectation.
I don't have anything to look forward to now. I didn't have any distractions. When left alone with my own thoughts I could see with painful clarity what my life had been. I remembered all the times I smiled, all the times I had laughed, every happy moment no matter how small. But that wasn't everything. Then I remembered the rest, every dream I had given up on before even trying, every friend I had let slip away to be forgotten, every single hurtful word I used out of fear and anger.
I remembered everything as clear as if reliving it again. I could see my life laid out before me. I died without having properly lived. I cried. I'm not sure how long the tears streamed down my cheeks. In that void it seems like every second is an eternity and eternity is hardly a moment in time.
Then there was a sound. Even my sobs had been silent, but now there were footsteps. Even without a floor to produce the crisp sounds of leather on hardwood, it seemed right. A dim glow outlined a figure approaching with each step echoing away into the void.
Without a word they offered a hand, but I shied away, still overwhelmed by memories. They hesitated for a moment, the barest pause to let out a soft gentle sigh, before they knelt and wrapped their arms around me.
There was warmth and the steady comforting beat of a heartbeat as they whispered to me the single most beautiful phrase I had ever heard,
"It's okay, you tried."
They stood again, and I took their hand, wiping away the remaining tears. I'm following them now, listening to the footsteps echoing into the void and feeling the warm heartbeat through my palm.
I died, but don't feel sorry for me. I may not know where I'm going, but at least I know I tried.
I couldn't sleep and ended up writing this in about an hour. I am really out of practice and have been told it's a bit dark, sorry
The pic is from a trip to new orleans