But Claudia answers even though she’s been dead more than five months, and I miss her madly. She was my chosen family. She had a good death, and I’m happy to my bones for that. Now I know what it means. Death is something to celebrate and sing and dance and cry wildly over. She crosses over so we can be fully alive.
She comes to me one foggy morning in late November. I sense her energy approaching as if she was out at the mailbox about to walk up the driveway, and I’d been expecting her. It was shortly after breakfast when I stumble and stagger toward the bed, commanded to slip unconscious. It was an odd time of day for a nap because that’s usually when I’m the most alert. I collapse onto the bed, smooshing my face near the foot of the mattress, my arm and leg draped over the edge. I surrender to an upwelling of exhaustion as if I’d slipped a date rape drug into my eggs. By 10:10 am on a Monday morning I am out cold.
A lucid dream starts, and I see myself lying still and breathing slowly with a small pool of drool collecting on the white blanket. Claudia enters the house, moves up the stairs toward the bedroom, and I am unable to do anything except receive her. She spoke without words directly to my inner mind. This is the last time I will be able to gather enough of myself that you will recognize me as I was.
The finality filled me with an aching sadness. I was never good at goodbyes. She had already begun the longest journey from which there is no return.
I had so many questions! I wasn’t joking when I asked her one evening after driving her home from radiation if she would come back and tell me what happens on the other side. I would do anything to know. She said she would if she could and then drew a long bong hit. Then we ate Mexican for dinner, her favorite.
Time here is short.
Okay, got it. Is there a god?
No. Heaven and hell are what we make on earth. There is no creator or reincarnation in the whole-being sense, only a few molecules shifting here and there in a recycling sense. The universe is vast beyond description.
What happened to you?”
I’ll use a metaphor that I know your human brain can understand. And, yes, there is so much more to the story, but I'm in a hurry. Picture me as a glass of water, and I was poured out into a vast ocean. The water droplets that you knew as me are being reabsorbed and dispersed into spacetime. It's fucking cool. But I'm not lost to you. You breathe in drops of me, and I'm with you now more than ever before.
There is nothing to fear.
Oh, and Gen, you gotta' tell the others.