In The Next Room

Death is nothing at all.  It does not count.  I have only slipped away into the next room.  Nothing has happened.  Everything remains exactly as it was.  I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.  Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.  Call me by the old familiar name.  Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.  Put no difference in your tone.  Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.  Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.  Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.  Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.  Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.  Life means all that it ever meant.  It is the same as it ever was.  There is absolute and unbroken continuity.  What is this death but a negligible accident?  Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?  I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner.  All is well.

Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918)

Kim Brundritt posted this quote on her Facebook page.  She’s the artist who created the sublime painting of a tree that graces the back cover of Jody’s book.  Her dad died two weeks ago.

Jodiette and I talk several times a day and I cry for her a lot.  All the trees out there in the world speak of her.  I’m so sad that I can’t touch her now, and hold her hand.  But we are together.  And Henry Holland helps me hold my darling wife close.  Jody is right next door, separated from my body by the thinnest of veils.  She was right there in Hugo (our Honda CRV) last night as I drove home from Toronto on the freeway.  I was pretty pooped and Jody protected me from harm.  And now, as I sit in my man chair typing, Jodiette has her arms around me.

“Oh, Bruce.  That’s silly,” I heard as I bantered with the waiter in Jack Astor’s yesterday, pretending I was talking to my mom on the phone after he handed me the Interac machine.  The thing is, Jody has seen me do that a hundred times.  She still enjoys it.  I know I’ve often embarrassed Jodiette with my antics, but as she says about any and all hurts I’ve caused, “I forgive you completely.”

“I am but waiting for you, for an interval.”  Yes, my dear.  We’ll hold our arms out wide to each other in reunion.  I love you.

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