I died the night she left me. The sting of her words was still burning in my head when I went to cross the street. I never saw the car coming. In an instant, I was lost.
I’ve spent two months hovering over my broken body. It’s true that the machines are what keep me alive, but my mind is still wide awake. My thoughts are clearer now than they ever have been.
I don’t remember the impact. That is a small blessing, to say the least. I do remember the pain though. Not the pain of having my body thrown over a hundred feet or the pain of my bones crackling as I hit the pavement. No, I’m talking about the pain of heartache. My body was just catching up with my heart.
I don’t blame her for giving up. I made too many mistakes. I took for granted that she would always be there – always be my wife. If my life’s lesson was to learn that it takes more than love – more than passion even, then I learned well. It takes more than love. It takes trust.
I’ve had plenty of time to think about the many mistakes I made while floating over my lifeless form. I’ve watched people come and go; some shocked by my disfigured body, others weeping as they say their last good-byes. Nobody thinks I am going to live, and perhaps I won’t. I was dead before that car ever struck me. I was dead the moment she let go.
There are no angels or demons here. No heaven or hell. It’s the same space I’ve inhabited all along. I don’t know what will happen if I let go. I could float off into a black void and simply cease to exist. I might discover the answers to the greatest questions ever imagined. More than likely, I think I will continue to be here, attached to a world that I can no longer hold claim to. My physical body would simply serve as food for the Earth and my conscience would be eternal. There are so many possibilities, but absolutely no assurances.
I hear her whispering to me at night. She fights me most just before sleep. I listen as she asks for my forgiveness or curses me for leaving her in this wretched world alone. I hear every single word.
I wish I could hold her, touch her, and reassure her that I am fine. But I’m not really fine at all, am I? Even if I were to make a miraculous recovery and return to the life I knew before the accident, I still wouldn’t be fine. I was fine when I knew she loved me. I was fine when she was by my side. I was fine when we dreamed about our future together. No, I’ll never again be fine.
I have to wonder if I’m holding on to this life just to be close to her. Is it more selfish of me to want to hang on to her than it is to cut myself off from my body? Am I not killing a part of her by giving up? Yes, I realize it’s that I’m selfish. I’ve always been selfish. If it weren’t for my selfishness she may still be my wife and I might not have walked in front of that car. If, if, if…all these ifs.
I acknowledge the severity of my crimes. I ask only for her forgiveness as each day I fade. I am beyond prayer and still no closer to God. There’s no penance for the guilty soul. I must let go and end these dreams of absolution. There’s no peace in delaying the inevitable. Now, be quiet my mind and deliver my soul.