Image Credit: Mary Shelley
The prospect of death didn’t frighten him. He knew his family would grieve, but he’d be dead so he wouldn’t know or, by that time, care. Dead was dead. Period. None of that idiotic coming back as a bug if you hadn’t lived your life right; thought what was meant by ‘right’ was a question in itself. No angels blowing the trumpets with Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates, pointing either up or down.
How could he? There was no heaven and no hell. No monster wreaking havoc upon a fellow for the rest of eternity.
Dead. Was. Dead. Period.
His mother was dead. His father. Aunts and uncles, maybe some nieces or nephews. Come to think of it, there wouldn’t be anyone to grieve him anyway.
Good. He despised moaning and wailing, but even more so, quiet tears. Tombstones. Flowers.
Lord, deliver him from flowers on his grave. Stinking, wilting, browning, ugly flowers.
Lord, just give him oblivion.
That wasn’t so much to ask, was it?
Death came quickly at the end, though it had taken years of pain and suffering to reach that end. Laying in his hospital bed, frail and broken and done. There was nothing else he wanted besides death. He just closed his eyes one day and was gone.
Did he reach the Pearly Gates? Did he turn into a bug? Was he roasting for eternity or living on a fluffy cloud somewhere in an invisible realm? No one knows and no one will ever know. Death is like that, personal for each and every one of us, a creeping blackness closing slowly in from the first in-drawn breath.
If you see him after, you might ask, but you might not. Probably won’t. There are a thousand miles of darkness in death. How likely you’d find one soul in a million.
But, it doesn’t matter. Maybe he was right. Maybe there is nothing. Maybe….
It doesn’t matter. Just close your eyes and sleep.
Everything will be over in the morning.