John B.

 “Your ruin is as vast as the sea; who can heal you?” – Lamentations

My name is John B. This is my story.

I have been living with the dead for five years now. The way that I became receptive was nothing special. It could happen to anyone. It could happen to you. Life, what it is? What does it mean? We are allotted a certain number of years, a certain number of days, of seconds. They pass by. We can hardly recall but a few of the many moments of our life. And then, we are old and we remember less. And then, we die and we remember even less. And then, we spend eternity waiting to be redeemed. And then...and then...what then? We wait for the end of days so that we can rise again in a better world. A better world. If we would just appreciate the world in which we live, then we would want nothing better than to return to it. Some spirits know this and they never leave. But I am getting ahead of myself and I do not want you to run screaming from this room, thinking I am crazy. I have been committed once, it is not a very pleasant experience.

As I have told you, I became receptive five years ago. The woman that I loved more than anything in my life passed on at that time. Two months in a hospital room could kill anyone.

Two months, five years ago, the smells, the sights, the sounds, the pain. They are still so close, so close. As if they were happening, happening now…

Jane, how beautiful you were then. I remembered how you danced for me outside of that restaurant. Out in the street. You twirled around like a six year old with no cares, no fears. You seemed to move in slow motion, the street light forming a halo around your head. You were an angel. How I loved you. But then there was the hospital, the hospital’s walls, the hospital’s smell, the hospital bed.

You, lying helpless in the hospital bed. You are not twirling in slow motion. You are hardly moving at all. There is just the gentle rising and falling of your chest as you breathe in and out. I watched your breath. In and out, slow and rhythmical. And then you just stopped breathing. I hardly noticed your last breath. Your one last breath and then a pause that lasted forever. I kept waiting for the inhalation but it didn’t come. Just the pause. Nothing more. I didn’t move. You didn’t move. We seemed to be caught in a glitch of time. The body, how quickly it loses heat. Never breathing, never smiling, never laughing again. All of a sudden I heard the door fly open. The machines that you were hooked up to were loudly buzzing, doctors and nurses rushed in and one nurse took me outside. That was it. You were gone and I was alone in a hall filled with activity.

From A Walk in the Valley

By A.F. Winter