Christmas in Intensive Care

‘Spirit in the Sky’

When I die… goin’ up to the spirit in the sky.  Norman Greenbaum

One of the best Christmas dinners I ever had was sharing a turkey sandwich with my wife at her hospital bedside. She was in the intensive care unit. She was alive!

The nurses said she could be moved to the Step Down Unit in a few days.

My wife and I raised our glasses of cranberry juice in a toast to a new year of hope and healing.


The following Christmas, she had been reduced to ashes, currently contained in a heavy metal urn in the living room (irony intended), and I was alone.

At that moment you give up on life and think about the best way to end your own. If not to be with her again in some unknown dimension, cosmic phenomenon, an as-yet undiscovered wave-length, whatever — as one impossibly hopes — then to end your own pain without your sole companion.

As far as I know, it all comes down to whether she is in that unknown dimension — and being a woman of faith she believed she possibly would be — or if she is in a black oblivion and we will never be united again.

If the latter is the case, then all is lost.

It’s a question or faith, or as I call it, suspension of disbelief. Hence, I opt for that.

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