He fears she is cold, colder than he is in his lowly bungalow, and alone, lonelier than he is in his isolation, and in a black void — at least he can turn on a light.
One night in 1984 I showed up at a woman’s apartment in Miami with a bottle of tequila and a Frank Sinatra album.
In the bereavement group I joined after the death of my wife, every member had a support system to get them through the battle — and indeed it is a battle, a life and death battle.
Ingredients: Mix 7 decades of advancing age with 3 decades of memories and 2 years of loss and bereavement, plus 1 hard dose of covid lockdown, and you have the ingredients of a bedtime cocktail.
For an energetic, gregarious guy who hurried hither and yon in a global society, this is one cocktail that’s hard to swallow.
But, as the cat jumps up on the bed to keep me company, swallow it I do. Unlike late-night cocktails of yore with my wife, who departed this Earth before me, one of these suckers is enough.
It’s too early to sleep and I can’t concentrate to read, so I think about the structure of my Amendment to the Laws of Death. I have only just begun, there is still much to be worked out and written.
Section 1: Death
In the union of husband and wife, the husband shall predecease the wife. Rationale: Women (assuming the wife is a woman) are better equipped emotionally to handle the death of a spouse than vice versa. Throughout history the law of averages in an analysis of obituaries has shown that wives, who for our purpose here shall be designated as women, outlive their husbands, who etc etc shall be men. This law of averages shall be preferred and preserved.
Section 2: Afterlife
Oblivion shall hereby be abolished. Rationale: If Oblivion is abolished, over time it will cease to exist. But Something must fill the void since nothingness is an untenable concept.
What is that something? [Note: Work on this.]
The cat settles in on the foot of the bed for sleep. A sleepy look at me suggests I turn out the light. This I do. I can’t sleep but I have a lot to think about. Thirty years of memories.
People tell me to move on, to find a new companion and replace those memories with new ones. To which I say, Why the hell would I want to do that?
What is that something?