She died in her sleep, two months following their 70th wedding anniversary, and was buried four days later.
He spent the funeral in a dream. Dreams of their wedding day, a life well lived, the last day they spent together reading quietly in their favorite chairs. He could not let her go and requested a closed casket funeral, refusing to look on her lifeless body.
He arrived from the funeral entering a house haunted by her presence.
” Shall I put the kettle on” the voice came from the kitchen. He rushed eagerly forward but she wasn’t there. Her voice is still in my head, he thought as he reached for the kettle, filled it with water and placed it on the stove. Reminders of her permeated the house. Her clothes in the closet, her toiletries in the cabinet and her library book laying on the coffee table. It was two days overdue but he could not force himself to return it. He sat in a daze, his tea getting cold and he dreamed some more.
He could not let her go, his feelings were so intense that he had bound her shade to the material plane, unable to ascend to the spiritual. Her spirit looked with sorrow on his suffering and she reached out to comfort him.
“Let me go” she pleaded, “You have to move on with your life. Please, for my sake, as well as your own”. Her cries went unanswered.
Three days later the doorbell rang. He stirred from his reverie and stumbled to the door.
It was Susie. “Hi, dad, thought I’d pop by and see how you were doing. You look a little tired. How are you coping without mom”. She entered the house and looked around. “Let me make myself useful and do some tidying” she said. She vacuumed and tidied up the kitchen. She noticed her mother’s clothes in the closet and her toiletries still in the cabinet. ” Shall I help you pack mom’s things she said”.
“Don’t worry, I’ll sort them out in time”, he replied and put the kettle on for tea. Susie and her father sat down to their tea reminiscing comfortably on family matters.
He began to find it difficult to rise from his bed in the morning, content in reliving their life together in his mind. Her spirit willed him to stir awake and dress, he could feel her presence but not her urging and dreamed on.
He awoke one morning and saw her sitting by the side of the bed.
“I’ve been waiting for you” she said, “and I for you” he replied. They walked hand in hand ascending the spiritual plane together.