They had nothing to say to each other. The time for any speaking had already passed. Now here they were, at the end of all things. In the dim light of the hospital room, the wife curled her fingers around the quiet, cool ones of her husband.
She couldn’t see beyond the tears. There was nothing to see as it was. They had walked all the paths of their life together and instead of looking forward to the new path she’d take without him, she looked back.
There had been the greatest of joys. The births of their children, the giggles they made as they learned to walk and run and play. The pride they felt together when they saw their children step out onto the path that they would walk, leading them to the futures in their lives.
There had been the greatest of adventures. Standing on the Cliffs of Moher looking out across the world, feeling the winds of the ages fiercely blow across their faces. Jumping, shrieking from an airplane, soaring on the currents, falling towards the earth, landing always together in the arms of each other.
There had been the greatest of sorrows. Saying goodbye to the dearest ones, their parents, their friends, even a child. The dark, cold nights standing hand in hand by the graves, wishing to hear their voices just once again.
She knew she couldn’t go on without him. She knew there be no good found in tomorrow if she tried. Her friends had faded with time and distance. Her children had children of their own. The lonely house on the hill was all that waited for her.
She crawled up on the bed beside him. Her body shook with pain. His last breath, he’d taken, yet she searched for warmth in vain. Couldn’t I just close my eyes and drift away with him? Can’t we travel that next journey together. It hasn’t been that long. Won’t you come back and take me with you. Wait for me. I’m coming.
Yet, she looked up and in the saddened shadows of the room saw a drifting, glowing magic surrounding his earthly form. He smiled that blessed smile, the one that had coaxed her heart into loving so many years ago. “But don’t you remember, we promised to see other again. In the next life, in the next journey, I’ll be there waiting for you. At the rising of the moon, at the setting of the stars, I will be there. We will meet, we will remember, we will love and live again.”
“Okay. Okay,” she said. “Just a little longer. I’ll stay just a little longer.”