The elderly couple who lived on the other side of our duplex died… The wife first after a terrible fight with cancer, I knew the last time the ambulance left she wasn’t going to be back. A month later her husband simply got sick and gave up. I never sat with either of them while they were dying. They were private people even in death. No burial. No service. Before they died, they made a final trip to Myrtle Beach with their family instead.
It’s been a bit of a surreal experience, to say the least. Even more so, they’ve both been here to visit since passing. The husband more than the wife. He says he’s hanging around to make sure they get his home cleaned out and rented to someone who won’t make our lives chaotic. I don’t rush him. I feel thankful he is willing to watch out for us. I catch him sitting on the front step, smoking cigarettes. I say “Hey, George!” and then remember he’s not alive anymore. He comes in dreams to tell me stories that he wanted to be sure someone heard. We laugh about the deer coming through our back yard just as if he were alive… Me thinking they look beautiful; him thinking they look delicious.
This is my life. I guess it’s always been my life to a certain extent, but it’s become more pronounced in recent years. I no longer can ignore the Dead. They don’t allow for it.
Truth be told, I’m not sure I would really have it any other way.