The threshold of life or death


We are all waiting in that room, holding our hearts in our mouths, with swollen eyes after all the tears. Waiting hurts and minutes become everlasting. Sun light hurts too and the heat is also painful, and the noise of the sirens and people’s sharp voices. Why can’t we have some silence now, for God’s sake? Why can’t time be stopped so we can rewind and avoid being here this morning? What did we do or what we never did that could be done? Could we have done anything in a different manner? What’s pending? What’s going to happen? At this point all these questions are unavoidable because many of the people there already know the kind of news that will be carried when leaving. It is just a matter of time. Damn time, relentless scourge…

When they finally come out to talk to us, they invite us into a tiny quiet office. They don’t want to give us the awful news in that other room, all so white and aseptic, in the presence of other people who are still waiting themselves. They don't want these others to become spectators of our inevitable sorrow, but they are also giving us some privacy to take the blow.
They are kind, careful, they show gentleness & respect. But at the same time they display an amazing clarity & pragmatism. And there we are, backing each other up, swallowing it in. Then we leave like lost souls, out of place, knowing that ahead of us we have a very long, intense & heavy digestion process.

It is still summer outside. The city is celebrating, people are on holidays. I can see life passing by through the car window. I can see the colours and the joy out there and I cannot help but wonder how it is possible that so many people are having a great time when many others are suffering so much in that precise moment. But that’s the thin line that we constantly walk along. That’s the cycle of life and nature’s routine too.

Since then, every time I am celebrating something, whenever I am enjoying myself or having a good time, I send through a thought of love and compassion to all those souls that are waiting in the threshold rooms of the world, wishing that my happiness could touch them somehow in order to make them feel accompanied or to help them lighten their load. From the bottom of my heart I tell them that the pain is coming to stay for quite a while but it will only be a visitor if they wish it to be so. I tell them that one day they will find themselves toasting, as I do, to those who left us to be with us in a different way. We will toast to them, indeed, and to the journey we’ve made since their departure. Then, together again, we will send loving & compassionate thoughts to other souls that always, every minute, are dwelling within that painful wait…

"Time is too slow for those that wait,
Too swift for those that fear,
Too long for those that grieve,
Too short for those who rejoice,
But for those who love, time is Eternity".

Henry Van Dyke

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