This is a story about death, but for once it isn’t one of sadness; of wide-eyed wonder perhaps. Of a possibility which begs a thousand thousand more questions. A doorway we’re all peering through to a mystery we cannot fathom.
Bear with me, because I’m going off the reservation, away from dependable logic and comforting scientific rationalism, and into the subtle, delicious mists of the unseen and unprovable.
A couple of months before I found the tumour in Blaise’s belly, I had a dream. My dreams are usually of the chaotic mishmash variety, but not this one. This was jewel-clear and so sharp I could have cut myself on its edges; more vision than dream.
I dreamed I was my soul, playing the computer game that is my life. Ahead of me the universe spread like a cosmic picnic blanket, dazzling dark and brilliant with stars. I hung suspended, watching this eternal starfield as a single tiny point of light at its center- my avatar, my life- responded to my whispered commands. Just like a computer game.
It avoided obstacles and ran through mazes of light, and dodged whizzing fireflies that would destroy it if they hit. It ‘learned’ as it progressed. Sometimes there were periods of calm, then several obstacles and challenges would arise at once, causing my avatar to twist and dodge to survive. But still, my main awareness was in soul-me playing the game, with only a filament of awareness in the little glowing creature that was my life.
Then I saw a lumbering lozenge of light, tumbing end over end in a perfect trajectory to impact with my tiny whirling sun. In that moment I knew I couldn’t avoid it. There was nothing I could do. Game over.
My first thought was, oh crap, I’m gonna lose this life. But then, instantly, as something I had always known; that’s ok, I get another one. Just like the computer game your mum turns off so you can go to dinner. I get another life, it’s ok. It’s just a game.
The lozenge light-bomb was still arcing toward that little point of light, and then my perspective changed; I whooshed into the viewpoint of life-me, watching this glowing grenade loom large, filling my vision and I filled with panic and gibbering terror.
oshitoshitoshit i’mgonnadie i’mgonnadie I’M GONNA DIE!!!
And then the bomb hit and my life-me vanished and I was no longer constrained by the little blip of form, I was instantly vast and huge, formless, I exploded back into my soul’s consciousness and I was the size of a star, bigger than that, I was as huge as the whole of creation, and the difference between my awareness as that little blip and my real, unbounded self was like the difference between the pixils on your computer screen and you, reading this.
I woke bolt upright, gasping for air, filled with euphoria, my skin fizzing and every cell electric, hanging on to the bed like I was going to fall off. Like I’d just been in freefall, 250km/hr straight down, the wind trying to tear my face off.
ohhhhh myyyyy gooooodddddddd.
And as the dream shattered into waking it did not fade as my dreams do, is still as clear and precise as the moment that light bomb hit and my awareness exploded. It is one of only two dreams in my life that have the quality of Vision.
The thing that stayed with me is how unimaginable the difference was between the consciousness of that little blip and the place from which it came and to which it returned. To have the experince of that in my body means more to me than reading a hundred books or hearing endless talks and theories about death and dying. This knowing came from within me.
I just died, I breathed in wonder. I know what it feels like.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that the physical component of dying is messy and painful, and that wasn’t in my dream. But something profound was, something that changed the way I looked at death.
I know, in my bones, that there is more. How and why and what, I cannot say for sure. Just that there is more.
As a postscript to this story, at the end of that last week in ICU, when it was time to let Blaise go, I scooped her into my arms and we finally turned off the beeping machines and she flew away from that limp body. And as she flew I called out with my whole heart to her. I begged-
-let me SEE you, my love, my dearest heart. let me see what you look like without your body.
I am normally a kinaesthete, I feel the nature of things inside myself; very rarely am I blessed with clear sight. But as she flew I saw what looked like a huge four dimensional snowflake, rippling with facets and planes, radiating blistering energy in all directions, and expanding as I watched.
There you are, I whispered, enraptured. I see you. Thank you.
It was magnificent. Sacred beyond words. And terrifying. The raw power of that towering being was like a forest fire, like a volcano. There were no pretty white feathered wings, there was only shimmering vastness and pure presence and white love to burn me to ash. And yet that was her, as she really was, without that little body to hold her in any more. That was her going back to where she came from. Unbounded.
I haven’t felt to share that experience until now, because it felt so private, so sacred. But the dream and that image of her keeps coming back to me, along with the urge to reveal this part of my journey, so here it is. No logic, just the simple truths of my heart and body. I feel strangely vulnerable but peaceful, and in the telling of this I have reconnected with her vast presence, and my own, and I know that everything is truly, beautifully, ok.