Being Dead - Poem by Lonnie Hicks
They came to her to tell her that she was dead-
passed away in her sleep.
But, ' she retorted, this must be a dream
and cannot be so-
I'm not dead-perhaps still asleep.'
'No', they said, 'dead and nothing to be done;
acceptance not denial is what is requiews here.'
She felt her arms and said 'See I am alive, still here.'
'Illusion.' they said The dead always try to keep the illusion of life
because that is all they know
life is gone from you now, the book is closed.
'This is absurd; ' she said 'let me out of here.
I am alive, not dead and gone'
'There is nothing to stop you leaving they said, ' he said 'you can always leave life you understand is but a tree with death as it final branch.
She got up and walked to what looked like a door paused opening it gingerly blinded by a briight white, so she shut it again turning to face again to her interlocutors.
'What is going on where am I? ' she said.
They ignored her whispering among themselves finally facing her, one of them saying;
'We can give special dispensation and perhaps...'
She interrupted him, 'Special dispensation, what is that? '
'Well' he said 'you can go, leave here if you like, but only for three days and if…'
If, if what.' she said.
'in those two days you can walk among the living but they will not be able to see or hear you
and if you can some how communicate with them,
make your self feel alive to them
and they want you to come back,
then you can perhaps go back, go back among the living,
That will be permanent until you die again,
understanding, of course, that in time
we all die.'
Convince them? How can I do that if they cannot hear or see me?
'Well you can go among them, ' one of them explained
'and even though they will not be able to hear or see you,
your spirit will be present and that will be the trigger among them
signaling their desire for your return,
then that might make your return possible.'
'Not see or hear me, ' she said 'but how then will I be able to convince them I am alive? This makes no sense.'
'Oh yes it does. You have to get them to conjure you in their memory, wish you were still alive, remember you fondly,
wish you were still with them after all this time.'
'All this time? ', she said.
How long have I been dead? '
'Well now they said 'it has been over five years now.'
'Five years! ' she said incredulously.
'Yes five years.' he said.
'I know people forget, even loved ones can forget
you after five years, and they go on with their lives.'
'Yes, our point exactly, ' he said, 'then you are not only dead but not remembered, and being not remembered is true death'
Do you want to go, go back
understanding that if you fail,
your death will then be death true final test? '
She paused thinking how hurtful it would be
if she could not get anyone to conjure her memory..
'What happens' she said 'if I succeed and some one remembers me and wants me back? '
'That is the point someone can remember you yourself may not want to come back. That part is important.'
'And, ' he said 'you may not want to go back. If you do go back there might be loved ones who have moved on with their lives.'
'What about my husband, has he moved on? ' she said?
They did not answer.
'We can tell you nothing. These things you will have to find out for yourself.
Some, ' he said 'find out and want to come back here. Each is different-take your time.
She stood thinking about what to do.
To be continued
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