Spirit in the Sky
by Linda Casper
The mourners dispersed from the graveside in groups of twos and threes. They paused to pay their condolences to the family, some shaking hands and others kissing and hugging. I couldn’t hear their words of comfort but imagined that they included such phrases as sadly missed and will be remembered and had a good, long life; all of which were perfectly true. I watched the family make their way along the path and I hoped that there would be no regrets for deeds done or not done, just good memories to reflect upon and their lives to live.
It was time for me to leave too, I supposed. I wasn’t prepared for this at all. How could I be? Maybe I should be making my way to the Pearly Gates, but I had no sense of direction when I was alive so I had no chance of finding my way now as a spirit, if indeed that is what I am. Is it correct to say “I am” if I am no longer, if I don’t actually exist? I tried to take stock of how I was feeling and realised it was just that what was missing. Feeling. Without my old body there were no aches and pains, nor was I experiencing any anxiety. I didn’t feel hungry, thirsty or tired. Time was irrelevant. Perhaps my spirit would just drift along in this way for eternity.
I had never believed in the concept of heaven or hell. Nor had I had subscribed to that school of thought that your spirit would enter another form of life, but it gave me something to ponder while I still could. I wouldn’t wish to be reincarnated as a human and go through all those stages before you felt comfortable in your own skin; falling in and out of love, swotting for exams and dealing with teenage children. Neither did I fancy coming back as any form of animal. I just wanted to continue floating aimlessly towards the glow of light up ahead.
“I think she’s back with us” said a voice I didn’t recognise.
I wanted to ask where I was and with whom but no words escaped me.
“You’ve been in an accident and you’re in hospital. Can you tell me how you’re feeling?”
Actually, I couldn’t. I’d been given a taste of freedom and now it would seem I was back to dealing with the struggles of everyday life. Would that seem ungrateful to the hospital staff?
Richard Edwards has a BFA in Creative Writing and Journalism from Bowling Green State University and an M.S. in Education from the University of Akron. Managing editor of Drunk Duck, poetry editor for Prairie Margins, reporter for Miscellany, Akron Journal, Lorain Journal, and The BG News. He has also worked as a professional writer and editor in the medical publishing industry for several years. For the last 15 years Richard has also taught literature and writing at the secondary and post-secondary levels. He works much of the time with at-risk students.