When the moment of crossover occurred, it came as a bit of a shock.
He expected the lights of the palliative care ward to fade into darkness and all cognizance of life disappear. He would become nothing as he believed there was nothing to go to.
So as the lights around him faded and he slipped away from human life, it came as a surprise when another light took its place.
His first thought was its just happening in my head, my brain is trying to stay in the world and fooling me into thinking I am still there.
Then he realized he didn’t have a brain as such so wondered what it was that was happening to him.
It wasn’t as if he wanted to live forever nor did he have any definite quarrel with death, after all in his final months, life had been crap, confined to a bed with tubes stuck in him, family fussing about and doctors doing what they do to make him ‘comfortable’ as they liked to put it.
He was glad it was all over and had made his wishes known prior to all the incapacity that had taken place.
He didn’t believe in an afterlife, life ended, full stop, and there was only the problem of disposing of his dead self that was an issue for those entrusted with the task.
But there was something going on he hadn’t anticipated. There was a light, and it shone brightly. There was a road, and it led in one direction, flat for the moment, but then there appeared to be some fork in it, and he wondered if Robert Frost had seen this before he wrote: “The Road Less Taken”. He grinned to himself in thinking such a thought at a time like this.
One thing was for sure, the crossover was painless. It just happened like he stepped from one world into another. As it was, he couldn’t have tolerated any pain as he’d had enough of that in life. What a way to end it all he thought, stuffed with drugs that left you half awake and so drowsy you forgot where you were, who was there and if they were, in truth you didn’t give a damn about them.
He regretted that for death was a very selfish thing, you had to do it alone, you might feel someone was holding your hand, but it was just you and the prospect of not seeing tomorrow.
This new world was different, the light was welcoming, it urged you on, he discovered he could walk without pain, no muscle weariness and he didn’t feel thirsty.
When he reached the crossroad, there was a man standing there watching him approach. Above him was a sign, one way pointing to the right, the other left.
His first thought was to reach for his glasses but then realized he hadn’t brought them with him. The sign to the right said: “All Things Bright”. The sign to the left said: “All Things Maybe Bright”.
He looked at the man watching him and asked him if it made any difference which way he went.
“The crossover requires a decision,” said the man, “it’s the only one you’ll have to make.” The man was indifferent in how he spoke, and so the course of his deliberation was merely an uneducated guess.
He chose right, and the man pointed the way ahead.
As he headed off, he heard the man say: “It’s all a matter of you playing your part in the universe, it’s expanding so we need people like you to service it.”
Having no idea what any of that meant, the man stepped forward into the unknown.