Pat wrote in her diary, “I think I can face anything if Eric is by my side.” That is love; it is two being one. Pat wrote in one of my favourite poems (12th Anniversary poem) that she knew me, every inch of me and I was all hers alone: “ I know the scent and shape of you; / I know you all, yet not at all. / I linger with a connoisseur’s delight / over a contour of bone, a texture of skin, / gloating over treasures of silk and ivory / that are mine alone, and yet no-one’s but yours….” A “me” existed deep within that was mine alone and sometimes startled her “when, reaching out in haste, I find / the stranger self behind your eyes….” That stranger emerged from deep within me. She had such a room within as well; she had to withdraw into herself to be alone at times but did not like to be alone at night in the darkness. When we were apart, we both needed the other and waited by the elevator for the other as she often did in the hospital for me when I was late. That is why I know she is waiting by the gates of Heaven and within me to hold my hand when my time comes by Grace, to join her there.
When someone you love dies and you are in great pain there is really nothing your love can say or do except hold you close. Your love needs you to be there for her holding her together, loving her. That is love. That is embracing, touching, being one and just being there for one another hand in hand, cheek to shoulder. You just feel the Presence of each other. We know each other through feeling each other’s presence within, through participation in each other’s sorrow and love, through communion. It is not her or me as single entities though each plays a part. It is being what we are, being one, feeling the presence of the other in our oneness.
I do not know what I know, just that it is her presence that is part of my “I am” that shows the way. Love is voluntarily placing yourself in the other, becoming one and becoming conscious of that oneness, of being transformed by that presence. We are no longer matter but energy that vibrates by the oneness of love. Love continues because it is outside time and space. We, the one we became in marriage, is part of, in the image of the “I am what I am.” We are created in the image of God. Faith is having gone beyond the earthly “I”. By Grace, our one becomes part of the essential One – God and us. There is no before, no after, there is only forever. God is Love. To die in Love is to be the “I am who I am” – One with God! Pat wrote: “…tears, like stones against the glass, / bite bitterer than summer’s velvet rain. / The green blood bleaches from the tattered hill, / the red from wrinkled cheeks; he thinks of pain, / of icy sleep. Then takes up hope again, / recalls the Resurrection, and is still.”