Tuesday, 15 March 2011

I'll meet you on the other side

I stepped out of a darkened hospital corridor into bright sunlight and the smell of flowers. I squinted briefly, adjusting the amount of light piercing my eyes, and saw them  all standing there.

In an orderly row, shoulder to shoulder, they were all there. All the ones who have left me during a lifetime of happiness  interspersed with sadness. All the ones who, for some reason, are no longer on this side.

They all looked exactly as they did the last time I saw them. Unaltered by time and bereft of all traces of the illnesses or injuries that claimed their lives.

They had not aged, not since their departure date anyway. The old and frail shuffled forward to greet me with open arms, slowly and steady, but with no signs of discomfort. The young ones were just as I remembered, full of energy and eager to get the greeting over and done with. They would stay young forever. A kind of reward for their early departure.

Grandad Jaime was first to speak.

'Hello engineer, lovely to see you'  (my nickname due my childhood habit of dismantling all appliances in my quest to find out how everything worked)

Grandad looked sublime. Crisp stylish clothes, perfectly tailored. Shoes immaculately buffed to a high sheen and trilby slightly to one side.

I smiled back, unable to speak, overcome with emotion.

Paulo strolled over, in his vest and fatigues, wellies caked in mud, bringing me a cold beer and the latest CD he picked up from HMV.

" Hey Giuseppi, nice to see you bro"

Paulo's smile was warm and kind. His glossy brown eyes reflected sadness and pity. He seemed aware of the pain left in his wake.

Danny followed, smiling shyly, holding a paperback to his chest. He seemed apologetic, as if sorry for leaving so early and unexpected. Sorry for not keeping in regular contact with mum and the rest of us while on his travels across the globe.

And  Michael Finn was there, smiling broadly and about to say something funny. He always had something to say and always something funny.

Joe Santos, Helena Pereira, Uncle Pepe, Granny and many others. All the ones who have gone and taken a part of me with them, were there also.

I was delighted to see them. I could say all the things I didn't say while they were around. I could tell them how much I miss them and how painful it was to say goodbye. I could tell them how much I love them.

But then I thought of all the others still around. The ones here and now. The ones I don't want to loose. The ones on this side.

It is painful here, but it would be just as painful on the other side.



  1. I love this post, short but toutching, it has everything needed. I have thought about the same thing many times, how much I miss the people I've lost but also how much I would miss the ones who are still here. This is good writing!

  2. Thank you Malin for your kind words.

  3. It is really strange that I find myself here tonight. I don't know how it happen but I am pretty sure that someone from the other side is trying to touch my heart. I have spent this day feeling very sad. In the past four years I have lost two of my best friends of 41 years and 38 years. My precious father, my favorite grandmother and my two beautiful and old Great Danes. My heart is so heavy sometimes I can barely breath. Today was one of those days. I have cried today, never got dressed today and felt really sorry for myself today. Then I got on the computer and did a search for Surrey England and got here somehow. Who knows......is that the twilight zone theme I hear playing in the back ground? After reading your post it got me thinking about what each one would say if they somehow turned up here tonight. It made me smile and I even laughed out loud once. And then I started thinking about all the ones that I am so blessed to have here with me. With me right now. So I am going to bed now feeling really blessed. Thank you for your words. You have touched me. I will be back and check out the rest of your site. God Bless you Joe Pereira..... Pam

  4. Thank you Pam, it means a lot to me :)

  5. Sweet and sad... Beautiful and profound... Honest and touching.