The last exit

DEATH: The last exit.

IT wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Surely I should have been blissfully unaware of my surroundings and oblivious to what was going on around me.

But, after strolling through reception I wandered at will around tastefully furnished funeral rooms set aside for reflection.

Here and there were well-kept facilities useful to those yet to shrug off their mortal coil.

A pleasant receptionist enquired if there was any way she might be of assistance. I told her yes but better on the next occasion.

Today, I had decided that rather than wait for my last exit I would visit Torrevieja’s modernistic ASV Grupo tanatorio.

After all, on occasion of my next visit to the city’s funeral home my spirit would be elsewhere.

Within moments of my passing my conscious self would drift to pastures new.

Like evaporating steam which changes only in form my spirit will be blown by chance or by fate; its seeds will pollinate a future life form.

Celts believe mortal death is rebirth. As Spartacus loftily declared, ‘I am no more fearful of death than I was of birth.’

On the occasion of my visit my legs carried me; on the next occasion the legs of others will bear my remains into one of the two beautiful chapels.

One well laid out sanctuary is for those who prefer a Christian send-off. The smaller is for those whose faith is ambiguous or at least not of the Christian calling.

In case I forget to mention it I prefer the former.

“Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything has remained exactly as it was.

“I am I, and you are you, and the life that we lived so fondly together is untouched and unchanged.

“Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.

“Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

“Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, and pray for me. Let my name be the household word it always was.

“Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.

“Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolutely an unbroken continuity.

“What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner, waiting for you.”

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