Some can say, or feel they can say, what death is like. Generalizing all my references ranging across "back from the dead" eye witness accounts to the harrowing words of Dante's Inferno, I've gathered this is what death might feel like:
I lie there. I'm peacefully aware that there is now separation from my soul in the spiritual world and my body in the physical world. People surround me. I can hear their voices and see flashes of their faces searching for me, but I do not respond. A white light glowing overhead seems to call me from my stupor.
Wait, no. I'm at the dentist's office.
Angels welcome me to Heaven's gate. [Beyonce's voice is heard somewhere above my head, streaming from an XM radio station.] Jesus strolls through the golden streets on his Segway to check out who's on the scene.[Image inspired by humming from the equipment behind me.] I'm on stage surrounded by my screaming fans [screaming drill] for an all out, no inhibitions, dance craze madness [thank you, nitrous].
I'm terrified of the dentist. Maybe I watched Little Shop of Horrors at the wrong juncture in my childhood. Whatever the case, this little experiment of Me + Drugs + Making Parallel Heaven and this Dental Hell of Mine = Peace thing would only work as the cheap trick that it was for so long before I would have to turn to another focal point.
So, I imagined that my husband was at the side of the chair with me, holding my hand. I thought about all the things that are tied up in the simple act of us holding hands.
A solitary tear escaped the corner of my right eye, rolled down my temple, and buried itself into my hair that lay on the stiff, plastic chair.
Today, I am celebrating four years of life shared with my husband! In these past four years, I've learned so much about love, what it is and what it isn't. I've witnessed clashes of passion and pangs of disappointment, memories unfolded and frustration dissolved. I've received gentleness, compassion, forgiveness, and truth.
Most of all, I've been given an intimate understanding of what it means to receive Christ's love. My husband, more than my Mom, my friends, or my sister, knows deeply my faults and failings [as well as all my lovely attributes]. My husband sees and knows such a fullness of me, and yet he holds my hand.
Some can say, or feel they can say, what marriage is like.
My marriage hasn't been a walk through gumdrop forest where my husband says, "Sweetie Pie. Look up! There's a unicorn flying across that rainbow!"
I won't tell you what marriage is like. Maybe you are prancing around gumdrop forest. I will say this. I'd take all the conflict and difficulty and fear-inducing visits to the dentist's office this world has to offer if it means I get to hold my husband's hand through it all.