The View from a Drawbridge

The random musings of a bridgetender with entirely too much time on her hands.

When my boyfriend, Chuck Guerra, passed away on Monday, it wasn’t the first time. He died several times on the table 25 years ago during brain surgery. So this time he knew exactly where he was going.

Naturally I was devastated. I still am. I can’t imagine a time when I won’t be. But at the same time I know he is at peace because he has gone to “the other place”. That’s what he always called it.

He told me all about the other place on several occasions. He said that when he was there he felt an unbelievable connection to every single person that he loved, both living and dead. There was no anger, no pain, no worry, no sadness, no fear, only joy and freedom and pure love.

He said that while he was there, he only had to think of a place and he would instantly be there. He could learn anything he wanted to learn and know anything he wanted to know. He said classes would always start just when you arrived, because time isn’t linear like it is here.

And he could talk to animals. He remembered playing with a giant dragonfly and a bear. Here, he was often visited by butterflies to an unusual degree, and he considered them messengers from the other place.

At the end of that visit 25 years ago, a man sat him down and said, “You can stay here if you want, or you can go back. It’s up to you. But I will tell you that you’re going to have this for all eternity. You only get a little bit of that.” So Chuck, having young children at the time, decided to come back. He loved them so much he felt he had to.

But he always missed the other place, and he said he wasn’t afraid of dying. He also looked at every day here on earth as a gift, and one that you only get a little bit of. He used to say, “You have been given a perfectly good day. What will you do with it?”

I feel lost without Chuck, but I know he doesn’t feel lost. He knows exactly where he is, and that place is good. Somewhere, he’s playing with giant dragonflies and knowing whatever he wants to know.

Rest in peace, my love. Breathe easy.

I leave you now with a poem that my dear cousin Karen shared with me.

Death is Nothing at All
By Henry Scott Holland

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to 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. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
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.

All is well.


[Image credit:]

16 thoughts on “The Other Place

  1. Doug says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing the rawest moment.

  2. Carole says:

    How lovely, loving and fitting, But mostly a step toward healing. A beautiful tribute to the man he was and to your love for him.

    1. I still have an overwhelming number of steps to go. But thank you.

  3. Most moving post ever… and I am strangely now not afraid of death…

    1. Well, then I’ve accomplished something monumental and I’m flattered.

  4. I am so sorry for your loss. Your words were beautiful and gave me a sense of peace knowing my son is at peace in heaven.

  5. leah in NC says:

    This makes me feel a little better about his death. The world has lost someone who gave more than he took. Thank you for sharing this. May your healing road be full of comforting friends…

    1. That’s so true. A more giving man I have never met. Thanks, Leah.

  6. Vicky says:

    Yes, YES!!! he was there, i did not know that. You see, its as I told you! I am so happy you know that from him firsthand. You will need some time to absorb this, unless you don’t. Love and hugs…..

    1. Yes, he was there, and he was happy there. I’ll probably need the rest of my life to absorb this, but he is happy, so it’s doable.

  7. turtle says:

    This poem is lovely…I’ve experienced 3 deaths of people who are missed in 3 months. There was a shift in the world…The poem is a comfort. Wishing you peace as you process the shift in your world. sending light…
    PS…the universe works in interesting ways…for reasons I don’t remember you are listed with your blog on my home page for SL…maybe just there so I could find your blog? 🙂

    1. That’s fascinating. I have no idea why I’d be there, but I’m glad you found me if it brings you comfort. Thanks for the light. I need all I can get.

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