Moment That Everything Changed Forever
Death is a disembodied abstraction until one is in its awful physical presence and incarnation. Only then does one confront its ultimate horrifying finality beyond all human comprehension and realms of meaning.
The moment that changed my life forever was the sudden, fatal heart attack in our home of my wife Elaine and soulmate of thirty-five years. My adult son first noticed her slumped over in the bathroom and urgently called out "Something's wrong with mom!" That piercing "cry" along with the mental picture of her there and later on the gurney when I had to kiss her pale, lifeless face in a final good-bye have been indelibly etched on my consciousness and very being forever.
All that remains now are dimming images of what once was. The only stay against this encroaching nothingness is love, perhaps best memorialized in the final lines of Browning's poem "Love Among the Ruins" : "For whole centuries of folly, noise and sin/Shut them in/With their triumphs and their glories and the rest/Love is best."