The time for pretending was now over: her gaunt face lying on the pillow, eking out her final breaths, Madelaine our only child, sleeping quietly in my arms, too young to watch her mother’s presence living out its final throw.
“Love again,” my dear wife told. “Do not become a hermit for me, I want for you the warmth and laughter I will soon cease to feel. Love for me and face life bravely, feel me standing by your side. I have loved and love you always, but from this truth we cannot hide. Life is cruel, inconsequential: takes no account of what we are. Be happy for me always darling, take me with you on your journey, and laugh the silence from my grave.”
“Take me with you to the sunrise, walk with me upon the heath, teach our child to ride a cycle and play with her upon the beach. In time you too will need some comfort, do not hide away from love. Mine is yours to hold forever, free from cost or limitation, give it to the girl you meet. Know that as you stoop to kiss her, I shall strive to smile and bless her: some sweet soul who brings you comfort, my one, my true ungainly Knight. Death, we know, brings little comfort, but in your thoughts and this sweet child, now living passing urgencies, might I come to life again, brought to mind by some hand gesture, recollected in a phrase?
Celebrate the moment darling; hold it to your breast till death. You and I, who found each other, wrapped our lives around each other, must now go our separate ways, but in this moment let us treasure, all that you have been to me.
Remember how I love you dearly, accept our fate with dignity. The flame which is your gentle spirit, lit the world in which I lived. Let my love remain within you, and guide your steps as best I may.”
Her words are all I have to treasure, living now as if by order, and so I tell my only daughter, “She was a wonder lent by angels, who smiled and gave me hope in life. You are all I have of her, but in your eyes I see her presence, and somehow as you run towards me, arms outstretched in urgent summons, I find again my own sweet darling, reaching out to life once more.”