You know when the phone rings and it’s passed to you with the whispered words of who’s calling? You know how your stomach clenches and you think “Please God – don’t let this be that kind of call” – and yet it is and still you keep the receiver pressed against your ear as you stare blankly in front of you.
And suddenly there are images flashing through your brain as you listen to the messenger crying in your ear. They are images of a life that has been connected to yours and all you want to see are the good ones – the ones that made you smile and you can hear that person’s voice and it touches you deep inside and it draws out a memory.
And suddenly you can’t breathe or even catch your breath because there’s something in your throat that wasn’t there before the phone rang. Something that is hard and so huge it blocks your throat and hurts – burns. And suddenly you gasp and the hot tears pour down your face and you can’t talk or even whisper. You are left gasping at air like a dying goldfish and your hands grab blindly for the chair you know is somewhere behind you.
And suddenly there are no words – just a mutual crying across the telephone lines.
And on the other end of the phone – the messenger is living their own kind of hell. The one of bewilderment and loss – the one that knows the message must be passed on. The one that each time the telephone is picked up and the numbers punched in, that there is the knowledge that once again the heart must be ripped apart and the wound is going to grow bigger. There is the small hope that this isn’t real, even though you know it is. And there is the hope that too many questions won’t be asked because at the moment you just don’t know how to answer them – it is just too soon.
And on the other end of the line there is the knowledge that the torch has been passed and it is now an unspoken request that the message must be passed on.
The new messenger picks up the phone and punches in the numbers – aware that when the phone is lifted on the other end that the cycle will begin again and that more hearts will sigh and more tears be shed.
Goodbye dear one. Rest gently.