"While I have written many stories and have had numerous books published over the past twenty five years, occasionally I come across a few notes of a story I planned to write at a future date, but had somehow overlooked. Please allow me share a few snippets of a story that I once intended to write. but never got around to doing so. The story isn't about me and the love of my life, Sheila, but it could so easily have been.
I will never forget the day I fell asleep in the corn field alone after a traumatic break-up with my first love. I cried myself to sleep, not knowing that a few yards away to my left another person had done the same for similar reasons. We instantly laughed when we woke up and saw each other close by sharing similar circumstances.
We went for a coffee and shared our worries and woes with the new stranger in our lives. Ironically, we discovered that we'd always lived very close to each other and had no doubt passed each other on the street from time to time. Further conversation between us revealed how close we were in need, values, interests and characteristics; much more than any two strangers were ever meant to be and still remain strangers.
Two years down the line we married and our lives remained blissful and unmarred for the next twenty two years until one dark Tuesday in the month of January, when at the height of our happiness I learned that I'd contracted a terminal illness. To tell my sweetheart the bad news was the hardest thing I'd ever had to do in my life as over the years we'd come to depend upon each other as only true loves ought. Upon hearing it, she cried on my shoulder and although I comforted her, inwardly I felt angry to have been robbed of years of future happiness we'd planned to share.There were also all those precious plans that had been spoken of often about things remaining for us yet to do before we retired gracefully into old age and the comfort of our rocking chairs.
We managed with some difficulty to positively apply ourselves to the difficult months ahead prior to one of us sadly having to leave this life. The night before I died, we cuddled in front of the open fire in the sitting room with a blanket draped around my shoulders and we just talked and talked of happier days when we were much lighter of foot and heavier of earthly desires. Though we both knew that death was an imminent visitor to all in our lives, neither of us feared it any longer and only resented it because it would temporarily part us.
When the time came for me to depart this life on earth, my body was warmed by that last kiss that passed between us as loving man and wife. Then as my final breath softly left my body and touched her tearful cheeks, I sensed a sad stillness of loss reign in her heart and soul as her bright eyes watered up and sunk in pain.
Mere minutes after my passing, although all of her emotional strength had been drained from her body, she knew that she'd need to organize certain things during the immediate hours and days ahead. So she thoughtfully put all her remaining crying to one side until these things had been done. Funeral arrangements swiftly followed my earthly departure and on the day of my burial, the earth seemed to open up for both man and wife as one was laid to rest while the other remained above soil.
Although greatly loved and comforted by her enlarged family of brothers and sisters she had inherited upon her marriage, she nevertheless felt that she alone would be left to carry the crucifixion of heavy loss during many lonely days and nights ahead, especially in the coldness of her bed.
Paradoxically, it was with great relief some two months after her husband's funeral that the grief-struck widow learned that she too had contracted a serious illness that would prove terminal if left untreated. She was informed that certain treatment would in all likelihood delay the inevitable outcome, but she declined with a smile that the consultant found difficult to comprehend.
Five months after the death of her husband the widow also died and was placed alongside her husband in their joint grave plot. Earlier arrangements had been made for each coffin to be laid side-by-side and not one above the other as is usually customary. At the top of the grave site a joint headstone was constructed that simply read, 'I'm in the middle, lost in the spin of loving you.'
In the years that followed, the grave of man and wife was maintained by the kindness of nature plus an underground landslip which resulted in the two coffins colliding with force and bringing the contents of each closer together; offering the couple their eternal embrace of love. They had first met side-by-side in the corn field and had moved closer in their affections every day since.
Beneath the ground they embraced as they had always done at the start and end of every day until the time came when they were eventually re-united in spirit and soul, trapped within their heaven of contentment for the rest of eternity." William Forde: October 25th, 2014.