I never wanted to be here, seeing you grieve, leaving so many behind. We were about to close on our dreamhouse in the suburbs. Letters arrived confirming my death, discussing insurance options, expressing condolences, “comforting” newspaper clippings and pretty pictures. There was no comfort, no closure for anyone. I pleaded to return, to go back in time and see things reversed…
On the far side of a bridge everyone was walking backwards. It was a beautiful day. Flowing with the crowd, I too found myself walking backwards rapidly with great ease I never thought possible. Looking over my shoulder there were smoldering heaps of rubble and horror on the faces of countless people. There were no joggers this day. Still, I did not understand, but kept looking back, straining my neck. Caught up in the crowd, there was no time to stop.
A tower began to grow out of the rubble, then another. I began to recognize buildings, the skyline and people I know. Reaching the other side of the bridge there were people bringing pretzels to a cart. A man gave them money in return. It was a constant strain to look back, to understand what happened – what was happening. I saw people running backwards towards me, touching my body in the stairwell, but how could this be? Others raced up the stairs all going backwards to the office. The flow of time seemed to speed up. (It was my desire) There were sightings of my self at various points in life. It was somehow comforting to go back, see my wedding day, my lovely bride and family, various celebrations, graduation from the academy, college, my mom and dad, birthdays, – I was so much younger, but it wasn’t “me” anymore. It was a surreal vision of times past where I could stop and gaze at the path I trod at any point in time, remembering emotions, loving faces, wonderful places. Several years back, I had to beg for the vision to stop.
It was a beautiful sunny day in the park. My bride-to-be and I were having a picnic on a hillside looking out at the Twin Towers, admiring the view and the wonder of living in New York. We observed their construction day by day. My heart was filled with joy unlike anything experienced before. I am in a better place right now. It was kind that the Spirit led me back. I see lessons from the past. Time will come when we will all be together in a better place. I can no longer bear to go back. Please continue the journey for me. It’s different for each of us. Celebrate life. Someday, we will meet beyond the river.