|Mystic Portal by James Aschbacher. What lies beyond?|
Then, one morning, she wakes up to hear her husband in the shower, warbling away as if nothing has happened.
I don't think I'm in that movie.
Brendan Fraser stars in another movie as an underground cartoonist in a coma who goes on a series of wild adventures with the nutty characters teeming inside his brain in a desperate effort to manifest some kind of visible brain activity before his grieving wife can be talked into pulling the plug. Finally, at the last possible second, he succeeds.
I'm not in that movie either.
(Although it's delightful to think of my Art Boy in some unknowable limbo, cavorting with the creatures of his imagination — pink bunnies, hula kitties, and all!)
I'm not expecting James to start talking to me through Whoopi Goldberg, or pouring me nips of bubbly like George and Marian Kirby in the old Topper TV series. (Although that would be just like him!)
And I can't quite imagine him perched broodingly on a rooftop somewhere, gazing down at the bustle of human activity below, like Bruno Ganz in Wings of Desire.
James never brooded!
So what do I imagine instead?
I don't know.
No one knows what lies beyond the mystic portal after you leave this life. Way smarter minds than mine have grappled with this question, and they don't know any more about it than I do.
Friends and family of a Christian nature tell me that God called James early because He needed some laughter around the place. But it's difficult for me to think of my Art Boy draped in a sheet, playing a harp, joining the Heavenly Host.
Besides, I wasn't done with James yet. Couldn't God have waited His turn?
Some Eastern cultures believe that soul mates journey endlessly through time, living out entire new lifetimes — from infancy to old age, over and over again — hoping to meet up with each other again. But reincarnation seems like an awfully long and arduous process to me.
(I mean, who wants to keep going through the eighth grade?)
I recently caught up with Coco, in which a living child crosses the bridge into the land of the dead to find a non-stop party going on — feasts, flowers, mariachi bands, the works!
But there's an expiration date for the dearly departed. If the time ever comes that no one alive remembers them, the party's over: they vanish forever. The child has to get back to the land of the living in time to honor his ancestor on the Dia de los Muertos altar so he won't be forgotten.
That's is my idea of an afterlife — music, food and fun! A place where the beloved departed are kept eternally alive by the memories of everyone who loved them.