I tiptoe into Alan’s room.

Propped up on a medical bed, morphine drip at his side, he snoozes gently. Regardless of my caution he senses my presence.

“Take that worry off your face” his now open eyes say.

Truth is I’ve never before sat with a dying body. His is my first.

Tonight, Alan celebrated his last favorite take out; Indian curry (medium hot) followed by mango kulfi.

It was undeniable. The moment he let go trying to get to the bottom of his illness and dropped trying to clear his shame for getting sick, his spirit re-surged as though on steroids.

Shortly after his revival he shared it was his time to leave the world. He realized he no longer needed to stay confined in a body and recognized the cancer was his low swinging chariot coming for to carry him home.

Alan had always been rock solid that who we really are is light and pure consciousness and now, it’s no different. His attitude and energy is joyful.

Even intermittent whole body spasms brought on by failing nerve fibers and depleted muscles cannot prevent him beaming. Literally.

Judy, his beloved, has had to create a schedule for visiting friends, neighbors and their friends who, via the local grapevine, believe his luminous presence is saint-like.

As we chit chat, no matter how reasonable it seems to be upset, I cannot for the life of me hold on to sadness.

Incomprehensibly, I feel uplifted, happy even. If Judy hadn’t slipped in and snapped a photo of the two of us I would not have believed how ecstatic we both looked.

Then, without warning, my body freezes.

Out corner of my eye I see a dark figure. Easily seven feet tall, like Darth Vader of Star Wars, cloaked and ominous.

Unfamiliar with thin spaces, where the veil between this world and the next is thin, my mind scrambles to make sense of what the figure is.

In an out of time moment equal parts shocking and liberating I know the figure is the Angel of Death.

My first thought is to wonder if Alan know’s it’s there.

At which point Alan turns to me and with eyes burning directly into mine silently says “Yes, I know it’s there and there’s nothing to worry about”.

Instantly my muscles and jaw relax. I squeeze a peek at the figure again and feel my heart flood with the feeling; all is well. Rendered helpless it’s even more impossible to feel afraid or sad.

Alan passed three weeks later. It was only after his passing I remembered he said it was his time to leave this world, not that he was going go die.

What Alan showed me is that death is an ending of the body but not an ending of who he is.

Death is a portal for the light of who we are to stream in.

Alan did not die, his body was no longer the best vehicle for his essence. Alan lives on as an injection of light in the play of the world.

I see him (and other beloveds) often, and so might you. Sometimes in the glint of a leaf after a shower, or the twinkle in a strangers eye.

Alan revealed this; death of the body is inevitable. But who we really are is infinite, timeless and endless.

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