A kind acquaintance of mine passed away recently, and I’ve been thinking about him. We’ll call him Dewy. He came to visit me today, to say this:
In Korea, there was a time when I thought I could see the spirits / ghosts of my dead comrades. One was my (best friend, shows me two fists clamped together in strength and assistance.) He whispered “DOWN!” in my ear, and I nearly shit my pants! I ducked – more to get away from this cold whisper in my ear than because I heard the command, but I avoided a flying rock/ shard / some shit – saved my life (chuckle)
A ghost saved my life. This is why I always considered the rest of my life, (45 more years) to be “bonus time”. Because if it weren’t for my buddy, I *know* I would have died.
I thought of him as my “angel” ever since. I didn’t talk that much about it. I just knew it. I would sit in church with my family at Christmas service, and think about the holy spirit – my dead friend – he was *my* holy ghost.
He had my back, just as we’d promised. Even after he died, he still took care of me.
It’s this sort of camaraderie, brotherhood, that only happens when you’re in a life-threatening situation.
When I think about how fucked up Korea was, Viet Nam and the Gulf Wars, all that Insanity, I know, remember that this moment – this gift of 45 years and living my life as a gift for 45 years – could not have happened *without* Korea. So maybe in there somewhere, you can make some sense of war and why we do it.
I lived my life as a blessing – every fuckin’ day. “I’m still here, I’m still here. Thank you God for another day.” Even the shittiest days (at a funeral) I still said that to myself, in my head and out loud (eulogy) – let us all be grateful for the gift of one more day.
This is why I wasn’t afraid of dying, even though I was afraid of losing my dignity. This is why I loved my last days (in palliative care) – because even with these pretty young nurses flushing my colon, (just like the Korea hospital!) I NEVER lost my dignity.
I thank you for talking to me, dear. Dewy.