It was a week after her funeral, and I was sitting on a rock next to Susan’s pond and crying when she came to me. I had wandered down to the pond because I had some fear running through my mind that fuelled my anxiety, and I wanted to be close to Susan. It was well above 25 degrees so I took off my shirt and walked barefoot down the paths to the meditation stone she had placed there years ago. I removed my shorts and sat bare butt on the mossy stone. It was cooler than I expected. I startled two peeper frogs as I arrived, and they hopped into the water. I took off my glasses and things went soft.
I sat looking out at the pond and the trees and listening to whatever sounds presented themselves. In my stillness, one of the little frogs jumped out of the water and sat on the edge of the pond. Without my glasses I could not really get a good look at it. We sat together, both of us still and quiet. Images and memories of Susan began sifting in. I closed my eyes, and allowed my limited meditation practice to take over. Deep waves of sadness began rising in my body. A fierce longing for Susan accompanied it. And I guess somewhere in that sadness and longing, the fear of the future without her startled me. I began to cry, and then intense feelings of loneliness fell upon me, and my cries turned to sobs.
And then, for the second time since her death, she came to me. She walked out of the woods from around the pond and approached me. She was smiling, her long brown hair shimmering in the sunlight, her slim, plum-coloured dress moving side to side across her hips. My crying continued and my head hung down. She stood next to me and took my head in her hands, running her fingers through my hair. This was something she did often when comforting me. I felt my arms around her thighs even though they hung at my sides. I embraced her and I could feel her strong legs. I conveyed my fears about the future to her, about the unknown whereabouts I was headed to, how much I counted on her wisdom and love, how much in that very moment I needed her to take care of me. It may have been the most vulnerable moment I had felt in all my years with Susan. And then, quite simply and soothingly, she told me I was going to be okay. And my whole body became enveloped by tiny tingles, somewhere between goose bumps and the sensation of a limb reawakening after it has gone to sleep. It was brief, but completely head to toe. I couldn’t help but smile and chuckle because the feeling was almost like a tickle. I sensed she had many things to do and she couldn’t spend much more time with me (the afterlife seemed just as busy as her regular life). But I had already been so filled with her love that I didn’t mind her leaving. I went to thank her, and she put her finger to my lips. Shhh. And this part, I am not sure, but I feel as though she was thanking me, or perhaps reminding me that these are just the things that lovers do for one another. Then she stepped away, around the pond, under the oak tree, and looked back at me. It was the same look, the same smile she gave me when she caught me looking at her as I was falling in love with her at the backyard party in 2012. And there I was, my face wet and salty, sitting bare butt on a mossy stone, and suddenly not so alone anymore. She vanished around a bending path of wild flowers and trees. I stayed for a while, sitting with the little peeper frog, both of us content with each other’s company and in the stillness of the pond.