I speak to You each night. Don’t know your face, but I sense
your presence. My body screams with pain. I’m that
horrific creature in Munch’s The Scream. Yes,
that dark ghost of a ghost screaming into
the whirling, swirling
Most of the time, I can tolerate this agony. When I can’t,
I take one painkiller late at night. Sometimes, I need
the pill only once a month. Yet there are times,
I need it every night. My doctor says I’ve
got episodes of intolerable pain.
I suppose so.
And my heart is weak too. Periodically, my high blood
pressure sails out of control, docking in a bay
of human debris, a wet wasteland of
death and decay.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I desperately crave life,
the rhythmic breaths of hope and creation,
holy inhalations and exhalations,
the metaphysical mysteries
of Being and
In my darkest moments, I still cling to Eros,
my life force. I’m not ready to say
goodbye. Don’t wish to leave
this strange universe,
not now, perhaps,
Of course, I know I can’t stay here forever.
It’s just a wish, a fantasy, not reality.
But I’ve got books to write and
patients to save and heal.
I need more time to
I must confess that I’m terrified of death.
Occasionally, I’m curious too.
Sometimes, I believe in
G-d and an afterlife.
But I also fear
that death is
This is my ultimate wish. At the end of my
life, whenever that is, and I don’t want
to know the exact date and time,
I want Death to visit and
soothe me; I wish to
leave the earth
goodbye with dignity and inner peace.
I ask Death to visit me several
times before the final moment.
I ask Death to soothe my
soul. I ask that She
come as a little
girl or boy,
abandoned. She will beg me to hold her.
Like a good father, I will rescue her
from her darkest fears. I will
hold and rock her and
soothe her troubled
When I have forgotten all my horrific
fears and my only concern is the
welfare of this poor child, I
will let go of life; slowly,
painlessly, I will let go.
She will kiss me on my forehead and
gently hold me too. At peace,
I will travel to another
place. Without fear,
I shall be very