(#3 on Jason's list will be the most difficult. I still need some time to think it through. In the meantime I thought I'd share something else. As you know, my recent vacation was for the purpose of writing. I've been thinking there is enough distance from October '05 for me to have good perspective, but it's still fresh enough for me to feel it-- making it a perfect time to write a bunch of stuff about Kyle's death and my life (and the life of our church) since. The following is a short chapter...)
Ben appeared in the doorway with the hospital chaplain. He asked if I wanted to see Kyle’s body. I said yes and was escorted by the chaplain and my friend Carol, who had arrived shortly before. There were hundreds of people in the waiting room from all over town, and I felt their eyes on me, as my slow movement toward the ER parted the crowds.
The metal doors opened and I told Carol I wanted to go in by myself.
The chaplain walked me through a short corridor to the room, holding on to my arm to steady my gait. She told me there would be some hosptial staff in the room and prepared me for what I sould see. She opened the door and on the table, wrapped in white sheets up to his neck, was Kyle’s body.
Guttural cries. The word no. Dizziness. Screaming.
I am a very composed person but I showed no composure in that room.
I would never claim to know all the specifics about what happens when you die, but I buy into the line of thinking that says your spirit leaves your body and sticks around a little while longer before it goes to the next place. I have no scripture or theological constructs to flesh this out, but all I could feel in that room was the great big fact that Kyle was there and that he was leaving.