It took me a while to accept the fact that I am dead. You don’t automatically go to heaven when your young son shoots you. I guess I should be glad you don’t automatically go to hell either.
I don’t feel dead though. And it’s not like anyone tells you, “Hey, guess what! You’re dead now!”
I can still see the world I used to live in. Differently though. I can see more. It’s like being in a room with a thousand televisions, each one airing a different show, only I can watch them all at the same time. But just like television characters, the people I watch can’t hear or see me.
But every once in a while, like wind blowing sheer curtains open, the veil between my current world and my past world rustles and shifts. In those times, I can communicate with my past world.
Right after I died, I was able to make phone calls to my husband Rick. He and I didn’t end on the best of terms. Things were getting better though. We just needed more time. There’s never enough time. Not in that world, not in this one either. There was so much I still wanted to say to Rick, to my son Carl…but they couldn’t hear me; even though I was in the same room, it was like they couldn’t see me. But I needed to tell Rick that I love him, that I forgive him. So I called him on the phone, and he answered. The funny thing about that, is phone service is non-existent in his postapocalyptic zombie-infested world. All the phones are dead. Like me. I don’t understand how it works, how I got through. If I did, I would tell you. I do know that this is one of those times. The veil has shifted between you and me, allowing you to get my message.
Listen carefully. My family and my friends are being held captive in a train car by some really weird folks. I think they’re cannibals, but I can’t be sure. I’m not so worried about my family dying, because I personally know death is not to be feared, but it’s not their time yet. Just as I am still here for a reason, they have a reason too, they have to find a cure. You have to help them find the cure. You have to help save humanity.
All you have to do is find Carol. Tell her there are weapons buried outside the gates of “Terminus.” She will be skeptical, but tell her Sophia is with Lori. Tell her Daryl loves her. Tell her to hurry. Tell her Hershel says, “we all have our jobs to do.” Tell her to kiss my daughter Judith. She will believe you. You’re not crazy.
We don’t have much time. I can feel the veil closing.
When you find Rick and Carl, tell them I’m not mad. I’m sorry I was not the wife or mother they wanted me to be. I did my best, and I always, always, loved them. I was not perfect, I know. My final months were a purgatory of sorts–I was torn between two men, one I thought dead and one I had come to love. But just because someone turns out not to be dead, doesn’t mean you stop loving the other person. You don’t stop loving after you die either. I’m dead, but I’m still alive. I’m still here. In another purgatory of sorts, this world between two worlds, this waiting room with a thousand televisions. But I’m still here. Death is not the end. Death is just a doorway taking you into another room.
In this room, there are windows, and I can see you all. I’m here, watching. I’m here, alive. I have so much hope for humanity, so much love for you all.
Maybe it’s love keeping me alive?
Maybe love is the cure.
Tell them. Tell them love is the cure. Tell them I love them. Tell them love never dies. Tell them love…cure…tell them…tell them…love…only love…
This piece was written in collaboration with Words for the Weekend: The Whole World is Haunted Now, Vol. 39. Join us (Cayman Thorn, Mary Pierce, Michelle Terry, Jennie/Diddy/CK Hope, and another piece from yours truly) for a special themed volume in honor of tonight’s Season 5 return of AMC’s The Walking Dead. Many of you may remember we did a similar piece back in February where Cayman and Jennie both shared epic pieces for–my favorite volume of Words ever–Words for the Weekend: The Day the World Went Away, Vol. 16.
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