It wasn’t dark, it was black, it wasn’t cold, it was bitter. It wasn’t that I felt cold, more that I was cold. The very existence of cold, s’funny, I thought, in death I am merely a thought floating round in the infinity of eternal cold, that’s all a little disappointing. I remember thinking, and then I heard another spirit-voice, why? It was Dave, he was dead also and we were in the same spot in the vastness of infinity, what a co-incidence?! He was cold also, in his after-state, and there it was also black! How strange, that we could communicate and that our after-states were both the same? Then we settled down for the rest of eternity.
In the afternoon of day eight, a glow appeared in front of us, a lightening of the dark. Then color emerged, about the size of a man-hole, really dark blues and purples, I tingled, perhaps this was it!!
The waiting was over,the colors lightened and then started to sparkle, all the colors of the rainbow, and in the centre, a light so bright it was pure energy.
Into it I raced, Dave rushed also, we laughed and we cried and rushed into the light that smashed into a blizzard of icicles, and the wind ripped at our faces and beyond and all around was blue sky and down was sheer white and up was sheer white.
We were back on the mountain and there were only two ways to go, and we weren’t going down, so we crawled up… and up, sobbing, snot frozen in our faces, eyes streaming and freezing and plodding, only plodding, not climbing…plodding, up and up and up until my fist thumped into thin air and the white before me gave way. All around was sky and we were at the summit.
I stopped and looked back to Dave, gave the thumbs-up and that’s when he fell, almost in slow-motion, one moment he was there, thumbs-up… then he was going, and going and then, horrified, he slid off the edge of the ice-cliff, and was gone…shocked, stunned, mortified, gutted… all these emotions rage through me.
No triumph, no joy, no shared achievement, just infinite sorrow, and tiredness. I patted down the summit and knelt on it, time seemed to stand still. I opened my arms wide and in the instant that lasts forever, a gust of wind gently nudged me forward and I toppled into the void.
Me on the summit, taken by Dave, just before he fell.
Here, Dave captures my grief even as he is sliding to his doom, amazing!!
…and finally, and I like this one, I think he got it just as went over the edge, ”how the #### am I going to get down?”
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Feature photo credit: Photo Credit: Getty Images . All other photos courtesy of the author.