The End by Paul Brown (476 Words)

It's funny how you always avoid the subject of death – until it's finally happening to you, that is.

Another wave of pain shoots through my body. I can feel my heart trying to burst through my chest, blood pounding in my ears, and then… gentle relief as the pain subsides once more.

I'm scared.

I've felt this moment approaching over the last few months, but the reality, the finality of it all has only gripped me in the last few days. Yes, there is a sense of fear – all of my current reality, all my hopes and dreams coming to an end, but there is also a desire to see it through – to see what lies beyond.

I suppose I've been toying with the idea of an afterlife for some time now. I know it's a cop out but when you're faced with the end of all things…

It's coming again. A crushing sensation in my chest. The pain seems to start deep inside then builds steadily until it encompasses my whole reality. All my world is pain. I just want to surrender – for it all to be over, but something keeps holding me back. Please let this be over soon!

And once more, in a moment, the pain subsides.

I've always toyed with the idea of a creator of some sort. There must be more to life than just this. Certainly I believe something must have made everything, but I've never felt the need for a relationship with Him. Come to think of it I feel more comfortable with the idea of God as a mother – nurturing, feeding, caring for Her creation. Not some distant father figure. Remote, unconnected, uncaring.

Now, at the end of it all I feel a desperate need to reach out. I want there to be a connection. Or am I just hoping to get my story straight before a face to face meeting with God?

And the idea of heaven or hell? I would have laughed if the subject had come up a few months ago, but now I'm scared. I want there to be something more than this but faced with the certainty of eternal blessing, or an infinity of damnation, then all I want is oblivion!

It's building again, and this time I know it has to be the end. The pain is so intense and is accompanied by a crushing sensation. I can feel the life being drained out of me. I sense I'm moving down a long, dark tunnel towards a blinding light. I'm drawn closer and closer to the light.

Heaven or hell?

The light surrounds me, cold and harsh. I take a breath and scream. A cacophony of noise resolves into a single sentence –

"Oh Mrs Brown, it's a beautiful baby boy!"

Enveloped in warmth, I move into the loving arms of my creator…

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