'Tom's Quiet Moment' by David McCalden

The sunlight filled the room, and as Tom lay there in his bed he felt a sudden peace. All his pain was gone, and the ever present fear was lifted and replaced by hope.

Beside him sat his wife of many years her face no longer grey with the agony and on the other side of the bed; his young daughter, still with a tear, but her face is so full of love and care.

This was now his moment, he knew it. A time just to slip gracefully away into the warmth of eternal peace and test the many theories on what was there that he had collected in his life time. He wondered why he felt no fear, pondering if there was  a hand, a light that was guiding him to his final resting place. Maybe it was the 'Rainbow Warrior' he had discovered late in his life. Or Christ, offering him his chance of believing before meeting his father, the Holy Father. Or maybe it was John Lennon, his boyhood 'working class hero' come to say a farewell and offer peace and love to a soul that always held those words so dear. Tom was unconcerned, whatever the presence, it framed his mind with beautiful thoughts and released him from a world that had tortured his last days, with courts and depositions, lawyers and judges who never actually grasped the argument; more concerned with upholding present law and public opinion than this man's classic rites to control his own destiny.

Tom suddenly grasped the reason for the peace. Gone was the rattle and the bleep of aids to his life; no more the bustle of hospital life tearing at his sleep, probing his withered body. They had turned him off, and now his breath was his, more laboured, but his, and there were no more than drips of medication framing the persistent wasting of his body. He was free, and now could die with dignity; small pleasure, great relief as breathing his last; sharing a smile with his wife and daughter.

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