when my father died

it was Pentecost Sunday, of 2004. May 30th. I was 18 years old.

The above information is irrelevant. What you’re about to read is what happened on the night (or early morning) between Sunday and Monday, whilst i slept.

I found myself in a large hall. The walls were cosy and of a delicate pink-ish hue. The stairs were marble. The lighting was moderate and as warm as what you find in a good-star hotel.

I remember speaking with someone. They told me “ma nistax nurik kollox, ghalissa….” which is Maltese (my mother-tongue) for “i cannot show you everything yet….” and they took me around the hall and the rooms and the corridors. I don’t remember much, save that i met a bunch of ‘people’ who kept saying “ahna dawk li lestejna it-tigrija, rbahna il-kuruna”. Which would be something on the lines of “we are those who have finished the race, won the crown”.

Then i was in a window-less corridor. A white doorway lay some yards ahead. A voice behind me spoke. I turned to look, back to the hall where i had originally found myself. There was a bright beacon of white light in front of me. Pure white: nothing more nothing less. And i spoke to it and asked: “Pa ! Fejn hu Kristu?” (“Dad ! Where is Christ?”)

“Fis-sala tal-qaddisin,” he told me (“in the hall of the saints”). I knew i had to climb a flight of stairs, and i did. It was as wide and complete marble, with wooden handrails, as those you find in five-star hotels.

I heard murmurs as i climbed. They got louder as i got closer. Murmurs turned to voices. A lot of them. I was close, so close….

Then i woke up. I was in bed, it was still time to sleep. So i rested my head down and did so.

The above information may be irrelevant. But suffice to say that never before, nor after, have i slept with such a sense of Peace. I’m not talking about Happiness, nor Joy or some form of ecstasy whereby ‘ma tkunx taf x’laqtek!’*. (a Maltese expression which would stand for something on the lines of ‘you don’t know what hit you’)

No. After this, there was Peace. The most peaceful slumber of my entire life.

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