Though lovers be lost, love shall not; And death shall have no dominion. – Dylan Thomas
Some people are blessed to pass from this mortal coil with the knowledge that their lives have been lived with purpose and can be celebrated without regrets when the end comes. But sometimes the journey from this world to the next gets waylaid by things left unfinished, things left unsaid…loves left unclaimed. For those souls, there is a place called limbo—the space that exists between life and the ascension—where the troubled soul resides until it can make peace with whatever it is that’s keeping it tethered to the in between.
Aiden Scott has lived in limbo for years, so long, in fact, that he’s made a career out of being a reaper, a counselor to the recently deceased who helps those who’ve just crossed over to come to terms with their deaths and then helps them attempt to find the closure they need to move beyond the state of flux in which they currently abide. It is a state of perpetual motion in which Aiden has become stagnant, not quite ready to put a name to what it is that keeps him from experiencing his own ascension, not quite happy in the lonely existence carved out for him by virtue of that inertia, not quite convinced that confession will be entirely good enough for his soul to move on.
But, then even in death, it seems some have a purpose far less ordinary than to follow the preordained path to what lies beyond.
When Brandon Jamison arrives in limbo, to say that Aiden is shocked is a bit of an understatement. He and Brandon had met in elementary school, and though their friendship had taken a brief intermission in junior high, they’d drifted back together in high school and had remained close until Aiden’s death. But that’s all they ever were to each other—friends—because neither had ever confessed to the other that he was gay, nor did they ever speak of the attraction they’d felt for each other. Life was about wasted time and squandered opportunities. And sadly, it appears as if they may be doomed to repeat that history, even in death.
Some people live a purpose driven life. Aiden and Brandon live a purpose driven death, and Erin Lark has written a sweet and sexy, and sometimes heart-tugging little story about sacrifices and second chances filled with universal truths about the power of forgiveness and of the grasping hold of happiness at each and every opportunity, because you never know if it might be your last.
It’s a story of compassion that begets healing, and of the healing that begets fulfillment and achieves the ultimate joy in the midst of the life that happens after…well…life. It’s a story that suggests it’s not at all how one dies that matters, but, rather, how one lived that truly accounts for who one becomes in the ever-after, and I liked it very much.