The Final Cynthia Story

Dorothy J. Heydt

What follows was written in Stanford Hospital while being treated for ALS in the last two weeks of her life. It is posted here in full, as she wrote it. She died on 28 June, 2022 aged 80, married 51 years.

I cannot express how much I miss her. --W. H. Heydt


To my family, friends, and anyone else interested:

After I have died, tell anyone anything you like, ending with this text:

Cynthia, widow of Demetrius Duilius Artifex (and of Komi, son of Endreigon, the only husband she had loved, and of Demodoros, whom no one remembered any more), sat dying in her bed.

Her daughters, granddaughters, and the household servants were caring for her as she could no longer care for them, but she slipped out through the soles of her feet and into the depths of the earth.

The place had not changed much since she had seen it last: its grey colors had faded a trifle, and the stream that had flowed between her and Komi had stopped moving: frozen, perhaps? But she was dead now, and could cross it.

The silent dead sat among the trees, the spirits of men and gods and perhaps others, though if her friends the Qualities were here, they too had faded. But two remembered morning stars still shone, Komi's eyes, and she found a place to sit beside him. No one spoke; perhaps it was unlawful, or maybe just impossible.

But something that might have been time passed, and now a light shone from the east, filling earth and air with color, and a great chorus of voices: LIFT UP YOUR HEADS, YOU GATES, AND BE LIFTED UP, YOU EVERLASTING DOORS, THAT THE KING OF GLORY MAY COME IN.

who is the King of Glory?


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