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Updated: May 22

Jason died a month after his 100th birthday, and everyone said it was a life well lived. During his century on earth, he had intimate relationships with four women.

The first was his mother, Eve. Her body nourished his in the womb. Her breasts fed him. Her warmth encircled him. With her, he was safe, secure. At first, he realized no distinction between her and himself. It took a while and a lot of tears before he realized she always came back. As he grew, she taught him, sang to him, read books to him, answered an unending stream of questions, and encouraged him in all he attempted. He grew up and left home, but he always loved her.

In his late 20s, he fell love with Helen. That’s an understatement. He idolized her, could think of little else, adored her, worshipped her, and made wildly passionate love to her. “All is dross that is not Helen,” said Marlowe. It lasted maybe ten years, which surprised everyone. Eventually the fire dimmed until it went cold. She left him in midlife for a younger, more robust lover.

For some time, Jason was unmoored, adrift, lonely, and sad. But then he met Mary, who had an inner beauty that radiated with grace. Jason felt encouraged, alive, and energized each time he was with her. She was deeply spiritual and introduced him, not to rituals and chants, but to a vibrancy, an expectation, through which he could see the imago Dei stamped in everyone and everything. Everything natural, that is. When he saw traffic jams, climate deniers, and the way the marginalized were treated, he wept. Mary ignited in him a passion for justice, peace, and wellbeing. His colleagues at work said he “got religion,” but it was not so much religion as a connection with the Beyond, the Source, the Divine, Perfect Love.

Jason and Mary had a daughter they named Sophia. She was the fourth woman in his life. Sophia was a brilliant child who became a brilliant adult. As a child, she was wise beyond her years; as an adult, her wisdom was valued by all who knew her. When Mary and Jason were elderly and frail, they came to live with Sophia. She took care of all their needs. Jason had more needs and required more guidance than Mary, so Sophia gently guided him through medical procedures, the loss of friends, and the gradual loss of his independence. She bolstered his inner spirituality and noncoercively guided his decisions without detracting from his autonomy and free-will. Under his daughter’s tutelage, Jason self-actualized, individuated, and became whole. Even as his physical body deteriorated, he became fully human and fully alive.

As he lay on his death bed, drifting in and out of consciousness, he saw them. One at a time, then all together, they stood at his side, smiling. Like mist before the rising sun, they faded, then disappeared. He dropped off into deep sleep aware that Eve, Helen, Mary, and Sophia lived inside him. He smiled contentedly and died.

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