“How can I go out like this among a lot of people with real solid bodies? It’s far worse than going out with nothing on would have been on earth. Have everyone staring at me.”

“Oh I see. But we were all a bit ghostly when we first arrived, you know. That’ll wear off. Just come out and try.”

“But they’ll see me.”

“What does it matter if they do?”

“I’d rather die.”

“But you’ve died already. There’s no good in trying to go back on that.”

The ghost made a sound something between a sob and a snarl.

“I wish I’d never been born,” it said, “what are we born for?”

“For infinite happiness,” said the spirit. “You can step out into it at any moment…”

“But I tell you, they’ll see me.”

“An hour hence and you will not care. A day hence and you will laugh at it. Don’t you remember on earth–there were things too hot to touch with your fingers, but you could drink them all right? Shame is like that. If you will accept it–if you will drink the cup to the bottom–you will find it very nourishing; but try to do anything else with it and it scalds.

The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis


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