I have begun reading Richard Matheson’s What Dreams May Come and was deeply touched by Matheson’s dedication page; his dedication reads:
with grateful love, to my wife for adding the sweet measure of her soul to my existence
The novel, of course, is about a man who dies and risks literal hell to save his wife because the afterlife isn’t good enough, isn’t paradise without her love.
I’m definitely picking up on a theme: In I Am Legend, about the last human on earth, Matheson explores the longing (yearning is Robert Olen Butler’s term for it) of love, of desire as the protagonist Robert Neville longs not only for human companionship but for love, the love of his wife and family, for that love we crave from another person.
The love we lose in death or divorce or even separation. The love, at least to me, that is stronger than the yearning for a god.