The souls of the just ..
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace. ~ Wisdom 3: 1 – 3
We made the trip back to our families’ resting place amidst a strangely profound sadness which I kept hidden in the folds of my heart. I had spent the previous night reading about a terrible, terrible, tragic incident where a young married couple had been killed. They had fallen off Taft Point in Yosemite, plunging 800 feet to their deaths.
I was affected by something beyond the sorrow and tragedy of it, I’m not sure what. Maybe it was because they were so young and had their whole lives ahead of them. Maybe it was because they seemed so very, very happy and carefree in their many pictures.
Maybe because the wife had previously posted on social media about struggling with depression.
She had wondered if she was a source of life or a burden to her loved ones. It was a question I too had asked myself countless times many years ago.
Some shadow stayed over me as we travelled the wildtree-fringed roads, as the grey~white clouds above chugged towards secret destinations.
At the secluded resting grounds, I was surprised to see it empty of others. No one besides us had come to visit that day. Only one family who had now moved to the city miles away had come earlier and placed flowers on their family graves. As we wiped and cleaned our loved ones’ places and my husband tenderly cut and arranged flowers in the vases, the hush of the surrounding forest embraced us while the greenwinds gently weaved their way between the slumbering. Even the birds muted their robust song as I sorrowed over lives lost. Looking up at white graced skies of a hot gold~blue morning, the anguish over that young couple pierced deeper, making me cry out to heaven,
I bind them to the Angel’s heart. May every prayer I pray to the Angel be a prayer for their souls.
We walked around saying our prayers and goodbyes, laying them on the breast of those in silent repose. But my sadness clung on; something about that couple held on to my heart, unwilling to let go.
Please tell God to forgive them, I told the Angel. Forgive them for any wrongs they had no time to make amends for.
It was time to leave. Something moved in me. I pressed one last prayer into the Angel’s gentleness.
Forgive them, Lord, for they do not know what they do.
As I made my way to the old gates wreathed in wild vines, suddenly a kingfisher called out. I’ve never, not once, in the many long years we’ve made sojourn after sojourn here, ever heard the call of a kingfisher. This is a place where birds are free to drench the still air with their melodies, and they have always sung with gay abandon. Pigeons, turtledoves, robins, and sometimes, an eagle.
But never the Blue King, the emissary of St. Francis of Assisi.
Listen, I thought. He’s telling me to Quieten Down, Listen Up.
As we drove away, the miles coming between us and the spirits who now play and sleep in a world that will one day be ours, I felt the sadness give. Tendril by slow tendril. How shallow my grief for that couple, I mused, unhappy with myself. How easily I forget the Poor Souls’ pain.
There was no denying it. My earlier sadness was definitely melting away. I blamed it on my fickle loyalty.
Today, however, maybe I have the reason for it.
They are in peace.
And Someone wanted me to know it.