3 years ago
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
She was young, too young, and the mother of five young children who still needed her as children always need their mothers, small or no. She had been dying by inches, holding on for days and weeks through pain and vomiting and decay and her body's rejection of man's last attempts to save it. She held on by sheer will, something left undone, something left unfinished. It wasn't, somehow, her time.
Four years ago today, her husband held her hand and told her she could go. He loved her, he always would, but she could let go. It was time to go Home.
And she left us, quietly, between one breath and another, slipping from this world into the next, leaving behind parents and siblings and nieces and nephews and friends beyond count, leaving behind the five children who had also said their farewells to what extent they understood.
The news traveled. We wept. Even though I was stone, I wept. And I was angry. Death had robbed her of all the years she should have spent on this earth.
Four years later, I still weep. But now, I see that day from a new perspective. I cannot be truly angry. I do not understand why she left us too soon, but I do understand something else.
What we saw as Death was instead her Birth.
Hers were tears of joy as she stood in a new body, one that stood tall and strong, her hair thick and full again, her skin unswollen and unblemished. No pain. No anguish. She ran with sure feet, arms spread open, and gathered in the children waiting there, the precious souls she had never known as more than a momentary existence before loss had swept them away. Her face rose to the blazing glory that lay before her, and she shone in the light of the Son.
Her real life began then.
C. S. Lewis says we live in the Shadowlands, the dim, dark outline of that country that lies Further Up and Further In, where lies "the beginning of the true story, which goes on forever, and in which every chapter is better than the one before." She lives there now, and her story here with us was but the Prologue to the eternal one written by the Great Author.