It had been a long day though it was only half over. The funeral had been a good one. The funeral had celebrated as well as mourned his grandfather's life and death, his soul being set free from this world. He now sat in his car along with his wife, his sister and his son as cars filled with the souls his grandfather had left behind began to leave for lunch at the church. He started his car and sat still, staring at the wooden box on the small hill sitting over the grave in the ground. The box was all alone as they waited for the cars to leave. He had started his car but could not put it in gear as he was focused on the box that held the shell of his grandfather.
It didn't seem right his grandfather left all alone in that box. Before his soul had left his grandfather had always been there for him or for anybody that needed help or advice. He felt a tug in the heart of his own soul to get out of the car and go stand next to his grandfather until he was laid to final rest. Someone should be there with him. A feeling of abandoning his grandfather came over him and sadness began to fill him. In the weeks and months to come he would have dreams of his grandfather in this place. His dream would see him approaching the grave as his grandfather stood there waiting for him and they would talk. He would be introduced to other souls that had been set free from this world and told their stories by his grandfather. At the end of each dream his grandfather would take the pipe from his mouth, squint his eyes just a little bit and place his hand on his shoulder before telling him the visit was over, and he would awake to the reality that his grandfather's soul was gone and he would not see him or hear him again.
He sat in the car lost in his thoughts and his sister encouraged him to start leaving to go to the lunch at the church. He put the car into gear and began to drive away, leaving his grandfather alone. He would be back though in the weeks, the months and the years to come to visit the old man and to talk to the rock that would mark his resting place along with his wife's. He would be back.
Looking back now he thinks of all the souls he had lost over the years. Uncles and aunts, cousins and in-laws and grandparents. Two grandmothers and a grandfather, all three of them so special and so important in forming his own soul as he progressed through life. He misses them. He misses all of them. He had only twice been able to tell a soul that he was about to lose goodbye and I love you. They were two of his uncles. All of the other souls he had lost when he wasn't around to tell them goodbye. He had been so lucky to have a family of souls like he had. Each and every one of them had made an impression on how he thought, how he talked and what he did.
Each time he lost a soul to death it seemed to leave a hole in his own soul, something missing. Something that was once there and now was gone. Memories was the way to keep those holes, those gaps in his own soul filled and he went to his memory a lot to do just that. Memories aren't like having the physical there though, and he would learn to deal with this.
He had been by his uncle's side when he lost his soul from this earth. He and his uncle had, for the better part of two years, fought everyday to keep his uncle's soul healthy and here on earth. As always, death eventually won out and his uncle's soul had left and he had lost another very important soul. There would be no grave for his uncle though. the shell of his uncle would be cremated, and on the day of the cremation, he held in his hands the flowers his uncle had instructed him to have there as a symbol of love and to be cremated with him. They brought his uncle into the room in a cardboard box and had asked him if he wanted to look at his uncle one last time. Knowing it would be to tough on him he denied himself that opportunity. As the doors lowered covering the box, he stood with his mother and knew that his life once again would never be the same.
He sits now and thinks. He thinks about the souls that he has lost, that have gone before him, that have left him behind. He knows that there will be more souls to lose in the future. Souls that are very important to him and his life will leave him behind. He knows that deep down he must prepare himself for the inevitable. He doesn't want to make that mental preparation though. There is a part of him that sincerely wants to free his own soul before losing any more souls from his life. He knows that he can't though. He must follow the law of God and nature and work his way through his own life and that included the losing of more souls that he doesn't want to lose.
Life is hard. Life is lonely. Life is sad and life can not win. Death will always eventually win and when death does, someone, somewhere will lose a soul that they don't feel they could afford to lose. They will, however, find some way to carry on.
|Day and Night - M.C. Escher|