“Oh, I see,” she said, sitting up and then stepping away from her body toward the angel, “I see how it is.”
“It is, indeed, so, dear one. Tell me your fears,” he replied. “You will not have them much longer, but I see they are there now. Speak.”
“How will it be,” she said, “for them?” She bent to look at her husband, weeping, his hands clasping the end of the cold steel table of the OR, and then to her colleague groaning as he pushed up and down, up and down trying to resurrect her body, a tear beginning to drip from the tip of his nose. So many times they had labored together in that very room saving the lives of patients.
Then another thought flitted across her being, that seemed to convulse her form, insubstantial as it was, in a shimmer, like a glimmering wave moving across a dark pond.
“These next fears, I see, are much deeper,” the angel said, “Can you speak them?”
“How will it be for my little one? I just saw him. Yesterday it was, sending him away to boarding school. Or was it just yesterday? It seems like an age ago. He was so sad then, even at that small parting. And the two in America. Who will call them? I cannot bear the thought of that phone ringing. I can almost hear it now, knowing it will come.” She paused.
“But why is there this dimness? I cannot see them at all. They are so far away. I thought I would see them.”
“All is dim at present, your very self included,” the angel said. “There will come a time when you will see, though I am not permitted to say when. First, you will become strengthened to the light, made solid to reality. At present you are not substantial, not in this world or the next. You are thin. Now, you still feel the dimness and sorrow of this world. But soon we will go and you will begin to be again. Indeed, you will be in a way that you have never been before, solid and substantial. You will no longer weep, not because you will no longer know or no longer love, but because you will fully know, because you will fully love. You will be love.”
“Oh!,” The thought seemed to catch her and she briefly brightened.
“But all I see now is so dark. And it all seems to twist. My husband’s face. My husband’s soul. I think I can almost see it there. And it so begins to hunch, become misshapen. Will he from now on move through the world only with that limp that I begin to see in him? And my boys. I cannot bear to think of my boys. The eldest, so intelligent, so seeming wise, yet so sweet and innocent inside. Still so young. My middle boy, so, so deeply wounded, from what I still cannot even tell. He was only just beginning to let that deep reservoir of love inside him melt his hardness. Will that now forever end? And, oh, and the little one, my little one. What will become of him? That silly, serious love. That deep, deep thought. Will it only be somber thought from here on out? No silliness? He is only sixteen, you know.”
“I know, dear one,” he answered tenderly. “I cannot say. There is no telling. I have seen grief like a deep wound, seem to heal over and yet linger long, causing that misshaping you begin to see, a life hunched, bent over, as a soul makes adaptations to begin to go on. Yet, I have also seen, even in this bent world, amazing straightenings—healings, learnings, that undo the harm. Yet even in these there is always still an almost imperceptible bent. It is not for us to know how it will be with your loved ones.”
He paused. And in the stillness the darkness seemed strengthen, the woman’s form seeming to diminish.
And then in a stronger, clearer voice he went on. “Though, truly, I may tell you that these your loved ones, these are also his loved ones. The one who holds all things. And because that is so, all will be most well. All will be most well. Assuredly, all will be most well.”
“Then, dear sir,” she cried, “May we, with all haste, please move on?”