Death came unexpectedly and uninvited into our lives one week this past October. All around us leaves blazed brilliant fiery shades of red, gold and orange. By its very nature, autumn represents a fading away of life, of the earth getting ready to rest ahead of a long winter. I guess if Death was going to come, this time of year supported His presence.
Yet, I was still resentful of His return. I mistakenly thought we were rid of Him for quite a while or that He’d gone away for good this time. An impossibility, I know, because as I much as I try to ignore it, He’s never far away, just lurking slightly out of reach. No, sad but true, He and I are old friends, although I use that endearment of “friend” loosely. We’ve met before and undoubtedly we’ll meet again.
This time, He made me angry. The heavy presence in our house stirred polarizing emotions in me. I want to hate Him so much and I really do. I fear Him coming to snatch away the ones I love, like a thief in the night, like right now.
I didn’t invite you here, I shouted. How dare you even be here? Go away!
But He did not listen. As much as I despised Him, a choice had been made by someone other than myself who asked for Him to come. She was ready, even though I wasn’t. As I watched her, I hoped that she wasn’t suffering. I prayed that she would just let go and for Death to come take her, if that’s what she wanted. It was too late to turn back and close the door on His face. I would be strong for her now and hide my tears. The time for weeping would come soon enough.
Now He’s retreated and gone away to cast shadows on other lives. Our house is quiet now, too quiet. All that remains is the sadness, the emptiness, the heartache, the loss.