When Somebody Goes Home

For my Great Aunt:

Sometimes a friend, the closest one you have, leaves you and it will be a long time before you see him again. At first, you might forget for a moment that he is gone and expect him to walk into the kitchen to ask about dinner. But he doesn’t and so you remember. That’s when you feel the heavy stones nestled in your chest.  Your heart feels suffocated and in danger of arrest. Then, in traumatic upheavals, a staggering storage of salt water drains out, drains you.  It’s not until enough pressure is relieved that you can stop, if only for a second or two.

And in that brief interval, you might receive unsolicited comfort. By an act of mercy you know he is asleep. Though you miss the warmth of him beside you, a transcending peace enters your grief. Joy seeps through in the midst of suffering because of grace. Because you know that almost two millennia ago another man was able to drink the heavy cup. And because you know that your best friend is finally home with his good Father.

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