Posted by: Peadar Ban | January 12, 2012



We visited Sheila the other day
After we had bid a last adieu to Bea
Who was already ninety-nine
When she finished finally with time
And wandered on to eternity.

I was very cold, so cold my fingers hurt
Standing with them all near what once was her;
Children, grandchildren and great-
Grandchildren, clumps of them, with us in the cold
With two priests and the rest of us all praying
That God grant eternal rest to her soul.

Taking our leave of Bea at last I looked
Toward the distant low hillside where
Sheila’s and her mother’s stone stood
Some rows in among the neighbors near
Now almost lost between two dwarf blue spruce
And yearned to see her once again.
So I told Mariellen, my wife and friend.

We approached the simple stone and grave
In silence beneath an open sky,
A slight chill wind sole evidence God gave
That he saw us, that he stood by
As we processed along on pilgrimage
To the little marker of her earthbound rest.

I remembered when we had laid her
On a cold and sun lit autumn day;
Her resting place to be this new turned earth
And we to stand at clean cut edge to pray.
I didn’t then, don’t believe it now
That we remain where we have been put down.

No, I believe the grave’s no simple “place
of rest”, and stones just sign posts if you will
The last mile markers on our way.
Peaceful?  Yes, but not so I want to stay.

At home that evening I received a message
From my daughter who said her mother had
Been on her mind all afternoon.  It was
so odd she thought.  Not I, remembering, and glad.

January 12, 2012


  1. Requiescat in Pacem

    • Deo gratias


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