Filing past Pearl’s casket
We viewed her one by one
Connecting with the form we saw
But knowing she was gone.
How peaceful she looked!
And yet…not she
For the instant she died
Her spirit had left her body.
As we viewed her remains
God must have decided
To let us see her as she was
Though body and spirit had long divided.
She was not there,
Oh we knew full well she wasn’t
But her remains were
Though such were not sufficient.
We would rather have seen
A gentle rising of the chest
But that was not to be
As her eyes were closed in death.
Closure came for what it was worth
And little it meant at the time
For we still struggle with the fact
That reality is not what we opine.
We yearned for an opening of the eyes
As one awaking from one’s sleep,
A broadening of the lips as in a smile
But alas, this sleep was too deep.
There she lay undisturbed
By the disquieted silence around
Piecing together the recent event
That left us so spell bound.
And yet there was no silence
But a semi-muted chatter prevailed
As in those unwelcome moments
The bewildering thoughts assailed.
“Is this for real?” We asked
While turning to another
Who merely looked as though perplexed
And stupefied by this matter.
Those two hours passed, O yes they did,
Maybe quickly or drawn out
But I do know she was not there,
Her spirit had long moved out.
From the tent in which she lived
Came the assuring word,
“For to be absent from the body
Is to be present with the Lord.”
How reassuring it is to know
That death is not the end
But our gateway to eternal life
As promised by Jesus our friend.
We wend our way away from there
Still bewildered and perplexed,
But aware of that coming morn
When the resurrection will be next.
Stewart Russell © May, 2017