A Little Too Late

Remorse serves no purpose for the dead. It is merely a cushion for the living, too laden with guilt to cope...

Songbirds whine their tortured tunes, weary wings illuminated by the glow of the moonlight. Sad sounds resonate off the chamber walls of broken hearts. Heavy feet drag reluctantly along the winding dirt road kicking up dust with every step. Sullen sunken faces hang low buried in bountiful bouquets, emblems of guilt and pity. Forlorn forms traveling treacherous paths to thrones of bones. The weight of the burden beats down on brittle backs forcing them to their knees. They collapse at the sites of empty vessels lying in everlasting slumber. Tears moisten the earth as is customary, slipping from tired eyes onto welcoming soil.

They shout pathetically at a most loving God, angrily accusing him of foul play. Daring to question his purpose. They spit up at the face of the divine and stupidly wonder what hath deceived them when the spittle falls right back down landing painfully on their pupils. The infliction of blinding justice. Wracked with grief they scream at an empty tomb pouring out precious energy, wasted, onto cold stone. Regret is a ravenous beast devouring every bit of sanity until nothing remains but a blubbering mess of resentment.

Begrudging cries go seemingly unanswered, beggars beckoning the wrong entity forward with their sorrow. The departed are pulled from their peace by lingering sentiments. Unresolved and therefore unable to continue their journeys. The adventure should be celebrated, the mourning making a mockery of God’s plan. Trapped souls struggle to remain afloat in the material world sinking under the heaviness of misery exuding from a place they thought they had escaped.

They watch helplessly as their loved ones fight to cope with the loss, too enveloped in their own self-pity to understand the freedom that they have been granted. The opportunity to walk willingly beside the light of the lord cloaked in eternal warmth. The serenity of the calming silence. The tranquility that one feels when they are no longer tied down by the trivial matters that accompany life. And so even in death, they are at the mercy of others.

Light snowflakes begin to sprinkle down from a frosty sky blanketing the ground with an unexpected softness. A single visitor ventures out into the cold never missing the chance to dance with his anguish. His pace has slowed over the past few months, but the power of his pain continues to push him steadily onward. He reaches the base of his beloved’s resting quarters and offers roses like he always does. His despair calling upon her spirit like a magnet, pulling her reluctantly to his side.

He sobs his usual rhetoric begging of forgiveness shaking more from his angst than the chill. Phantom breaths huff into the crisp air escaping lily lips curled in a scornful scowl. She regards him distastefully as he continues to weep senselessly onto the freshly fallen snow. Such a display of emotion from a man who never showed her any range but rage. Profound annoyance makes its way into her psyche triggering an explosion. She pounds him with crumpled fists and desperate kicks to no avail. Her strikes having no impact on his physical form. She lashes out erratically, wailing louder with each failed attempt until she is depleted of all willpower and sinks defeatedly back into hopelessness.

The man shudders as a spine-tingling sensation creeps up the back of his neck. Jumping up he scans the surroundings before deciding to make his exit. He looks back one last time, eyes inadvertently locking on the headstone where her essence happens to be standing. It’s almost as if he can sense her presence and for a moment she feels like he can see her. “I hate you,” she spats at him. He blinks blankly. “LEAVE. ME. ALONE!!!” A gust of wind pushes him back and he snaps out of the trance, abruptly motivated to move his feet in the opposite direction. He whispers a final prayer and scurries off as quickly as he came.

Oh, how futile it is for the living to grieve the dead. How selfish and senseless to dedicate so much time contemplating a person after they have passed than to appreciate them while they are present. She shakes her head at the memory of her life, noting no regrets in her final decision. She rejoices in his absence, but the peace is to be short lived. For she knows all too well that the same guilt that pushed him away is the same guilt that will bring him crawling back tomorrow.