Sun angel

Sun angel. Sheila SundCC BY

 Into each life some rain must fall
But too much is falling in mine
Into each heart some tears must fall
But some day the sun will shine
Some folks can lose the blues in their hearts
But when I think of you another shower starts
Into each life some rain must fall
But too much is falling in mine.

-Allan Roberts

Yesterday morning the sun beckoned from among striated clouds, streaking the sky with silver and gold. Birdsong—it’s a brand-new spring. The scent of fresh-cut grass from the day before lingers, and nothing takes me back to my childhood and my father quicker than that sweet green fragrance.

Even as the sun shone, a soft rain pattered down.

In my heart, in the hearts of my community, too much rain is falling.

Yesterday we buried a young lady who grew up here, was one of us, was an only child and grandchild. She was a college freshman, eighteen, a year younger than my second son, his childhood playmate and lifelong friend. She went to church with us all of her life, sang in the choir, and was beautiful. She caught the light and scattered it like a faceted gemstone quietly scatters tiny, vivid rainbows on objects close by.

Death, when it comes suddenly to someone so young and full of promise, can only be likened to a great ripping apart.

She is ripped away.

The church was full and overflowing an hour before the service. People stood around the walls of the sanctuary, packed the fellowship hall, lined every hallway on both sides throughout; a huge crowd waited outside because there was no more room.

My husband officiated. He was at the hospital the day this child was born. He ended the eulogy with a little twist of Shakespeare: “Good-night, sweet princess; and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”

As the crowd walked to the burial site, the sun shone for all it was worth. The clouds were gone; a warm breeze ruffled dresses, suit jackets, hair.

Even so, the rain will fall within us for days and days to come, yet it doesn’t mean that our little suncatcher won’t keep catching and scattering the light in the quiet way she always did. More light than ever is reflected in the myriad drops of rain, like iridescent droplets of diamonds quivering with celebration that she lived, that she was a gift.

She will always be.

slice-of-life_individualEarly Morning Slicer


26 thoughts on “Suncatcher

  1. I feel your deep sadness as you try as you might to find the reflected light. So hard when anyone dies, but a child tears us apart at the core. Peace to you. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your loss is palpable in this piece. I’m so sorry for the space her passing has left in your community, and can only offer my condolences. This was timely for me as well, as we lost a four-year-old student last week; a child’s passing is particularly painful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t imagine losing a child either – a parent’s worst nightmare. I wasn’t even sure I had the heart to write about it. This is the fourth day since it happened, and it’s where my mind and heart are, so while it felt like an awfully big, heavy slice of life, it seemed wrong or false to not write it.


  3. Lovely post. Sad. Gentle and loving. What a tribute. I have been reading much about grief having just lost my husband unexpectedly……we are all touched by loss in some way. Big hugs to you and your community.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re so right – in life, we’re all touched by loss in some way. It is out of our control. I am so sorry about your husband’s unexpected passing – when grief is so fresh and so great there are hardly right words to express it or to bring comfort. Has your reading been helpful? Thank you for your courage in reading and responding here when your loss is so recent. Great strength and courage to you each day – I will be thinking of you!


  4. The balance of grief and beauty in this piece take my breath away. I am so sorry for the loss that her family and all who cared about her are experiencing. Some things in life are so difficult to understand. What strikes me the most about your writing is that, while the sadness and pain are evident throughout, there is also so much focus on the beauty she brought to the world and leaves behind. Praying that these beautiful memories help you and her loved ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for this amazingly thoughtful response. To shut one’s eyes and heart to cut off the pain would mean not remembering how beautiful and loved she was. We keep on loving, even when we lose someone; the love doesn’t die. Thanks so much for your prayers, too.


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