Johanna sat there quietly at the memorial and remembered their past. Thirty years had gone by too fast and now suddenly Bruce was gone. What would she do without him?
While she wept softly, a crane slowly walked beside the white picket fence. He began to watch her carefully “as the wise flower elves wept in the hollows”. How could he explain to her that he was there. Flying over the fence in a gentle swoop, “he felt the drops of dew, and kissed cold tears from the grass”.
The crane tried to get closer to Johanna with one measured step at a time. The “grass blades parted with sighs” as he was trying to tell her that he was there. Bruce had only been gone for just a few brief days, but had returned to tell her that he loved her. Yes, he would always remember the joy from the life they had shared together.
The delicate bird stopped during certain moments when people spoke of the memories they had shared with him. Cocking his head from time to time he listened to words and tried to remember—for this is all he had now. Attempting to make a sound so she might turn her head; a silent noise stuck in his throat, and now she would never know he was there.
Three people watched the bird closely from their seats, and he knew they realized who he might be. The three mourners had already decided that he was not really a proud graceful crane walking across the grass – he was simply the departed in another form, trying to tell his wife he was okay.
The spoken words of love suddenly stopped, and everyone became silent. The crane knew he must go; but somehow had to tell her that he had read the beautiful card she had made for him.
“The heavens part the high planets, blade parts back and edge; not even eternity can part souls that are sealed in love.”
“Yes”, he thought. Eternity will never separate our souls as we are forever sealed with love. Remember that my darling; never ever forget he seemed to say with his eyes.
And with that, as quickly as he had appeared, he was suddenly gone. Those that had seen him spoke quietly, and told each other their thoughts. They knew that when the heavens had grown clear, he had come.
His soul had descended “when the mountain brims grew bright” to speak of his eternal love for her. Others would tell Johanna later that her husband had been there to tell her that he loved her one final time. After that day there is no doubt in my mind that we never lose the people we lost— not even after death.
In memory of those who we loved.
This was a true story that happened to me at a private funeral in Napa Valley in California. I wrote this piece a few hours after I left the memorial servic and forwarded it to her later. I also used a handful of selected words used in a scattered “here nor there fashion” from the memorial card Johanna had made for her departed husband, Bruce. The selected words she used were from : Journey’s End (Ferdalok)