Pastor John wrapped his hands lovingly around the worn leatherbound cover of his Bible as the closing words trailed from his lips. Murmurs of approval could be heard rippling through the small outdoor congregation, as heads nodded fervently in agreement.
I shot a raised eyebrow at my cousin, who was bent over the simple wooden coffin, wailing audibly, and lifting her tissues to the corner of a dry eye. We were never close. She always was one for drama - constantly seeking the limelight - and even on the most sobering of occasions, it appeared that there were no limits to her shame. I shook my head, rolling my eyes.
Seriously, Abigail! Some things never change.
The thought had manifested before I could control it or reign it in, and I felt just a little embarrassed at my inability to exercise restraint. I wondered momentarily how indiscretions such as these should be handled on this side of the divide.
Members of my family gathered around the closed casket as it was lowered into the ground. I sighed.
Why had it taken death to bring everyone together?
In all honestly, Abigail was just one of many examples of the dysfunction that ran through the gene pool that was my family. My attempts to promote reconciliation over the years had always been in vain. All I ever wanted was for us all to have peace. But some wounds are slow to heal, and a long-standing family feud meant that nobody had been prepared to make the first move, to extend the hand of forgiveness. But now, in death, somehow everyone had found a way to come together, and exchange words of solace. Was it grief, regret, respect, or guilt? Or did they simply wish not to be alone in their sadness or to put up a pretense so as not to be vilified by their peers?
I pondered over the pastor's words. Now that the body had succumbed to death, was there a need for some sort of spiritual break for the soul? Why would the soul want to rest when it had finally broken free from its earthly shackles? It no longer needed to dance to the beat of another's drum. So if all constraints were lifted, why would one want to impose fresh limitations? This, I could not fathom! And I for one was not going to rest! On the contrary, this soul was going to have the adventure of a lifetime. Ironic right? That the best adventures might come after one's last breath on Earth.
After all, my life had been well-lived. I traveled widely, met people from all walks of life, and experienced the highest highs, and the lowest lows. An epiphany in my later years led me down a path that I believe was specially designed for me, and despite the discord within my wider family, I died content and fulfilled where it mattered most.
As I gazed out beyond the immediacy of the family gathering, towards the celestial highway rising up to greet me, I found myself mesmerised by the pervasive light. It was even more appealing in the afterlife than Route 66 had been when I still had a body to consider.
So, no, I determined, my soul, did not want to sleep. It did not want to rest, even momentarily. It was adventure time! And I was definitely going exploring. I would set all of this worldly nonsense aside and ask God to excuse my exuberance. The soundtrack to the rest of my life was just getting started. I turned to face the open road, an eternal highway of possibility. And then... I leaped into the light, knowing that my new dance partner would never let me fall.
Header image Soul Path by Bestdesigns on Canva Pro
This is my response to @mariannewest 's Monday Freewrite prompt: rest her soul