The Final Doxology
And finally, the day came. I closed my eyes and ceased my singing. My chest no longer heaving, I lay still to move no more. My limbs now in stasis, rest, my voice no longer stirring the air.
All around me, the howls of despair and the shrill howls of my own. The tumult of the wind and the stillness of life. On the other side, curiosity emptied in delight and fear vanquished in glory.
On this side, my feet now pointing to the door, arranged as a wreath, my body engaged in a dalliance with involuntary rigor mortis. The ebbed flow of life decreed that I be carried delicately and with reverence.
The blood flow stemmed. The enclosed twin chambers withheld their beats and the fluid bearing network crested to flow no more.
That day, I turned down nourishment that it may suffice for the quick. I shunned the taste of the sweet that I may savor the delights of the spirit. My dalliance with the absent commenced through the tunnels of the great unknown.
I cast aside the aura of Zoe for my presence shall no more impose itself. Instead, I felt the emptiness of my last gold coin in the clutch of Charon whose ferry has awaited my arrival for so long.
With benign looks, he agreed to transport my worn but expectant soul across the land beyond the sun. My spirit, now free, casts its tired eyes across the shadows of the mist.
That day was subdued as no other. The mask of the night attended me as I embarked on that final journey. Solitary and solemnly but, without a choice, I gladly joined with the emerging and distant light.
And now, they that never knew me shall hear of me and pause to take in the news. My close ones shall, at first, want for the very words and hushed shall be the tone of the tale bearers and the Amora who stand by the door.
They that were my friends shall be aghast at my departure. They that loved me dearly shall beat their breasts at the void. In the pale of my presence, there shall be much sadness. My debtors shall rejoice at the instant settlement of their bills so high. My creditors shall be offended at the loss of their pound of flesh. And they that would not forgive me shall be confused at their delay. My family shall be dizzy with my demise and shall look in vain for my height. My enemies, a few, shall come to ensure that the story indeed is true.
There shall be many variations on the theme of my end. My admirers shall mourn in solitude at the end of the intellectual dances. They that met my eyes shall shrug with mixed feelings and the real fellow soldiers of Christ shall beat their chests at the opportunity denied. My acquaintances shall strain their necks at the fragments of my estate and they that loathed the sight of me shall look on with forbidden glee.
My peers, if any be left, shall wonder who goes next as my family feels the chill of the vacuum.
They who upon me depend shall be confused with sentiments deep and those who imagined ignominy of me shall be disappointed yet again.
My friends shall tell many fantastic tales of bravery and heroism They that once labored with me shall tell the truths, the lies and the flattering but muted shall be the exuberance of the critics for this mystery of the great barrier attends us all.
My fickle friends shall eulogize excitedly in celebration of my absence so good. They that challenged my every move shall have a drink or two for me and, in my honor, for what it is worth, all shall doff their hats.
The frocked ones shall head the pageant thick as if this happens just the once. Time itself shall almost stand still as it joins the mourning deep and the wind, with its whisper, shall whistle my name in a sonorous somber tune.
The orators shall speak most kindly and gently as if they knew me well. The officials shall be painfully polite for, on this day, the absent shall be, for the present, a true saint.
In keeping with tradition, the rainbow shall withhold its many colors in favor of sackcloth. Mother Earth shall silently gape to receive and encircle the pilgrim. The land that once bore my weight shall now sustain my body within its deep. The cheers of arrival shall be replaced by the tears of departure.
They that once pledged eternal affinity shall then abandon the remains to the confines of the deep. For once they held tight, unrelenting, but now, sweet affection from afar. No place for burnt offerings, life is to the living.
So ends my sojourn here and a new journey far beyond the veil. My humble soul makes its exit to the land I left so long ago. A fresh chapter, perhaps, a catching up with the new. With eager steps, I shall march into the unknown and the forgotten. With the angels for company, I shall carry my hopes, gingerly, in my hands. The knowledge acquired on this side of the veil of all I did and all that I knew.
O! Mother, receive me to your fold and comfort my frightened heart
O! Father, withhold not your embrace from this wayward traveler whom you have summoned home at last.
And so, I journey, perchance, to a new beginning there. Only I know not where, when or how. I am but part of the continuum. I am but a name. With time, I shall become just a memory. With each passing day, my place, another shall take.
This is the Will of the Father. Time becomes us all.
Weep not for me, you that now stand agape!
I bid you farewell, you, the quick that stand upon the face of the earth. Your song must go on.
May the Good Lord bear you always. May the Almighty lift up the light of His countenance to shine upon you, comfort and give you peace…always… in the name of Jesus Christ!