The Widow's Son

Updated: Apr 23, 2020

He was alive this morning. The thought came sluggish, slow, as if dragged up through sticky mud. She felt like a ghost as she drifted beside the shrouded form of her son. I made him breakfast. He ate it all and kissed my cheek before he left for work. This can't be happening. It's not real.

The next time she had seen her son, he was being carried through the door, dead.

A freak accident they said. It hit him in just the right spot—or rather, just the wrong spot, the foreman corrected sheepishly. A beam from the roof they were fixing had slipped and struck him in the temple. He had died instantly.

I should be grateful he didn't suffer. The thought bubbled to the surface of her mind, but it burst into empty emotion. She heard the keening of the wailing women, their undulating cries proclaiming death throughout the town as they made their way to the graveyard. Her own throat burned too hot to cry out. The tears that leaked down her cheeks did little to relieve the pressure that was building in her head, pushing on her eyes with searing pain.

First my husband, Lord, now my son? What have I done to make You treat me like this? As she walked she sifted through her shortcomings. Was God angry because she hadn't been to the temple to participate in the Day of Atonement? Had she been too prideful of her handsome teenage son, growing swiftly into manliness? Yet how