She was acting strange, walking mercifully slow, like a grasshopper, going through the motions mechanically like a mummy, anguish piercing through her face.
Dragging like a robot commanded from afar, she took her time getting to the pew. Never quivering, strolling like a walking dead, always looking up straight at whatever infinite. She looked desponded, stoic, never cracking a smile.
I wondered what was pestering her as she kneeled close to me but I quickly set that aside as we were in church, praying, venerating God.
We stayed a while, I doing the rosary with the parishioners and she kneeling still, piercing the altar to the Holy Sacrament, as if looking for some kind of absolution to her suffering that never came.
None of us at the time had an answer for her suffering but many were in possession of a tool that could bring her some peace and comfort, prayers.
The rosary was over. We all sat back but she was still there, aloof, looking confused and dazed. Reflecting.
The mass was over, I stood up to leave but she stayed put, not blinking but heedless blocking me, unimpressed, looking down, mummified, her fatigued face transmitting through. She wasn’t deaf, she was just not “there”. She could not “hear” me.
I wanted to hug her but was scared out of my wits to even try. Politely, I asked her again to brush aside a little but she witless shoved me off. Surprised and confused, I forced my way through the broken being when I heard jarring hurried sniffles.
I looked down and there she was trembling, groaning quietly, unengineered tear drops genuinely pouring down her face in avalanche and she impotent to wipe them off. Without uninvited details, I knew something was heavy, planting its seed and there wasn’t a thing I could do. They were coming from a place of discomfort, hurt and she needed not to utter it to me, I felt it.
I left the church that day troubled, insects cocooning through my brain, disappointed I did not reach out to her. At least a hug but I didn’t. I hoped she was able to heal her heart. I am aware of how issues du jour can incredibly creep up and make a salad out of you leaving you too exhausted to even sneeze. I have met it.
It is never easy to mend a troubled heart but one can conquer wonders with the grace of the Almighty. I hope she is somewhere today looking straight at the infinite, smiling at the skies and counting her blessings just because Someone was listening to her that day and not judging her grieving soul.