How can heaven be so great when we’re still here?
It was a blasphemous thought that had haunted Benedict since the day his mother passed. He refused to speak it aloud; not on the day it had happened, not when his mother’s coffin was lowered into the muddy grave, not when his father, months later, would call him in the middle of the night, crying like a scared child.
Family had meant everything to his mother. His father, his brother, himself – they were her life, her joy, her reason to get up in the morning. They were a close family, closer than most; and now one of them was missing. She was gone.
A religious woman, Benedict had no reason to believe that his mother’s hadn’t found her way to the pearly gates. But the idea that somehow she would be happy there, happier than she had ever been on Earth – with them; it grated on him.
Without her family around her, wasn’t there a key component of paradise missing?
The thought kept him awake at night. The unspoken question that had to remain unanswered, since either possibility, no, she would not be happy or yes, she’d be perfectly happy, stung at his heart in equal measures.
Benedict wanted to pray, but didn’t want to offend the Almighty with his doubts. For months he mulled over the question alone, a permanent frown stretching his long face until, one day, a thought occurred to him.
His mouth twitched up into what just passed for a smile. It made his atrophied muscles ache.
Mom loved helping the family; watching over the family; protecting the family. Now, she is in a better position to do all that than ever before.
She would like that, after all.
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