A Chapter by Genevieve

A grieving woman and a conflicted angel.



Six weeks, two days, fourteen hours and twenty-two minutes ago Molly had passed from her short little life and into the great beyond.  Every second that had passed from that moment on felt like death all over again.  Catherine knew deep down there should have been some measure of relief in the knowledge that the little girl wouldn’t have to suffer any more.  She should be focusing on the positive to get through this.  Molly wasn’t at the mercy of the monster that had held her body hostage for so long anymore.  The cancer that had racked her little body for the better part of her very short life couldn’t touch her anymore.  It was what they’d prayed for all along, wasn’t it?  To be free of the monster.  Somehow, this wasn’t quite how she’d pictured her prayers being answered.

It just isn’t fair!  They had only just found each other.  One year is such a short time, especially when so much of it had been dedicated to hospitals visits.  All those operations, the chemotherapy and radiation treatments; what had been the use?  She’s still gone.  The pretty pink room they’d painted together had barely been used, and yet every inch of it held a little part of the girl.  Molly had closed the door herself, just before their last trip into the Children’s Hospital.  The finality of it hadn’t been lost on either of them at the time.  You were so sick, and there was just nothing we could do.  The door had stayed closed ever since.  Cathy didn’t dare open it; she just couldn’t face all those memories.   Instead she spent her days trying not to look in its direction, wallowing in her grief and wishing she could pretend it all away.

She couldn’t stop crying and that was okay because she didn’t want to.  There was a giant gaping hole in her heart that just kept getting bigger and bigger.  Part of her hoped that maybe all those tears would help fill that void. A ridiculous notion really.  It was much more likely that the void would suck her in and consume her entirely.  Wouldn’t that be nice?  Not to have to feel anything anymore.

Deep down there was a very real knowledge that shouldn’t be dealing with Molly’s death alone.  The darkness clawing away at her insides was a dangerous and slippery thing not to be taken lightly.  She needed a support system, at the very least someone to talk to.  But there was no one.  There never really had been.  She’d been a toddler when her mother had died.  Her father was rotting in jail somewhere, completely out of reach.  She had no brothers or sisters and no family to speak of.  She didn’t even have any friends to call.  Growing up in the system, being shuffled from foster home to foster home, didn’t allow for the forging of lifelong friendships.   

The few people with which she’d managed to form some sort of connection had come and gone through her life as quickly as Molly had.  Jack had been one of her high school history professors.  He’d been the one to show her what the word ‘father’ was supposed to mean.  Unfortunately, like Molly, he died of cancer just one short year after they’d met. 

Caroline had been her roommate during their first year of university.  The middle daughter of seven, she’d happily taken Catherine into her life as if she were the eighth child her parents never had.  They’d only known each other a few short months when tragedy struck again.   This time in the form of a pick up truck filled with drunken, rowdy frat boys.  The two girls had been on their way back to the dorms after a late night study session at the campus library when the truck rammed the driver’s side of Caroline’s car.  On her worst nights Cathy could still feel the heavy oppressiveness of the overturned car, the rush of blood in her ears as her heart tried desperately to jump right out of her chest.  She’d held on to Caroline’s cold, shaking hand as the girl bled out waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

There had been some measure of strength found in having survived those two horrible losses.  Knowing that she’d made it through had helped her deal with Molly’s cancer.  That strength had carried them both through all those ever important procedures and treatments.  No, not important.  Useless. Utterly useless.  She died anyway, didn’t she?   Now, knowing Molly was gone just made her other losses that much harder to bear.  Maybe people come to me to die.  Such a depressing thought, and yet there was no denying the possibility was there.  Lately she hated to admit, even to herself, how deep and dark the thoughts that plagued her had become.  With everyone gone, Cathy was pretty sure she wanted to die herself.  Maybe then I won’t be so alone anymore.




 What is it about this woman, this Catherine?  She’d been crying for weeks over her little Molly’s passing.  It seemed this most recent loss had been too much for her to bear.  Raphael just couldn’t seem to figure her out.  She was no stranger to loss.  Past experience should have prepared her for the child’s passing.  Yet somehow this one in particular had been different.  Catherine was so strong.  How was it that this child’s ascent to Heaven could bring her to her knees?

“Why, Michael? Why does she hurt so much?” It felt good to voice the answerless questions that plagued him.  “Has she not suffered enough?  Does she not deserve a reprieve?”   What sort of plan had their Father devised for this woman, who was nothing but kindness and love.  Why would he push her so far, see her suffer so?  “I would see her happy, loved.  Such a kind and giving heart slowly being robbed of its faith seems a terrible waste.” 

“You are an angel of the Lord, Raphael.  You are not meant to question the path our Father has chosen for humanity.”  He’d turned to Michael for guidance with the hope there would be some way to help her.  Instead Raphael was granted a call for patience.  Michael’s answer left him restless and unsatisfied.   

“I have played a part in altering her path, brother.” Molly, that beautiful soul, had been the sweetest wanting little girl.  The child was as alone as Catherine had always been.  Nudging them toward each seemed the most natural choice.  The woman would finally have someone to share her life with and the child would be well loved and cared for.  How could he have missed the part where the girl was to meet such a tragically early end.  Perhaps it would have altered his choices.  “We are not meant to cause harm, are we?  And yet I have done just that.”

“Catherine will go on, as is her nature.  She will make her own choices with the free will she possesses and she will face those choices before me at the gates of Heaven when her time comes.  So it is and so it shall be.  It is the nature of things my brother. You know it well.” 

Of course he knew it.  Michael, in all his detached objectivity, was right.  Molly had needed a mother to help her through her illness.  Catherine had needed someone to care for.  A person who would thrive in all the love she had to give.  Their paths had been meant to cross.  Raphael had simply played his part, guiding them in the right direction toward each other. 

Still, peace eluded him.  There was no absolution in the knowledge that things were exactly as they should be.  Her suffering still haunted him.  “But… she is so alone.”

“Consider what you have just said, brother.” Michael chastised sternly.  “Catherine will never be alone.  Not while we watch over her soul.”  The concept of any one human being completely alone was ridiculous.  Each and every one of their Father’s children had an angel to keep watch over their souls. 

The truth of it still seemed wrong somehow.  Raphael couldn’t bear her tears, her loneliness.  He felt them and the depth of her pain as if they were his own.  Such confusing human emotion left him spent and bewildered.  “Surely there is something to be done Michael. There must be some way I can help her!”  

“Stay the course Raphael.  Watch over her as you do all of your charges and all will be revealed in time.  Our Father will show you the way as he does for us all.”  Michael had such unwavering faith in this ‘way’ he spoke of.  He could only wish he was still was as certain.

Raphael watched on, only because there was no other course to follow.  Slowly her tears went silent, turned inward and away from the world at large. And yet, as silent as those tears had become they continued to consume her.  Her heart still raged away at the unfairness of it all, still begged for someone to come and rescue her from the loneliness that gripped her tight. 

It was pure agony to watch her from afar knowing he could not provide her with even the smallest of comforts.  He longed to offer her a tangible reminder that she was not alone. It was the worst kind of torture.  Would it be such a crime, to offer a shoulder on which to lay her head as her tears fall? 

Michael left him to his brooding, not willing to condone the pining for a mortal woman.  Such feelings for the human race were discouraged; unheard of.  If acknowledged, Michael feared Raphael would consider it an approval of sorts.  The outcome of which could easily become disastrous.  Far better to avoid it all entirely until Raphael came to his senses.

Gabriel quickly filled Michael’s place by Raphael’s side to watch over the wayward son who had chosen to walk such a dangerous path.  A switch his brother barely even noticed, so lost was he in his own confliction.

© 2010 Genevieve

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Added on April 17, 2010
Last Updated on April 19, 2010
Tags: When Angels Fall, Catherine, Raphael, Revelation