There Will an Angel Be
there is a
of the human
yet they are
While love is being celebrated the world over today, the loss of a love is being mourned quietly in my insignificantly small sphere. Her name was Roseann Vartanee Kurjian Johns and while our own time spent together was pitifully short, her presence on this earth graced, enriched and illuminated the lives of all who knew her. My heart aches for her husband, Gary, and her sons, Penn and Dominic, and for the space, the huge, now hollow space, left in this world by her absence.
The painting above is by Abbott Thayer whose painting of angels began with the illness and death of his own beloved wife, Kate Bloede. As her condition worsened, he began painting their three children in classically inspired compositions that depicted them as embodiments of perfection — as angels are.
He painted the first of his winged protective figures in 1887 with each ethereal creature rendered as one who watches and who guards.
The angel above features a pale brooding figure enveloped by darkness, seated on a rock as the guardian of the grave.
Somehow, her pose of unangelic comportment strikes me as just exactly right in how Roseann will conduct herself in the next life — with compassion, generosity, warmth, humor, and perfected nonchalance.
She is and will be missed for all the days remaining for those of us who knew, loved and cherished her.
But soon we shall die
and all memory of those five will have left the earth,
and we ourselves shall be loved for a while and forgotten.
But the love will have been enough;
all those impulses of love
return to the love that made them.
Even memory is not necessary for love.
There is a land of the living
and a land of the dead
and the bridge is love,
the only survival,
the only meaning.
Image: Homage to Robert Lewis Stevenson, “Stevenson Memorial,” Abbott Thayer, 1903
Passage: The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Thornton Wilder