Most Misunderstood

–This entry courtesy of Grim Reaper No. 3,425,167

Grim Reaper

Do you understand my brothers and me?

Grim Reaper

No mortal understands us.

We are greeted with tears.

Sugar Maple

Do you think we like tears?

Do you think we do not feel the poignancy of the tears of children?

Grim Reaper

Do you believe our hearts are stone to the tears of maidens?

Poplar

Can you imagine that we have no pity for the families torn apart by our visits?

Grim Reaper

Why else would we pause in the middle of our entrusted task, unless we were waiting for your pleas?

Grim Reaper

We are not cold. We are not blind to tears nor deaf to sobs. We hear your every word as clearly as we see into your hearts.

Grim Reaper

And we cannot do your bidding.

Grim Reaper

We answer to a different call, and when your pleas do not align with that force to which we respond, we cannot comply, though we hear your every word.

Grim Reaper

You talk of the bravery of those who face us. You call them heroes. We have yet to hear you talk of the bravery that we possess.

No matter. When we accept our task, we accept all that comes with it, including your fear, your hatred, your dread, your nightmares.

All of this resistance that is so unnecessary to this, the most fundamental of duties and tasks. We are the other side of that which you revere. How can you worship one without the other?

No matter. Big mysteries are meant to be just that–mysteries.

Grim Reaper

Is it any wonder that when we come we take a moment when our task is complete to find some pleasure or joy?

Inside your homes, you keep gadgets that are miraculous to us. There are few things I enjoy more than a good tv show on a good flatscreen tv.

Grim Reaper

Yet why is it that just as we are stealing a moment to relish the seldom-tasted pleasures of this physical realm, the evil ones amongst you must come to fight or yell or argue with us and to demand that we leave?

Grim Reaper

To be misunderstood by even the evil shows how deeply this mortal resistance goes.

All right. I will leave.

Grim Reaper

Before I depart, I will give you a gift. I will tell you how it will go.

Irving Bough

At first, you will feel that your heart has split in two. This is not a symbol or a metaphor–this is what you feel, a sharp, stabbing pain that slices your heart.

Daryl

You will say that time will heal. And it will. But only if you let yourself feel that your heart has been split. If you ignore this pain or push it away, it will linger, and a dozen years later, this ache in your chest will have been stitched into you.

Your heart is broken. Feel it so that you can heal it.

Grim Reaper

This is how it will go. You will at first feel that you are alone in your grief.

Daryl Bough

You will feel your own aching heart so acutely that you will be blind to all other pain.

Niko

You will feel too sad for games.

Irving Bough

Then, through your solitary sadness, you will begin to notice another. You will come together, as family, as friends.

Irving Bough

Your hearts will be softened. Even the toughest of you will open through the depth of this sorrow. You are not alone.

Poplar

You are family–sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, cousins, aunts, uncles. Friends. You are part of the human family. You are part of the family of mortals.

Have you not yet discovered miracles?

This is how it will go.

Boughs

You will spend time together. You will feel connection.

Sugar Maple

You will even continue on with life: meeting new people, completing goals, learning new skills. You will love again.

Salix

You will rest in the sound of each other’s voice.

Sugar Maple

You will find comfort in family.

Boughs

You will feel awe at the miracles around you: a beautiful daughter.

Salix

A loving wife.

Aspen

This is how it will go.

If you are wise and lucky, you will remember. You will heal your heart, yet you will not forget: you will keep open these pathways that have been carved by my scythe. You are precious. And one day I will come for you.

Grim Reaper

But that day is not today. And a small young evil boy who is angry that I came for his grandmother, a young boy who does not yet understand, has insisted that I must leave. I have told you how it will go.

Do you understand now?

Grim Reaper