|“But when I found that I
knew not only that there was God but that I
was a child of God,
when I understood that, when I
comprehended that, more than that,
when I internalized that, ingested
that, I became courageous." ~~Maya
So... my neck of the woods is having a COVID surge right now
and some restrictions are back in place. I'm fine and
doing my best to stay safe. I wrote the following as a
coping mechanism... even though I thought I didn't really want
to write more about the pandemic. I guess it's one of
those things that I'll keep changing my mind about.
Anyway, consider this a trigger warning if you don't want to
read about what Andrew's assignments might be like at this
I hope you're all doing well and taking good care of
Angel of Death
October 1st, 2020
JenniAnn tried to get comfortable but sleep wasn't coming.
Not at 10:00 or 11:00 or midnight.
The bed was too big and too cold. And for over two hundreds
nights, she hadn't slept alone.
With a sigh, she grabbed Andrew's pillow and snuggled it, burying
her face in it.
The worst part of this very, very temporary separation was that,
struggling as she was, JenniAnn knew she had the easier part of
it. She got to stay in the comfort of her home with their
children. As these separations continued, the most sorrow
she would see would be Belle pouting about not getting dessert
Andrew's world would be one of hospital wards and at-home
quarantine rooms where a sudden severity of symptoms came on much,
much too fast. There would be no lamb's blood to paint on
doorways. It wouldn't help, anyway.
JenniAnn released the pillow and peered at the fireplace.
Two nights before, they had laid there, snuggled together on a
blanket and pile of pillows. Andrew had taken her hand and
brought it to his lips.
"I just... I feel... helpless, Laja. I... I want to go
back. Nothing long term. Just short... very short...
cases. I think God would allow that."
And, of course, she had encouraged him. When she had
promised to love him always, to never leave him... she'd promised
that to an angel of death. She couldn't keep him confined to
their castle, to their family. It wasn't a job in the way
the carpentry was. It was his vocation. He missed
bringing people Home... even when their last moments broke his
And so, just after dinner, Andrew had left. She'd walked
with him out to their willow tree. They'd kissed... their
hearts beating wildly against each other. They'd both been
nervous. And then he was gone.
And now five hours had passed.
In their bed, JenniAnn tried again to get comfortable.
She failed... and then there was light.
Andrew appeared at the foot of their bed, bathed in golden,
ethereal light, clothed in a loose fitting pair of pants and a
tunic, both cream-colored.
For a moment, the wonder of it all struck JenniAnn anew.
Ancient, angelic... and hers.
But then the light faded and he was just Andrew.
They stared at each other for a few moments. And then his
calm facade began to crack.
"Love..." She beckoned for him.
Andrew climbed onto the bed... and carefully rested his body over
And JenniAnn held him close and stroked his hair and back.
And she waited for him to speak.
It was a pointless gesture. But it felt good.
No matter what he did... press for a lockdown, install a makeshift
shower, bring her things and build her things to distract her from
the fact that she was a prisoner of his own fears, and even throw
his body over hers, shielding her... It didn't really change
Hearts stopped beating. Blood no longer pumped. Lungs
ceased inhaling and exhaling. Brain cells died.
Life didn't stop. Not really. Andrew knew that.
He'd repeated it again and again.
"On one side there is life... And on the other... there's
life, too. That life is waiting for you... now. Just
take my hand and I'll lead you Home."
Andrew lost track of how many times he'd said that over the past
Her chest pressed against his. She breathed in and out...
For a moment, Andrew worried that she was trying to stave off a
panic attack. And then he realized that was exactly what she
was doing... just not her own panic attack.
He buried his face in her hair and listened.
In and out and in and out...
Andrew let out a shuddering sigh as her right hand slipped beneath
his shirt. She resumed stroking his back. He began to
feel more grounded in his body. He hadn't even realized he
was no longer wearing his suit. He'd just known that he'd
been to Heaven and he was clean and he could touch her without
He finally spoke.
Andrew shifted so he was laying beside her, meeting her gaze.
JenniAnn caressed his face. He took her hand and pressed a
kiss into her palm.
"Do... do you want to talk about it?" she asked.
Andrew's mind filled with beeps and sobs and gasps for
breath. He shook his head.
"What can I do?" JenniAnn questioned.
Andrew's shoulders shook and he began to sob.
"Hold me," he croaked.
Andrew obeyed JenniAnn's gentle tugs and sat up. She
straddled his lap and wrapped her arms around his torso as tightly
as she could manage. Andrew felt his body begin to relax
under the pressure of her embrace. He closed his eyes when
she nuzzled his shoulder and kissed his neck.
After several minutes, Andrew rested his forehead against
"Better. Thank you," he murmured as he buried a hand in her
Andrew could see her studying him, looking for any hint that there
was more she should do. He could also see how tired she was.
"Let's lay down, Laja. Please."
"Yes, my love."
They settled onto their sides, facing each other.
"I... I had about thirty cases," Andrew shared.
JenniAnn's eyes went wide.
"But... but that's about a case every ten minutes!"
"There were other angels with those who needed more time, more
encouragement. I... I just sat with people for the last few
minutes then took them Home."
Andrew saw the flash of anger in JenniAnn's eyes. He knew it
was mostly directed towards those who treated the virus as a
hoax... and, even more than them, the politicians and influencers
who had encouraged such thinking. But there was also a more
"I could have stopped at any time," he assured. "I just... I
didn't want to. I wanted to help. I wanted to see
their faces when they were welcomed Home. The time on
Earth... that... that was brutal... heartbreaking. But the
time in Heaven..." Andrew smiled. "Beautiful. To
see them free from pain... from worry... reunited with lost loved
ones." He sighed. "But... but I also couldn't help
thinking of those left behind. My... my last assignment was
a woman in her forties... Mother to five. Happily
married. She... she died in a hospital room... weeks after
last being with her... her family."
Andrew began to cry again.
"Josh-Joshua sent me home after... after I took her Home.
She was such a kind, wonderful woman. But... but I also
couldn't stop thinking..."
He threw an arm around JenniAnn who nestled closer. He knew
he didn't need to say the rest... about how he focused on his
assignment, gave her all his attention and love but, once she was
safely Home, he couldn't stop imagining that it had been her.
"I'm so sorry, Andrew," JenniAnn murmured into his chest.
"Too many... Too many deaths, too many shattered families,
too... too many broken hearts," Andrew groaned.
JenniAnn cried into his tunic.
Through all his sadness, Andrew managed a prayer of
thanksgiving. The shirt was incredibly soft. If he had
to bring his Laja to tears, at least she was crying into something
"Will you go again?" JenniAnn asked after several moments.
She raised her head and peered into Andrew's eyes.
The angel of death nodded.
"I... I have to. As much as it pains me... it's an honor and
privilege to be with people at the end. I've been away from
it for too long... By choice. My own choice. Not
yours," he assured.
"My love..." JenniAnn nuzzled his neck.
Andrew sucked in a deep, calming breath and managed a smile.
"I'll be okay. I... I can't say I'll get used to it... or
even that it'll get easier. But I'll manage. It
helps... coming back to you, to the kids."
JenniAnn lifted her head and mirrored his half-hearted smile.
"I'm glad," she responded before again resting her head on his
Andrew ran his fingers through her hair and prayed for his
assignments... that night's and those to come... and for their
families and friends, knowing JenniAnn was doing the same.
In the beginning, He created the humans. Male and female, He
created them. As so, for generation upon generation, they
had left their parents and been united, becoming one flesh.
But He'd always been one for variety.
In the beginning, He created the angels. They served
Him. They helped form the stars. They carried messages
from Him to the humans. They were, largely, unattached,
devoted to their Creator alone.
But, again, He liked variety. So they really shouldn't have
expected Him to stick within tidy lines.
And so Joshua looked upon the pair he had made, drastically
mismatched by some standards... but perfect to his. Not one
flesh but two souls knitted together.
He set his peace upon them, sending them to sleep in each other's
The next day would find Andrew among the sick and dying again,
lending comfort and encouragement and taking many of them by the
hand to lead them Home, into the arms of their loving Creator.
And then the angel of death would go to his own home, into the
arms of the woman who loved him.
"Fear not, my son," Joshua comforted. "You will never lose
her. Not truly. You'll see. I have great plans
for you both... in this life... and in the next. Good
plans... wonderful and wonder-filled... beyond anything you can
imagine. And I have plans for them, too... For those
you brought Home to me, those who were touch-starved but found
warmth and love in your touch. Andrew... you continue to
make me so proud. You both do." His eyes filled as he
smiled gently at the sleeping pair. "You are my children and
I will hold you close... together... forever... just as I always
have. I love you."
Andrew's head lolled to the side as he relaxed further, his lips
brushing against JenniAnn's hair.
Joshua sighed. Tears rolled down his cheeks as he thought of
the suffering of his children, of the suffering that was yet to
come. But, in time, they would triumph over the
scourge. They would rebuild, reconnect, and rediscover the
beauty of being alive.
And he would be there, as he always was, loving them.
This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye for
continuing to offer hope and comfort during difficult times.
(Photo Credits: The photographs used on this
page are from Touched by an Angel and owned by
CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water
Productions. They are not being used to seek