“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 Angelou

Hi all,

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 time.

I hope you're all doing well and taking good care of yourselves!

God bless,

Angel of Death

Thursday, 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 before dinner.

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 heart.

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 hers.

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 things.

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 five hours.

Her chest pressed against his.  She breathed in and out... slowly.

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 worrying.

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 JenniAnn's.

"Better.  Thank you," he murmured as he buried a hand in her hair.


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!"

Andrew nodded.

"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 personal anger.

"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 incredibly soft.

"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 chest.

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 arms.

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.

The End

This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye for continuing to offer hope and comfort during difficult times.

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(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 profit.)