John was dead. Finally the long trek had come to its end. Their lives had been lived and nothing accomplished. John’s body lay in the bedroom that they had shared for thirty years; Mary sat in the next room, on the floor, in a corner, crying and crying, loudly sometimes, very loudly sometimes, just moaning sometimes. After many hours, the widow stood. She was stooped not only with sorrow but with age. She covered her head with a pala and walked slowly to St Irene’s, hardly noticing the people who watched her as she climbed the hill.
Mary had hoped to find peace in the church. There was none. There was no consolation. The church was as cold as the stones with which it had been built three centuries before. Mary prayed for his soul, She begged for his soul. She feared for his soul. She cried tears for his soul. She swore to God that she would never cease to cry until He had forgiven her husband’s many sins. This was the last thing a wife could do for him but as she at last left the holy place, she noticed how brightly the sun was shining Had it been so when she came in? She hadn’t noticed. Her eyes were clear too. A peacefulness covered her own soul and Mary went out into the daylight.