Poem: “Grave of the Angelic Pastor”


Grave of the Angelic Pastor

I spoke to stone today
As if it was you

Your photograph was there
With an unnatural background
Indistinct clouds and rays of light
Surrounding your face

You were always so engaged in life
It is strange to see you still
And without a context
Even if it is only in a photo

The stone has your name
First, middle, last
The stone tells when you were born
I never knew your middle name
Or your birth date

Until you died

It feels profane
For me to read those things from a stone
In a public place
Unveiled and plain
As if they were never intimate or private

Maybe in death
Privacy is gone

Maybe in death
We belong equally to anyone who remembers us

It seems unjust
But it is a back door for me

Death is the equalizer
So that I can love you
No less than anyone still here

And I can hope that
If you do remember me
I am just as significant
As anyone else

Who can read your middle name
And your birth date
From a stone that bears
A motionless image of your smiling face

In memoriam: Fr. Thomas Showalter, SOLT (1957-2013)

Terri Kimmel


About Author

Terri Kimmel is wife to a great man and mother to his nine adorable and gifted children. She homeschools, keeps a kitchen worm bin, and bumbles at needlework and gardening. While looking forward to the joys of grandparenting, she continues to pray for at least one son to become a priest. She studies foreign language online and shamelessly strains to understand the Spanish she hears at the grocery store, hoping La Virgen de Guadalupe, her mother, is pleased. On Twitter @terri_kimmel.

  • Guy McClung

    Terri-This is profound and with insight conveys that only his body is dead, he lives, that we are all significant, and that contemplation of earthly death leads us to hope. thanks. Guy McClung, San Antonio

    • Terri Kimmel

      Thanks. He was a wonderful priest and a great man. I will always look forward to seeing him again in the next life.

      I happened, by chance, to attend daily mass once on the memorial of St. Thomas Aquinas. Fr. Tom preached with such a passionate love and admiration of The Angelic Doctor. I gained a deeper insight into who Fr. Tom was by hearing and seeing him preach about his patron saint. I believe they were close brothers through Fr. Tom’s devotion. The title of the poem is a reference to their relationship.