The Little Soul and the Big Job

For Patricia

Trigger Warning: stillbirth / miscarriage

Once there was a little soul who wanted a big job… so it went to talk to God.

“God,” said the little soul, “I think I’m ready for a big job. I’ve played the harp, and counted clouds, and welcomed pets on the Rainbow Bridge. But I want to go to Earth. Can you find a job there for me?”

God thought for a moment, then smiled. “Yes,” he told the little soul. “I have the perfect job for you.”

The little soul squealed with joy and clapped its hands. “Hooray! What will I have to do?”

“It’s not an easy job,” cautioned God. “It’s a big one, just like you’ve asked for, and I can’t think of any other soul who would be a better fit than you.”

“What is it??” the little soul cried excitedly.

“There’s a mama down there who needs you. She has a lot of pain that only you can heal for her, and there are lessons that only you can teach her.”

The little soul’s eyes shone brightly at this, and it wondered out loud–

“Hugs and cuddles? Tantrums and patience? New experiences and fun adventures?”

Gently, softly, God clarified. “Not exactly. It won’t be as obvious as that.”

The little soul nodded as God continued.

“You’ll help her heal childhood trauma, and break generational cycles.

“You’ll help her set tighter boundaries. She’ll take better care of her emotions, her body, her priorities.

“She’ll do things she never thought she’d be able to do… all because of you.”

The little soul was beaming now, earnest and eager, but God grew quite serious with his next point.

“You will know unconditional love as wide and expansive as the universe, little soul—from your mama, your daddy, your auntie, and so many others—and you will touch their lives so very deeply. But…”

He paused, and the little soul held its breath expectantly.

“But… you will never see their faces. You will finish this job just before you are born.”

Suddenly the little soul understood why this was such a big job: it wouldn’t get to stay.

“Can I watch over them after I come back?”

God smiled. “I had hoped you would ask that.”

The little soul felt a little better and smiled back. “Oh good! Because I want to make sure they feel my love for a long, long time. And who knows? Maybe I can help with things from here from time to time.”

“Yes,” said God, “that sounds like a beautiful idea.”

The little soul hesitated a moment, then asked, “Will they give me a name?”

“Patricia,” God said. “They will call you Patricia.”