Sunday, April 20, 2014

Strange days

What a strange day it is today. How strange many of my days are now, but today especially so. Or maybe I say that every day and just don't remember.

Today is Easter, a holiday with little religious significance for me but with a great deal for Kevin. We would go to his church for Easter services and he would glow with joy. Jesus had risen, the whole of Christianity pivots on this day. As his Jewish partner I would do my best to fit in, I'd admire the ladies in lovely hats and the kids in their Easter best, I'd enjoy the music and mostly I'd feel joy by extension. While it may not be my holy day, it was clearly holy nonetheless and that made it a lovely thing to be part of.

I've always liked the stories of Easter and Christmas, one celebrating hope and renewal (albeit via a hard path) and the other basically the biggest birthday party in the world. Even as a non-Christian these things have meaning to me and I loved celebrating with Kevin, who believed so deeply. After church on Easter we would either have a good meal at home or eat Easter dinner with friends. They would all be glowing with joy and I loved being part of it.

Today is 24 days since Kevin died. And I am struck over and over again that people around the world are celebrating a rise from the grave, a renewal into life. Yes, as a Christian Kevin believed in eternal life and I have no reason to doubt him, but he is not here. Not risen in the flesh. Not holding my hand. Not singing Easter songs next to me. Not eating dinner with gusto. He is not here. (I know some of you will say he is, just not in a tangible form and I understand that. But right now, it is his immediacy that I am longing for. I am not denying the power of and my yearning for signs and visitations, but... I miss him.)

I sit on our back porch and watch the birds. I listen to the church bells. I smile as my friends and neighbors beam with Easter joy. But he is not here. And everlasting life seems very far away.

What a strange day it is today.

(c)2014 Laura S. Packer

(thanks to my friend Tony Toledo for sending me this poem today)

Jill Alexander Essbaum

is my season
of defeat.

Though all
is green

and death
is done,

I feel alone.
As if the stone

rolled off
from the head

of the tomb
is lodged

in the doorframe
of my room,

and everyone
I've ever loved

lives happily
just past

my able reach.
And each time

Jesus rises
I'm reminded

of this marble

they are not
coming back.

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  1. Yes, your post resonates in my heart. You miss him here and now - because that's where we live and feel and breathe. Think of you often. I've had many "strange days' missing my daughter. Take good care, whatever that means for you. <3

  2. It's weird living in an upside down world that's full of sorrow and remembering and longing. You are sharing your road map through this strange land. I wish you safe travels all the way to ordinary days. I'll be waiting for you with a piece of peach pie and a hug.

  3. It's hard wanting someone you love to still be with you on this side of life. But I am sure Kevin is where he knew he would end up one day. One thing to take away from the Easter story is that death doesn't have to destroy us. And I am talking about those of us who remain here in the flesh. You share wonderful stories Laura.

  4. Right now, kevin is reveling in new things that our current human minds cannot begin to understand.

  5. Interesting that the poet has a Jewish sounding last name...


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