This Easter season was different for me. Parts of it were incredibly hard, others incredibly powerful, and all of it so different than any other Easter.
I can admit I hadn’t ever experienced or even understood grief until December 8th, 2015. And it certainly impacted my experience of Good Friday and Easter Sunday this year. When Enoch died I mourned. I mourned for the first time in such a deep and tangible way… more so than ever before in my 37 years of life. For weeks I only wore black, which isn’t too far out of my wardrobe anyhow, but I couldn’t imagine wearing bright color. There was no room for colors when everything in me felt so dark and sad. Even as I would text emotions, I couldn’t use the little emoticons. How could I put a bright yellow face attached to a text, even it represented sadness and had a tear. I couldn’t. The bright yellow seemed too cheery, and I couldn’t bear to do anything that resembled happiness because I felt in such despair. I was mourning.
This year as Easter came around and for the first time I actually grieved Jesus’ death. I understood grief and mourning and death in a whole new way. God sent his son to die. I sent a text just moments before the Good Friday service that I was nervous to go. I was nervous to hear that phrase or combination of phrases dealing with a son dying. I write those words from time to time, typically in disbelief that my son died. How can that be true? And now it’s Easter and I am spending days thinking about a son dying. I wore all black to good Friday Service and continued to all weekend. I had to. I had to mourn the death of Jesus. Again, I found myself unable to wear anything bright or colorful. I even switched my white glasses to my black ones. I felt the loss. I understood the sacrifice more deeply than I ever have before.
And now not only am I mourning the death of a son, I’m doing so knowing he died for me. If I’m honest one of my biggest fears in life is being responsible for someone elses harm or death. I’m the person that makes everyone buckle up, because I never want to be a driver of a car accident that causes a serious injury. I worry about it with First Glance and feel the weight of responsibility of volunteers and students who walk through our doors, so afraid something will happen on my watch. Overall it’s a fear I have more often than I admit.
No surprise that when Enoch first died I spent a good chunk of time in my mind trying to figure out what happened. Going over and over those 40 weeks wondering if I had done something wrong, was it something I ate or did that caused my son to die? When I learned he only developed to 31 weeks, I quickly pulled out my calendar to see what I was doing during that time. I was responsible for him. It was my job to care for him, and he died. He died! I won’t go into all the nights I had spent awake feeling responsible. I later learned it wasn’t something I did and am grateful to have been freed from that guilt but from time to time the thought sneaks back in.
So now it’s Easter, “the son” has died, and I am at fault. This year I understood more than ever the weight of my sin in the Easter story. This wasn’t a lie or guilt ridden feeling, like I had with Enoch. Jesus really did choose to go to the cross for my sin, and I receive a whole relationship with God and eternal life because of it!! As much as I grieved like never before this Easter season, I also rejoiced like never before! Sunday I wore white. I celebrated. And I was more grateful than ever before this Easter season.