This piece is the seventh in a series of reflections on Lent and Holy Week.
Morning light. Facts sorting into a terrible dawning. I don’t want to move. The moment my feet touch the floor I will be falling again, pulled by grief, not gravity, over the edge of brutal end. I feel my slippers. I am already dizzy. Rising, I fall. Every loss of yesterday flying past me just out of reach, but I will reach anyway to try and save them as if they are still mine to save. It’s too early and too fast for all this flailing.
Voices. I am talking now. Trying to sound as if I am not falling. Are others falling too? Murmurs of human company and mugs of warmth emptied into the abyss. I am lurching through the day looking for steadying hope. Nothing. Light moves across the sky and for a moment, a line of bright hollyhocks cut through the fear. But then, it fades.
There is no relief from this new reality. It is a remaining thing. I brush my teeth at 3 p.m. and weep because I miss my life so much and this is not my life but I must walk around in it like it is, and talk as if it’s me. I email my best friend and I love her too much to tether her to this grief so I hold my breath and lie. I am so tired from falling all day, and when the porch shadows change for evening, I am glad this day is coming to its end.
Birds crisscross the dusk, making their last dash for home before their brood locks the doors for the night. This daily rush hour used to comfort me, but now panic rises because I have not changed one fact today and that chance is almost gone.
More Holy Week reflections from Broadview:
How can others lose so much and still go on? There, on the edge of my bed, I remember them, painfully and wonderfully grateful for Spirit-mending ministry I have witnessed through the years. But who can we follow now, in such aching absence?
At last, I lie down and stop trying to save the life that is gone further from me by a day now. My children. The smell of their sweaty heads in summer. Relief. Tears roll down, for love still has somewhere to land.
Will every tomorrow be this today? Is my best hope that edges wear down into smoother sorrow? God save us. God save us. God save us. It rocks my breathing toward sleep. There is no vigil to keep. This death is real. Remaining. And in that thin place just before I’m gone, a word forms from a life lived long in the story, “resurrection.” It’s come too late to change anything in this day, and is too much for me to believe right now anyway. I sleep instead.
But in my dreaming, the hope of resurrection remains. For even long ago, everyone slept through it.
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