Honestly, I didn’t think I’d get here.
I’m not just saying that. For months, I have thought of Easter Sunday with a heavy heart. Thoughts of Easter would be laced with memories, and uncertainty, and the fear that I just wouldn’t feel up to it. I wondered if my favourite holiday would be forever changed from something I loved to something I tolerated, something I waited out instead of something I entered in.
Earlier this week I decided to blog my way through Holy Week, and a lot of you joined me. Thank-you. This week has forever changed me. Even though I’m a verbal person, I often struggle to share the deepest things I am feeling. It’s easier for me to write them. Or preach them. Not always so easy just to say them – but I am learning. And I am learning that sharing it helps.
Here is what I also learned this week: there is no way around Holy Week. The only way around it is through it. It was absolutely an option for me to avoid it, but that just means that Holy Week would have lingered. And there is no way around grief. Grief doesn’t go away by trying to forget about it, as any of you who have been on the journey surely know. You have to jump in and wade your way through – backwards and sideways and in circles sometimes – but through it. Such as it is with the journey to the joy of Easter – it only comes through the cross.
And now here I am on Easter Sunday morning and I am surprised and happy to say that I feel… ready. I am ready to celebrate today. I am ready to wave flags and sing and talk about resurrection. I know there will still be moments when I will have tears. I know that I will sing about Christ conquering death and I will feel like it is Roxanne’s story that I am singing – and it will tug at my heart. I know that my grief is not finished.
And I know that there is joy. He is risen!
It really does change everything.
I remember last Easter Sunday. Thanks to the children, I was up early. I decided to try Skyping the family at Roxanne’s house. Roxanne was lying in bed. My sister Deanne was there with her. And her daughter Sam was in the middle of the Easter egg hunt Roxanne had still been sure to make happen (did I mention she was amazing?). We talked for a few minutes, and it was good. Then something messed up with our connection – but only on their end. They thought I was gone, but their computer was still on and I could see and hear everything they were saying. For close to an hour I sat and watched, and listened. I listened to my sister’s voice. I watched her smile. I watched her celebrate Easter – and it brought me so much joy.
From different sides of the screen, we celebrated Easter 2013.
And, from different sides of a screen, we celebrate Easter today.
It is true because He is risen.
Oh, Roxanne…I can hardly wait until we celebrate together again, when all the screens are gone.