by Christina Honchell
I started with Good Friday this year.
Seven weeks ago my mother had a heart attack, and in the four weeks between that night and the night she died, I was with her for three hospitalizations at four hospitals, a skilled nursing facility and finally in hospice at a wonderful memory care home where she died peacefully. The liturgical calendar gives us a good run up to Good Friday, a context for it, a frame for the grief and the sadness. It’s not quite so helpful when your Good Friday goes on for weeks.
To paraphrase Auntie Mame, I need a little Easter. Right this very minute.
Today is an odd day – the last day that is purely Lent, the last day before we plunge into our Holy Days and take the paschal journey through death into new life. It’s the first day since February that I’ve felt like talking about any of it; in some way, this day is my whole Lent. I feel like I should give something up, take something on, walk 20 laps around the labyrinth, say a season’s worth of prayer. But I’m just going to watch the finches outside my office window, navigating the breezes and singing to me that it’s Spring, you fool, look around you! Look at the new life, look at the bougainvillea outside your bedroom window, smell the lime blossoms and the jasmine, look at the hawks building their nest in the sequoia tree. Sit on your balcony tonight and take in the splendor of the full moon.
I’m not naïve about grief. I know that there are many Good Fridays to come for me. And I know that Easter is whispering in my ear, reminding me to look deeply at the beauty of the world and to find comfort there. No, it’s not a normal Easter for me this year. Every spin of the liturgical calendar brings something new and different, and this is just one season. I am so deeply grateful to be spending it in this community, to be held up by all of you and to be joined with your own sorrows, grief and suffering.
I may need a little help recognizing new life this year. Help me listen for the whisper.
During the Forty Days of Lent, we will offer daily meditations from All Saints Church. Today’s is written by Christina Honchell, our Parish Administrator.