But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
On this Saturday, before this Easter, I find myself wondering what the friends, family and disciples of Jesus must have felt as they watched in agony the events of the crucifixion of their beloved friend, brother, son, Savior, Lord and leader.
How did they feel as they went back to their homes together, as they continued to mourn -- wrestling with both the shock and realization of what had happened? I expect they bonded in new ways while collectively wrestling with newfound grief. As readers of the Biblical story now, we know the hope that waited around the corner with Christ's resurrection – yet on that day, they did not see it.
As they wrestled with their grief, did they comfort one another with the words Jesus had used to comfort them before? Did hope remain on that dark day? I imagine there were few moments of silence but perhaps they still happened in between the tears and heart-to-heart conversations. Maybe the silence hit as they rested, exhausted from the grief that felt so heavy.
On the eve of Easter 2020, this day feels a bit more silent. There is a peacefulness within me as I write on the back porch listening to the birds and light rain, but it's a different kind of year. We are all embracing a year of social distancing and mostly online activities, including church. There are less places to hide or be distracted from thoughts of grief that enter my mind. This year, especially as it relates to my own grief journey, Easter seems more complex.
This year, both the holiday of Easter aligns with the anniversary of my mom’s passing. April 12, 1998. Each year the anniversary is hard and even Easter still stings at times. But when both align, it seems to place a magnifying glass on the feelings of grief that I have come to know so well. Layered within this, is the grief of losing my spouse this past year. The person who so often encouraged me on these anniversaries. The person who sat beside me as we looked upon the hope of Easter no matter what life circumstances existed.
It is clear to see that Hope and Easter are aligned. Can the same be true of Grief and Easter?
At times, hope and grief feel like competitors. The tension between them is palpable. How do we live in both? Acknowledging the grief yet still seeing and trusting in the hope.
It’s almost hard to express my thoughts as they are many and they run deep. Yet as I sit here beginning this silent Saturday, I still find I want to lean into the healing that continues to happen because I trust in a God who is always faithful. One who sent His only son, to offer a hope that looked different than anything else before.
This hope offers healing for hurting hearts, grieving hearts and broken hearts.
This hope propels me forward in my own grief even on days when it feels like I might be moving in reverse.
Hallelujah, what a Savior.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." – 1 Peter 1:3
Hi! It's Jenn Brown, writing my story that is now slightly different as we enter a season of new grief. On September 30, 2019, my dear husband Josh passed away after battling brain cancer.