Grieving at Easter?

Easter is the pinnacle of Christian holidays. The most joy filled day of the year. He is risen! Yes, risen indeed! So, the fact that this particular Easter I find myself hurting over this very special day has taken me by surprise. If you have read my posts over the last year, perhaps it is not so surprising to you though.

A season of grief has been bearing down hard for over two solid years without letting up. Currently, it is not only the individual griefs but the culmination of them all that makes me wonder how much more my fragile heart can bear. Then April arrived.

Beautiful new dresses. Dyed Easter eggs. Resurrection rolls. Special church service. Delicious traditional foods eaten with spiritual brothers and sisters joining us at home while we use the fine china and drink from the very delicate crystal goblets. Up next is the Easter egg hunt for all the cute little ones present. My whole life Easter has been a very special day.

One of the most disappointing experiences during the April 2020 quarantine was being prevented from uniting with others to worship on Easter. The other Sundays worshipping virtually had been hard, but that one was piercing. Then came this year.

My heart is literally physically aching. I did not see this coming. But that is just like Grief – he seems to relish taking you by surprise.

But I will fight back. I am fighting back. I plan to attend a Good Friday service. A Silent Saturday service. And then the special Sunday Easter service. I plan to make dyed Easter eggs because I found out they mean a lot to my kids, one in particular. I plan to scratch the fancy meal because I am just not up to that emotional challenge and instead am planning to eat some high-priced pizza at a local restaurant. A friend has repeatedly recommended we watch Jojo Rabbit, and so Easter seems like an appropriate time. One child still likes the Easter egg hunt, so that’s on my radar as well. But I’m letting go of the tradition to write out a special message in code. It is just too much this year. Maybe we will invite the young neighbor friends, but that is still to be determined.

I hate that I am grieving at this glorious holiday. Grief and Easter are so incompatible. Perhaps you find yourself in a similar spot. I am sorry! God sees you! You are not alone. We will make it through this holiday. And the next hard day that shows up unexpectedly. Grief is relentless. But let us fight back. Let us look for the good. Let us remember grief is light and momentary in reality. Let us remember that Friday was good because Sunday was coming. Likewise, today is good because Jesus is coming. He promised. And He never breaks a promise.

Cry your tears. Bear your heart to God. Then get up and watch the sunrise and know that one day joy will come in the morning. One day Jesus is coming back and we will never ever shed another tear or bear another burden.

Easter is a good day. It reminds us of the incredible power of God to take the absolute worst situation and turn it into something unimaginably beautiful and desirable. God is working in your grief and in my grief. He is compassionate. And He knows that sometimes He must crush those He loves in order to accomplish a plan that we would never ever doubt if we knew all the details. Trust Him today. Trust Him tomorrow. Trust Him always and forever. Happy Easter!

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