Easter Reality

IMG_1209I’m not sure why, but I was really looking forward to Easter this year.  I bought a bunch of Easter cards and sent them out to various friends and family, filled several candy dishes with chocolate eggs and other colorful candies, and even broke out my “Easter ornament tree” much earlier than I usually do.  I told my extended family that I wanted to have the after-church Easter brunch at my house this year, and looked up a few new recipes to serve. Maybe it’s the early spring we are enjoying, since it means we have flowers and beautiful budding trees everywhere I look, but in the past few weeks, I have been more than ready for a fun and festive Easter celebration.

But life doesn’t always go according to plan.  Two days ago, we got the very sad news that my son-in-law’s father passed away after a long and valiant battle against cancer.  He was a hardworking, smart and extremely kind man who was devoted to his wife and family, and his passing has left a huge hole in the lives of the many people who loved him. And somehow, celebrating anything, including Easter, didn’t seem so appropriate anymore.

Of course I knew that dispensing with my usual Easter traditions wasn’t going to lessen anyone’s grief, so I stuck with my normal routine.  I still invited my mother over to dye eggs on Easter Saturday; I still put together the usual Easter baskets for my immediate family, and I am still hosting Easter brunch, with the understanding that it is perfectly okay for my daughter and son-in-law to skip it this year.  But in many ways, it feels like nothing more than just going through the motions.

So this Easter, I am honoring the holiday mostly by remembering what a fragile gift life is, how important it is to spend time with our loved ones while we still can, and how necessary it is to reach out and support one another in our times of suffering and great personal loss.  This year, I am just concentrating on what, for me, is Easter’s true message of hope in in the midst of despair, and the enduring and ultimate power of love.

33 thoughts on “Easter Reality

  1. So sorry for your loss Ann. Our week was one of ups and downs too. Funeral, birth, Easter. I hope you found some moments to cherish as that is what we must do. Sending hugs.

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  2. In the course of a day I sometimes wonder how many of the people I walk past or speak to are either grieving or deeply worried. Because I don’t know, I try to be gentle with them all. We need kindness, we need each other, more than we realize.

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  3. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss, Ann. Death is always difficult , especially around a holiday. I think you did the right thing by going through the motions. Irs what I would have done but everyone feels differently. I believe life goes on, as difficult as it may be. The next holiday or special day isn’t guaranteed to anyone. We should celebrate each one as if it’s our last, always remembering those we shared them with. God rest his soul. Prayers for your family.

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  4. Ann, I’m so very sorry for your family’s loss. You were right, there was no point in canceling your Easter plans. I hope you had a very Blessed Easter.

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  5. I’d like to extend my condolences. I also think that you did the right thing to continue on and go through the motions with the Easter gathering. I like how you described Easter’s true message of hope.

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  6. I was terribly sorry to hear about your son-in-law’s father. I understand your feelings about continuing with Easter, though. When my wife’s mother passed away, Christmas and New Year felt empty and half-hearted for a long time afterwards. Despite that, we still went ahead with our family gatherings. What else could we do? There really was no alternative but to go on with life, no matter how sad we felt.

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  7. I am just reading this tonight. I am so sorry to hear of your family’s loss. I think continuing with your plans was a good thing. Celebrating with family is honoring the circle and constant that is family. I think it was a good way to honor your son-in-law’s father, though I certainly understand the “going through the motions” feeling that you had at the time. I hope all were able to find comfort in each others company.

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    • Thank you! It did help to be together early in the day, and my son-in-law’s family all gathered in his father’s honor that afternoon. It was what he would have wanted, and that was a comfort.

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