It is time. For seven years, I’ve been in the tomb of my son’s death by suicide. Every day I’ve chosen life, in a small or significant way. Until recently, I did not understand how completely I’ve still been in the tomb of grief and healing since January 24, 2006. A necessary time. Today, Holy Saturday, is an appointed time to shift.
Nothing is the same. Nothing will ever be the same. Not my marriage of seventeen years (which died in a divorce two years ago). Not my childhood dream of being a mother of a family. Not any of it. At fifty, I’ve sat in the dark tomb, long. enough. I’ve healed, scar-gazed, made sense of nonsense and brightness, and now, accompanied by the God of my heart, who suffers with me, and the multitude of friends who walk with me, greet me, but never really knew my suffering and depth of joy and loss–how can we know someone else–we only know ourselves, our own story, and compassion.
I didn’t write “Day 40” of this Savor Lent, Savor Life retreat, or reflections during Holy Week. See, the truth of it is I’ve been on my own journey these 40 plus days. God is trying to get through to me through these daily blog posts. A former student asked me to write them–thank you EP. God issued an invitation to me through her. The institutional church quit making sense years ago when an Archbishop spoke to me harshly and condemned my vision of love for the church, for God’s people. I believe love is more valuable than the law. Every. Single. Time. No matter what.
I wish I could have loved my son more completely, more deeply. I wish I could change the day he died, the day I died with him. I wish, I wish. And my only choice now…turn to grace, turn to light. Allow God to Easter new hope, desire, longing, vulnerability, courage, in me. Deeper than ever before.
I ache. I’m not alone. I’m sure you do too–in ways private and personal to you.
I invited God into my life this Lent, to savor life ever more passionately. God said yes, now I must choose. Can I, will I, leave this tomb? The clock ticks.
Today I will savor in my heart … I desire fullness of life in the present and future. God is with me.
The Burial of Jesus
“After this, Joseph of Arimathea,
secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews,
asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus.
And Pilate permitted it.
So he came and took his body.
Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night,
also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes
weighing about one hundred pounds.
They took the body of Jesus
and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices,
according to the Jewish burial custom.
Now in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden,
and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried.
So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day;
for the tomb was close by.” – John 19:38-42
Photo: Justin’s fort cave, Talking Rock Ranch, northern Colorado on the Wyoming border.