Earlier this week, the kids and I went to A Center for Grieving Children. It is a support group for kids who have lost a parent and the adults who are left behind to care for them. It has been very good for my family, and I usually look forward to it. This time, though, was not as great for me as previous meetings. The facilitator started out the meeting asking everyone about Easter this year. She wanted us to reflect on our beliefs and traditions, etc. I was so put off and angered by this question, and it was confusing. Most of the people (most who have had years since the passing of their spouse) talked about their religion and their beliefs and what they were doing for Easter this year as a family. I told everyone I didn’t really care about Easter this year, and I have more pressing concerns. I didn’t want to even talk about it. The facilitator told me I should at least do something for the kids for Easter, which made me even more angry. Of course I was going to do something. I just would have rather talked about other things. I noticed that another woman who lost her husband days before Greg died seemed angry with the question too, and I was grateful I wasn’t alone.
This week was rough. Really, really rough. One of the hardest I have had. I have been hit hard with the fact that I’m on my own as a mother to six kids. I am tired, overwhelmed, and have struggled to know how I can keep doing this every day. And then add on Easter. It just feels like one more thing I have to do. One more emotional day to get through. I have been thinking about my reaction to the question about Easter.
Easter is a meaningful day. It means that we will all live again. It means that we have a Savior who knows us and understands our pain. I believe these things, and I am grateful for my Savior and for what Easter means. Why would this anger me so much? I think it’s because in a way the message of Easter minimizes my pain and what I’m going through right now. It tells me that things are okay because Jesus was resurrected. It tells me I’m not really alone. It tells me I should just be happy because of this. Those are all beautiful messages, but I don’t know that I’m in a place where I can be given peace by them. I feel alone a lot, and I AM alone. It is comforting to think that Greg will live again, but he isn’t here now to spend Easter with us or to help with parenting tasks. He’s not here, and who knows how long it will be until he is. I’m not happy today, and I think that’s okay. It’s okay to be angry with Easter. I was angry with Christmas too. Bah Humbug.
Last night, I told my kids that what I really needed from them was for them to not wake me up in the morning. The Easter Bunny would come, but he wasn’t going to bring anything more exciting than candy and a stuffed animal. Could they please just watch TV until I woke up? Thankfully, they let that happen, and we have had a relaxing morning. It hasn’t been like other Easters, but that is okay. It’s what I needed today, and the kids are happy.
In reality, I am grateful for Easter. I am grateful for my Savior who was resurrected and who truly understands me. I’m also grateful for the messages of Easter. I think I’m just not ready to celebrate it. Maybe next year will be better.