Easter has been my favorite holiday for a long time. I am not a Christian, I glean wisdom and love from a few different religions but practice none in particular. For me it is the nature holiday of the equinox and the return of life from under the ice, resurrection. Besides matters of weather and new life sprouting, I love colored eggs and blobs of candy dusted in colored sugar, baskets of shiny faux grass, dipping eggs in cups of vinegar scented water with magic paint tablets. Spring is the very beginning of the fair days and everything good to come.
This year I have entered spring with a lot of fear and anxiety. I can recall every last detail of last Easter, the days leading up to when Susanna left us. Every event, article of clothing, words said. I am far from healed and these days are always with me. I try to make sense of what happened and understand her death as our destiny, because I know it is. At this point I sort things through by allowing the pain rather than denying it. It hurts. Not just on April 22, my life hurts. This is not a problem to solve but a situation which is not as strong as my spirit and my love, even on a day when it feels like it is.
I entertained the idea of not doing anything I did last year. Not hanging the egg wreath on the door, or putting decals on the windows, hiding eggs for my son or baking cupcakes for Susanna’s friends at daycare. Quickly I can hear her voice in my ears saying “But Mommy, it’s EASTER!”I refuse to close out life even if I want to. Blank days and numbed states are what they sound like, but joy and beauty will stay along with brave choices to participate amidst pain. Whatever may happen from here cannot take my love away.
My daughter’s life lasted only into the springtime of how long the many of us live. I have not so far spent much time thinking about what she would do if she had stayed. It is not like that awful insurance ad people talked about after the Super Bowl, with the boy lamenting everything his life would have been had he not died. Instead I am always hungry to know what she is doing on the other side. I get glimpses when I am able to be quiet enough to see and hear. From my mind only I can remember what her crying or struggling sounded like while she was here, but my heart only picks up soothing encouragement and a slew of divine giggles. Grieving parents will be able to tell you that they live in two worlds. I no longer feel comforted when people say things like “everything is exactly as it is supposed to be.” This only reminds me of more innocent times when I did not have to live this earth life without one of my children. But taken a step further into cosmic eternal time, I know that I can look forward to seeing how there was a plan and everyone survived. I will feel like I do when I dream Susanna is with me. A feeling of together which does not end upon awakening, but just springs eternal.