Monday, April 13, 2009

So This is Easter

I'm so tired of thinking about death. Geez Louise! At church I'm expected to drink the blood and eat the body of Christ, not to mention this whole season of Lent where we focus on waiting and preparation--on the death and cross of Jesus. It has been a long Lent, friends.

In my thesis research, I read about the death of God.

My grandmother died late December and Dr. Goodman early January. I think of them almost constantly.

I went to a wedding in Maine, but couldn't stop thinking about my next trip to Maine, when we will celebrate my grandmother's life. I could barely talk about her when I was in Maine. I don't even know if she had been buried yet (the ground is often frozen and covered in snow during a Maine winter, so bodies are kept in mausoleums until the weather warms up). I hope that service will give some sort of closure to my mourning process.

I keep having dreams of people dying. I've had at least two since my nana and Goodman, perhaps three. If not three since then, I know I had another one in the past year. One is too many.

I have an amazing picture of my nana on my desk ... it has some scratches on it. Those scratches really disturb me. I truly must purchase a frame.Geez Louise! I'm tired of thinking about death.

In The Secret, Petrarch thinks we should think about death frequently, because it gives a good sense of humility and reality. I don't think Petrarch had in mind what I've had in my mind.

If my mother is reading this piece, I bet she's almost in tears. For me and for her loss, too.
But it is Easter, my friends.
He is risen.
He is risen, indeed.
Indeed, he is risen!
Exclamation point!
Hallelujah, hallelujah, amen!
It is because he lives that I can face tomorrow. Paul tells us Jesus was the first fruits of resurrection. "First" implies more will follow. That's you and me. That's Goodman and my Shirley Mae Grant. I mourn, but I don't mourn like those with no hope of resurrection.

I don't know if I'll ever see them again. I really don't. I don't know what God's kingdom will be like after the parousia. I expect to see a lot of Christians, a lot of Jews, and a lot of people I don't expect. Can you expect something you don't expect? I think you can, in the abstract at least. Still, I can hope to see Goodman and my nana again.

I was brought up believing in an intermediary state between death and resurrection, but I would love to see Nana and Goodman and hear, "I prayed for you sometimes, Trevár. I was pleased when I saw how pleased God was with you. Glad to see you, but I really must be going. So busy! Do give me a call some time and we'll grab some drinks, my brother." Then I imagine we'll hug and go our separate ways. And I honestly don't care what anyone thinks about that image, because I like it. To me, it is beautiful, regardless of the theology.

Whether they are in heaven, in the grave, with what remains of their body, in some spiritual realm, in Purgatory, in the kingdom--wherever those who have died are, I anticipate their resurrection.

Petrarch wanted us to think of death, but I highly recommend thinking about some resurrection, too. If you can. Sometimes I don't think resurrection is going to do anything but distract you from your loss. Thinking about good things doesn't make the bad feelings go away. And I hear holidays and birthdays are the worst when you've lost someone. If you've lost someone, by death or otherwise, I hope there will come a time, however long or brief--perhaps an Easter--when you can be taken away with your hope at the expense of your loss.

I pray we all can be taken away with our hope at the expense of our loss.

I'm glad Lent doesn't come again for a long time.......

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