For me, Holy Week is bittersweet. This time of year always makes me miss my late husband even more. Easter has always been a special time in my family. And not having him here to celebrate this holiday is difficult. I love Easter. It’s actually probably my favorite holiday of the year. I love what it represents. The hope and peace it brings. I just wish I had Jared here to rejoice with me.
I remember the first Easter weekend after Jared died, I felt lost. Didn’t know if I could celebrate the season. Then my good friend reminded me that Good Friday and Easter are the perfect time for widows. They are a time of death and a time of rebirth. I had never thought of it that way. But she was right. At least for me, it made perfect sense.
When Jared died, a part of me died too. I was no longer a wife to a husband but I was suddenly a widow. I was no longer part of a couple, I was a solo parent. I was no longer a caregiver. Everything I had become while married to him, was gone. The person I was died the night Jared died. And I had to decide how I was going to be reborn. How I would rebuild myself. Who did I want to become?
It’s been 5 ½ years since my late husband passed away, and I am still a work in progress. I am definitely not the person I was the night he died. I’m not the person I was six months after he died. I’m not the person I was three years after he died. I’m still figuring out who I am now. And that changes frequently. But I never lose hope. Hope that my future will shine bright.
This has been a Holy Week unlike any other. We are facing a crisis unlike any we have ever seen before. We are being told to shelter at home. Only go out if absolutely necessary. But I’m a healthcare worker. I still have to go see patients. If Jared were alive, I would be terrified. Since he was a lung transplant recipient, he was immune compromised. I would worry constantly about him getting sick. And yet, despite the fear and the worry, I still wish he were here. Jared was such a calming force. Rarely did anything upset him. He used to say if you can’t fix it, don’t worry about it. He would’ve kept us all calm during this chaos. With his sarcastic sense of humor, he would’ve had us all constantly laughing. Holy Week, especially one spent in quarantine, would be very different if he were still here.
Holy Week, even one where social distancing is required, gives me hope. Reminds me that even after the darkest day, light will shine again. That even after death, there can be life. And because of that I am choosing to focus on the good. Look for the positive. Remember all the joy this holiday brings.
This Holy Week I choose hope. I choose to see the light. I choose to celebrate life and love. Even when we are sheltering at home, distanced from friends and family, there is hope. Hope that we will all get to gather together soon and celebrate. And what a joyful time that will be.