The past few days I've taken a break from blogging to enjoy the Georgia sunshine. Then yesterday when I heard of the sudden death of a friend back home, Easter took on a different shade ... this time, gray.
I contemplated the situation ... a woman, my age, burying a husband, Craig's age, whom she found yesterday morning on the floor. She never had a chance to say good-bye. He never had a chance to reconcile with his son.
Not wanting to contemplate the similarities to our situation too closely -- the family stresses and job pressures that brought on that sudden, fateful heart attack -- I turned my mind to other thoughts. In particular, I thought of Mary.
The end came swiftly -- though one can only imagine the actual minutes dragged by with horrifying slowness. Somehow she managed to stay close to her Son to the bitter end, enduring the blood and gore, the agony of watching one you love in pain. She stayed as her Son was placed in that cold stone tomb, stayed as it was sealed and the guard posted. Reluctantly led away by her newly adopted son, likely John, doubtless she went through the motions in a dreamlike state.
And doubtless, her thoughts turned to her beloved husband, who was with her beloved Son even at that moment. Oh, Joseph, why could you not be with ME?
They had been together when the story began, shared His first words, first steps, first messes as He began to explore His world. But now, at the end, she was alone in the most terrible sense.
She had heard His cry, "My God, my God ... why have you forsaken me?" And her prayers had echoed His. Where were His fathers -- His divine Father, and his adopted human one -- when she needed them most?
As I write this, Craig is in Florida with his parents -- we had planned to meet up there and spend a few days as a family. But right now he is gone, making the loss of our friend that much more poignant. There are times, dear friends, when we cry alone.
At times like these, we can turn to our Mother, who endured just as we must.
Holy Mary, Mother of God
Pray for us all, now and at the hour of our death.
Eternal rest grant to Ken, O Lord,
And may your perpetual light shine upon him.
May his soul, and the soul of all the departed
Rest in peace.