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A New Perspective on Easter

Easter Sunday!  Oh, how the memories come flooding back to Easters’ past. After Church, the conversation was always the same. “Can I put on my dungarees?” And, I would say: ‘No, you can’t!  It is Easter Sunday! You can stay dressed." 

The Easter ham, the colored eggs, a supply of film and a prayer for beautiful weather always seemed to take top priority.   Of course, I was always aware of the meaning of Easter. After all, I was raised in a Catholic family and went to Catholic schools.  I knew that Christ had died on the cross so that our sins would be forgiven. I knew that God gave His only Son so that we may have everlasting life.   But somehow, those thoughts were always replaced with the new Easter outfits and the big family feast.  

Since Richie’s passing, I have a totally different perspective of what Easter really means .  My grief has given me a reason to do some serious reflecting and some deep soul searching.  And, by doing so, I have gained a new understanding about this holiday.  That God gave His only Son so that we could have everlasting life has taken on a whole new meaning for me.   It is my tool of survival as a bereaved parent.  Now, on this day, I reflect on the hope, the rebirth, and restoring my faith in the Lord.  And, if I get depressed, I think of how the Blessed Mother must have felt when her only Son was nailed to the cross, and I count my blessings.  

I have come to realize that grief is my cross to bear.   And, I know now, that by God giving us eternal life, means that I have not lost Richie forever. I will see him again.  It gives me the ability to face each new day without him being here with us. And death doesn’t seem so permanent to me anymore.  It makes the days easier to handle, knowing that we will all be reunited.  And, knowing, when we leave this earth, we will all rise up to the Kingdom of God for eternity helps give me the power to defeat this terrible thing called grief.  

Now, Easter to me is a day of miracles. It is a day of family, peace and wisdom.  I am sure, at some point, grief will visit me this Easter.  I am sure that it will open my memory bank and let the pictures of the little boy coloring Easter eggs come through; a little boy telling the Easter Bunny to bring him white chocolate because he likes that much better.  I will also see a teenager showing his little sister how to make the Easter egg coloring into a psychedelic pattern. 

I will remember the last Easter plant that Richie  gave to me.  And I will see the uncle who shared in the joy of watching his nephew, Daniel, on an Easter egg hunt.  I will hear him saying:  Look over there Daniel, maybe the Easter Bunny left one over there.  Oh yes! I am sure that I will remember it all.  But I expect that.  It is normal. After all, these memories are part of the past. If I deny them, I deny life altogether.  And losing a loved one does not mean losing the love that you hold for them.  Love is stronger than separation. And, as always, I will think of the memories  as messages - messages from Richie, making sure that I don’t forget him.  

So, for now, I will put all the Easter baskets, colored eggs, patent leather shoes, and Easter bonnets  back into my memory bank.  And, I will dwell on my new perspective on Easter.  I will celebrate rebirth, the Resurrection of our Savior, and the renewal of my faith. I will rejoice in my newfound perspective, knowing that life is everlasting.   And, I will be content in knowing that because God gave us eternal life, the best is yet to come.  

Have a Blessed Easter!

Happy Easter in Heaven, Rich!

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