Recently someone very dear to me died. Faced with her loss, our family finds themselves wandering in a darkness that is often overwhelming. It is as if the whole world is frozen in time. As we look around us, we feel as if the world of work, shopping and our daily routines are removed from our reality. As we stand in the midst of a crowded room, we just want to ask all those present to stop what they are doing and to spend a reverent moment of silence with us as we grieve. Can’t others see how deeply troubling it is to have lost this dearly beloved member of our family? How can we be an Easter people? How can we find the resurrection in the midst of this pain and loss?
I am sure many of us have asked these questions and I am guessing the women who came to Jesus’ tomb after his death felt like this. They must have been heart broken, numb with pain and lost without Him. Yet, we read in the Gospel, “Do not be afraid… he has gone before you.”(Mt. 28:8-9) Yes, the resurrected Christ has gone before us and we are living in the resurrection here and now. It is not something that we are to wait for at the end of our lives, but instead the resurrection is among us now.
I ask myself how do I see this after the death of my dear one? I see the resurrection among the people present in the community. I see the resurrection in the gentle kindnesses expressed between people. I see the resurrection in the many cards, gifts of food, phone calls, and visits others are sharing with us during this difficult time. And I see the resurrection in the lives left behind. Her legacy of love and life lives on in her children, family and friends. It is in them that she will go on living. Sometimes we feel like death has the last word, but it is Jesus who has the last word and it is “life”. We are an Easter people because the Resurrection is here and now.
Clare Carr, OSB