I arrive today at Good Friday already in a season of grief.
In some ways, I suppose, everyone is grieving. Humanity at large has experienced loss on a global scale over the past year.
The past year for me has been a season of small but consecutive losses, culminating in the surprise news last week that our closest family friends are moving this summer to the other side of the country.
These are friends that we were supposed to grow old with. Our kids were going to grow up together. Our angsty teens were supposed to crash at their house when they wanted space from their parents. Their kids are basically my kids siblings and they spent most days of the past few summers together.
I don’t know how to process this news. Each morning I wake up with a fresh dose of grief that feels too heavy to bear.
I suppose that when I step back for some perspective, I can be glad that I’m not grieving loss on a greater level like a cancer diagnosis or death.
But small losses still feel like loss, regardless of what perpetuated it. And the small losses this past year are many.
It might be worse because although it’s been almost a year, I’m also still trying to come to terms with giving up my job and finding purpose in my days. And now I’m adjusting to my sister’s family moving away a few weeks ago.
So I come to today … Good Friday – a day when I typically intentionally step away from the busyness of life and into sadness as I focus the significance of what today means – with an already familiar feeling of grief. I don’t need to step into it because I’m already here, living it.
Today, in the midst of grief, here are the things I’m thinking on:
Did this Friday two thousand years ago look like today? Did the sun rise to a cool, quiet morning with a slight breeze? Did it feel like any other Friday? Or did it feel different, somehow?
Did Heaven, knowing what was was to come, struggle for breath in anticipation of the days events?
Did Mary sleep the night before? How much had Jesus told her about what would occur?
As the hours passed and events unfolded exactly as Jesus has told them they would, did time slow down for the disciples? Or did it speed up, making them feel a bit panicky, like one does when things are out of control?
Is it possible that Jesus, knowing exactly what was to come, experienced his own personal grief process ahead of time? Did he begin the emotional journey alone, in the depths of his soul, in the days and weeks leading up to his death?
Throughout my life, I’ve always connected with Jesus in joy. This year is different. This year, I connect with him in grief. And it feels deeply meaningful to connect with him in this new way.
Just as I know the grave will be empty on Sunday, I know my joy is coming again. But for today, and in this season, my heart overflows with sadness.
And I’m okay with that.