The day after a loved one dies is the first day that reality starts to take hold. Customs vary by region and faith, but, the dawning of the day after is not a day to sit idly by the window meditating on the life of the lost one, the lost relationship. There is too much to do.
I have sat on these “days after” with many families. The most difficult, painful, emotionally wrenching encounters are with mothers and fathers who have lost a child, minor or adult. There are literally no words of comfort. All you can do is cry along with the grieving and try to plan the funeral, one step at a time.
I try imagine the challenge of trying to console Mary on Saturday morning. Hadn’t the angel made this very clear, that she was “highly favored”? Hadn’t it been promised that her son would be given the “throne of his father David”? Hadn’t Elizabeth prophesied that both she and Jesus would be “blessed”? But now, instead of having the front seat to the coronation of her son the king, she spent Friday afternoon lying in the dirt as her son’s blood dripped all around her during his death by torture. And they placed him in the tomb.
Now it is the day after. Everyone sits around, trying to recall the words he spoke. How could he, how could everyone who followed him have been so wrong? But, there is a funeral to plan. What songs shall we sing? “They said ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion!’ How can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a foreign land?” Who will dare try to sum up his life in a eulogy? Will anyone come as we sit together, or will they everyone be too fearful, too ashamed to be seen with Mary, the woman who said God visited her?
I wonder if maybe, just maybe, this funeral planning was put on hold for a day because Mary still believed that her son would be king?
Maybe the ‘other Mary’ told Mary she felt the earth stirring up a recipe of hope this Saturday. “Hold off on that funeral, Mary.” Maybe it was just words meant to comfort. Maybe it was true. Let’s see what the morning brings, shall we?
P.S. I will be taking my “spring writing break” for a while. Thank you for your faithful readership! Lord willing, we will re-connect in good time.