Friday, April 6, 2007

on good friday

I went to a beautiful tenebrae service tonight with my friend Roxy at a church in downtown St. Paul. (Our husbands stayed home to babysit.) These services are so powerful and haunting. Little by little, through the readings and hymns and prayers, the lights were extinguished, and as the final candle was carried out, there was the sound of a rumbling, thunderous earthquake. We sat in that noise, in complete darkness, and I felt so small and desolate and moved to tears.

As a new mother, imagining Mary's pain as she watched Jesus die strikes a chord with me this year as it never has before. One of the readings tonight was from a burial ode attributed to St. John of Damascus. I can't find it online, or I would have printed part of it here. It spoke of how Mary once held the infant Jesus close to her as she rocked him to sleep, and how now she held his lifeless body close to her. I had tears in my eyes when it was over, and Roxy turned to me and we mouthed to each other, "So sad."

It is the second time this week that I have had this kind of sadness on my mind. A couple of nights ago, I dreamed that I lost Daniel. He was playing with another little boy, and they disappeared, and no one could tell me where they were. We ran around frantically looking for them. In the dream, my emotions were so strong as I faced the possibility of never again seeing his sweet, beautiful smile, never again holding him in my arms. That anguished sense of loss was the most powerful part of the dream. At some point, people were telling me we needed to start planning the funeral. On an impulse, I walked down a hill toward a big lake, and the girl with me said she noticed some strange bubbles in one section. I looked, and there, lying at the bottom of the clear lake were Daniel and the other boy. I could see his little blue and green Robeez so clearly. At first I thought they must have been dead, but then I thought the bubbles might be signs that they were still alive. As I prepared to jump in and pull them out of the water, my mind (now waking up) was determined to believe that they were alive. They had to be. Still, I woke up and stared at the outline of Daniel's sleeping body for a long time, tears coming out of my eyes, and I wasn't so cranky when he woke us up later, crying to be fed.

So with that, on this Good Friday, my heart goes out especially to all women who have lost sons.


Kristine said...

Wow. That was something else..reading your blog just now. IT made me cry. I feel for you and that dream. I know how scary it is. I actually had a dream the other night that Graycen was lost outside. She had been with my sister and there was snow all over. All she had on were jeans and a little sweater. She was lost in a field and I couldn't find her anywhere. I also woke up crying - pretty hard, I might add.
How moving and scary.

Emilie said...

Oh, Kristine, how strange that we both had similar dreams this week. Yours sounds so sad ... lost in a field of snow. :(

liz said...

What a powerful post - thanks, Em, for writing it.

I vividly remember sitting at the side of my brother's casket at his visitation. We pulled four folding chairs right up to the side and my mom, grandma, sister-in-law, and I all sat in a row silently gazing at him for a long, long time. I remember thinking how much it reminded me of the women gathered at the base of the cross.

That's probably why I just haven't been able to get myself to a Good Friday service since - hmmm. I do love the tenebrae service, so maybe I'll get back there someday. :)