I’ve never been big on celebrating Easter. I understand its role in liturgical churches but since I’m not a member of one, it doesn’t have a spiritual meaning to me.
When I was growing up it wasn’t a big holiday either—no frilly Easter dresses for me, no Easter egg hunts. I’ve continued the same lack of observation of Easter as an adult (except for the years when we were Catholic. J always liked to go to the vigil masses, which were incredibly long.)
But Easter now means something totally different to me: it was on Easter Sunday three years ago that J was diagnosed with cancer. Obviously, that day changed the trajectory of our lives forever.
I have wondered at times if there was any kind of spiritual factor in the timing of his diagnosis. I also had similarly strange but unprovable coincidences with regards to my children’s days of conception and birthdays. But the whole thing could just be totally random, too.
However, Easter will now be permanently associated with J’s cancer diagnosis. In some ways, I can’t believe that was only three years ago. It feels like much longer and like I have aged so much since then.
But in other respects, it seems like such a short period of time. Three years—especially compared to how many years we spent together—is practically nothing.
It seems like those years were gone within the blink of an eye.
I wish I would have had more of them. I think that on many levels, I fully expected there to be more of them, even after his diagnosis. The speed of his decline, in particular, was so incredibly fast that I don’t think my brain has even caught up to it yet.
I realize also that I am still not really processing my grief at all. My therapist suggested that I write J a letter, which is just such an unpleasant idea that I can’t bring myself to do it.
When I walk by the urn with his ashes, it doesn’t even register with me at all.
I think that in many ways, I am still in a very deep sense of denial about the fact that he’s actually gone and will never be coming back.
He was so wonderful, especially in recent years. And now he’s just gone. I don’t know how to process that at all.