Some holidays are for mourning
Published 6:31 pm Wednesday, April 19, 2006
To mourn and to watch somebody in mourning - I'm not sure which one is worse.
And at the same time, to mourn, watch somebody mourn and have to celebrate life is even more treacherous.
My neice would have celebrated her fourth Easter. My mother celebrated her birthday on Easter. Needless to say, my family was a little torn on Sunday.
My neice died on April 14 from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome four years ago, and she was buried on April 16 - my mom's birthday.
My sister, who is four years older than I am, shut off her phone for two days, sat in her room and asked not to be bothered. A ritual she has done for the past four years.
My mother said she didn't want to celebrate her birthday. But, Caroline emerged on Sunday and we handed out presents and we ate cake. But it just wasn't the same. We all felt it.
The Easter service I went to touched on the fact that while Sunday is a day of celebration, we need not to forget those who may not be celebrating as heartily as others.
It hit right at home Sunday morning as I looked at the countless scores of Easter lillies that lined the front of the altar at my church at home, honoring those who were no longer with us.
I read the pages of In Memory's listed inside the church bulletin. Some names I recognized, others I glanced through - realizing the agony and anguish those families must have felt Sunday.
I thought about the horrific week I had last week and began to feel guilty for focusing on myself when there are so many others who have problems that are far greater than my own.
My feelings felt so petty compared to those I knew my sister felt.
It's hard to continuously give love to somebody in mourning. Our family watched as scores of Caroline's friends gathered the day Isabella died and remained close the next year. Those numbers today are not as large. But we still remember and will never forget.
Every holiday is hard. It never seems to fail that something tragic happens during the times we are expected to rejoice.
Our family never knows what to do when it's this time of year. We've just grown accustomed to following Caroline's wishes, but not letting her forget how much we love her and miss Isabella.
Everyday of life and living is a day to rejoice, my pastor said Sunday. But let us not forget those who have passed and made our life worth living.
Mary-Allison Lancaster is Managing Editor of The Brewton Standard. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 251-867-4876.