It's been a week since you packed your bags and left. Things feel strange. I'm not exactly sure what to do without you, even though I am the one who asked you to go. It's tricky, isn't it, when the one thing we want so badly to be gone finally leaves, it still leaves a hole? My therapist says now I have to fill the hole with something new, something positive, but I'm not sure what. I keep coming back to you in my mind, trying to conjure you up somehow, but I can't. It's so strange. You were always there, since I was a child. It took nothing to bring you out of the shadows. Just one thought and there you were, ready to protect me from anything that could hurt me. I needed you then.
It was a rainy Saturday morning. Perfect weather for Holy Saturday. I had long since tired of the constant "Holy Saturday was just heaven counting to three" memes and posts. They felt so predictable. But the weather was cooperating with the theme.
I was doing yoga, and sitting silently. And there you were. I had been looking for you, waiting for you to show up so we could have a hard conversation. I'm never good at confrontation. I hate it, really. And asking you to go felt like ripping off a really old bandaid. But I knew it was what I had to do. Timing is everything, and this felt like the right time. So I began with the positive, the compliment sandwich I learned somewhere along the way at a corporate job. "Thank you for everything you've done for me", I said. "But, I don't need you anymore". Marie Kondo would have been very proud.
You clutched your pearls, gasped. "What?" I steadied myself, took a deep breath. "Yeah, I really appreciate you being there for me when I needed you, but I'm okay now. I'm safe." You were indignant. "Are you kidding me? What are you going to do without me? Who will protect you?" "God will protect me. I'm really okay now. I am." "I can't believe this. I've done so much for you over the years, and now this? How could you?" "I'm sorry. I just know that I don't need you anymore. Please go."
I stayed calm, and you finally relented. You picked up your bags, Mary Poppins style, and nodded your head firmly as you huffed out the door. I couldn't believe it. That was easier than I thought. I was stunned. I continued my yoga practice, and the woman on the YouTube channel said "as you are doing your forward fold, imagine anything negative falling through your stomach and out the top of your head." And that's what I did. I watched you tumble out of the top of my head. And you were gone. 30 years we were together, and there I sat. Alone. Free.
It's been a week, like I said. I have thought of you many times, but now you feel like a memory of a past life, one that is close but still inaccessible. You really are gone. I'm still dizzy from it all. Grateful and dizzy. Thirty years is a long time.
Easter has been tricky for me. I broke apart one Easter weekend four years ago, and ever since then, the resurrection has felt like more promise than reality. I have held my hands in the sky, sang the triumphant songs, but not felt the triumph. Only pain, only suffering. Only the neverending Holy Saturday. And each Easter has been a reminder. Each Easter my cells remember, and rehearse the breaking, again and again in new and miserable ways. They remember even when I try so hard to forget. But this Easter weekend, this Holy Saturday was different. I was ready. My body was ready, my mind was ready, my heart had space to heal and prepare for this moment. And you, my lifelong anxiety and fear, left. Something I never imagined would happen, did. Maybe somewhat like Mary in the garden that Easter morning. A voice she never expected to hear again called her name. That is the surprise of a peculiar resurrection.