Easter was a little more meaningful to me this year. Unlike last year, when Judah was just 5 days old, I actually made it to church, even though I am working this week. But even more than that, I was given a very real and tangible reminder of the beauty of the day.
I watched as two of my patients died today. The first was an old man with a failing heart who was ready to go. The second was a much younger woman who came to our ER very ill and then proceeded to get sicker, dying in spite of our best efforts to save her. I put my hand on their chests, listened in vain for the regular thump-thump that was no longer there, declared them dead. Gone. Passed away. Easter is meaningless unless we recognize the horror of the reality of the life we live without it.
I watched as two families grieved the loss of loved ones, as they held each other and cried for their loss.
I prayed that they, like me, would remember what today means for them and for their loved ones. If they knew Jesus, it means that they breathed out that last, slow breath, and inhaled the sweet scent of heavenly air, awakening in perfect and new bodies to the presence of our Risen Lord. It means that although we grieve the ones we miss, because of what Jesus started on that Sunday morning so many years ago, we will triumph, along with him, over the bleak despair of death.
Thank you, Jesus.
He is risen, indeed.