In the Lectionary

December 19, Advent 4C (Luke 1:39-45, 46-55)

It’s hard to believe in an enchanted world.

A few days ago, as I got in my vehicle to drive home, I had the urge to call my mom. But I stopped myself from speed-dialing her number, because her phone is no longer operative. I had to put the phone down and consciously remind myself that my mother is dead. She died June 27 of metastatic breast cancer.

Suddenly, a torrential downpour of tears cascaded down my face. I could barely see to drive and contemplated pulling over to prevent an accident. Fortunately, my sleeve served well as a tissue. I held it together until I walked into our empty house; our three daughters were in school and my husband, Shawn, was working. At home, I wailed freely without disturbing others or causing accidents.

Last night I listened to Ola Gjeilo’s choral piece Song of the Universal. Again the tears came. I turned off the light and crawled into bed, but I could not stop crying. A little later Shawn got into bed. Lying there in the dark, I tried stifling my sobs. I was in no mood to verbally articulate my grief. Furthermore, I knew if I tried to, another dam of grief would let loose.