So, last Sunday I went to church. And, it was difficult. Not because I went by myself, I’ve done that several times. But this was the first time I went alone. And that was one of the most difficult services I’ve attended. Third most difficult.
I didn’t go because of the date. I just felt like it was time to go. The last time I went to church was for a happy day. The baptism of my daughter. I was at the peak of pain and difficulty moving around because of my blood clot at that time, but I was happy to go; it was my daughter’s baptism so it was an important day.
There have been many happy days and many so-so days at church over the years. There are three that have been the worst and most difficult for me.
The first was my dad’s funeral. I was a complete mess after my dad died. I’m still kind of messed up more than usual because of it. I don’t really remember a lot of the actual day; I wasn’t altogether there mentally; emotionally. I remember what seemed like a sea of people there to remember him. I remember two of my best friends showing up to pay their respects. And I remember carrying his casket. That was a difficult day.
The second day was after the stillbirth of my second son. For his service that we called “A celebration of being” I prepared something to say, but I had to ask a friend to read on my behalf because I was so choked up. Whenever I tried to open my mouth, I just couldn’t speak. That was such a painful and difficult day, I really don’t remember much at all.
And then there was this garden variety Sunday. No big deal for most people. Nods to the memory of 9/11. But essentially just another summer Sunday service. And yet, this was one of those three difficult days for me.
I still don’t know exactly why it was so difficult for me. Maybe it was that I wasn’t able to share communion with those people that are most important in my life. There was definitely something missing. It felt good to feel the sting of the carpet as I knelt and recited the prayer of humble access. It felt good to participate in the typical Sunday mass. It felt good. But I still started to weep after the third step out of the door.
It was a difficult day.