These past few weeks have been filled with so much stress, chaos, and uncertainty as we all navigate our new normal with the coronavirus pandemic. Our day-to-day family life has completely changed, and we are all learning and adjusting as we try to adapt and take it one day at a time. However, in the midst of that chaos, I never really stopped to think about the impact social distancing would have on major events and our family traditions. Today, it hit me with full force: Easter falls within the new recommended social distancing timeframe of April 30th.
I was immediately filled with anger and sadness. This year, we won’t get to spend Easter with our extended family. The kids won’t get to see the Easter bunny. We’ll have to cancel the Easter egg decorating party we’ve been planning with our friends, and once again my heart will break as I see the disappointment etched on my 2 year old son’s and 1 year old daughter’s faces when I break the news to them. We won’t be able to go to Church and celebrate the resurrection of our Savior with our faith community. I know these sacrifices we are making are for the greater good, but I couldn’t help but give in to those negative feelings today. I couldn’t help but feel said that yet another memory would be ruined because of the coronavirus.
Then, my faith kicked in. Yes, Easter will look different this year, but maybe that’s a good thing. No, we can’t decorate our eggs with our friends, but maybe we can use this as an opportunity to decorate some FOR our friends to reinforce the importance of giving and how our Lord gave so much for us. No, we won’t be able to see our family in person, but maybe we can video chat with my sister so she can read the children’s Easter books she sent our kids, giving them an opportunity to see their aunt, uncle, and cousins, and continue to learn about God and the true meaning of Easter. No, we can’t be with our faith community in person on Easter Sunday, but we can snuggle on the couch together as a family and be present as we watch the livestream of Easter mass. God reminded me that there are so many ways we can still celebrate this significant holiday.
After I worked through the guilt I felt for my initial feelings of sadness and disappointment, I felt so grateful. Grateful that I have my faith in God to help get me through these troubling times. Grateful that we still have our health and these blessings to find other ways to celebrate Easter. Most of all, I’m grateful that something positive came out of this pandemic, because it brought me back to the true meaning of this holiday: the ultimate sacrifice the Lord made for us and his enduring faith in all of us.
So yes, Easter will look a little different this year, and for that, I am grateful.