Matt,  today is Holy Saturday.  I went to your garden at church to visit and to plant some flowers.  The cross is draped in a purple sash that was blowing in the wind.  

I filled both bird feeders then sat on the bench and watched as the garden sprang to life.  The sounds of birds chirping filled the air and made me think that even though this garden represents your death life continues around the cross. 

As I continued to sit there and talk to you and Jesus, I started to think about Mary.  The stone in the garden represents your death but the massive cross represents the death of Jesus.  I wondered how horrible it must have been for her to have no idea why the man she raised from an innocent infant was being beaten.  She had no clue what was happening or why the crowds were shouting for her son to be crucified.  

Mary was helpless in stopping his death as I was helpless in stopping yours.  I can’t imagine the horror she felt as she watched the story unfold from the distance.  Never once allowing Jesus to be out of her sight.  Oh how her heart must have broken with every strike to Jesus’s body.  How her eyes could not believe what she was seeing.  Her precious son was being hung from a cross.  

The baby she nursed as an infant.  The toddler whose hand she held.  Now a grown man being brutally abused right before her eyes.  
I didn’t know how she had the courage to watch as her son took his last breath.  The confusion that must have been running through her mind as her heart was ripped out of her chest.  

As I continued to sit in the peace of your garden I felt a deep connection to Mary.  She knows my grief. She felt that pain years before I had any clue that I too would lose a son.  Your death was slow as the drugs took you further and further away.  I shared her helplessness in having no power to stop it.  I share her pain and sadness as you left this earth leaving me behind to pick up the pieces of what I expected life to be.  

The story of Lent is all about Jesus, his crucifixion and resurrection.  Today I thought about his mother, Mary.  How she grieved her son as I grieve you.