I talked to Laura on Holy Thursday. This will be the first Easter without Hugh. The plan is for she and the girls to go to Jonesboro, Arkansas for Easter. Hugh's brother Barry lives there. At least that's the plan. She admits to getting overtaken by events at times. If she can't do Easter in Jonesboro,well, she just won't.
As for me, there is very little that I can tolerate about Jonesboro. I can't imagine Easter Sunday making it any better. I can imagine the discharge of a thermonuclear device within the city limits improving things a good bit. But not even Easter can fix Craighead County. I kept these thoughts to myself.
What we did talk about was the first year after the death of a major significant other being a year of "markers." Now, there is a difference between the loss of an aged parent and the loss of a spouse. There is nothing particularly tragic about the departure of a gravely ill elderly person. It's quite another to lose a spouse at a relatively young age to a bizarre medical condition that most of us had never heard of before now.
Still, I don't really count my first Christmas without Mother as much of a marker for the reason that I can pretty much do without Christmas. I guess my first one would be Mother's Day. Or realizing in court last summer that we were in a trial on her birthday. I was sitting there at counsel table when it hit me: "Damn. Today's Mother's birthday."
It takes about a year to get those markers out of the way. And Laura gets her first one right off the bat. Still, if you gotta lead off with a marker, Easter is as good as any. Way better than Christmas.
My own Father died @ 2 weeks before Christmas. Even as a young man in college I didn't have much use for Christmas. Never thought much of the near-mania to be happy or to find "meaning" in buying and receiving stuff. Under the tragic circumstances of earlier in the month Christmas of 1977 was downright surreal.
Easter, with its transcendant messages of love and hope, will meet Laura halfway. Easter will let her be quiet and still.
Easter will let her have some measure of peace. And we can all use a dose of that from time to time.