All through March, I thought about Sean. That's nothing out of the ordinary, as I think of him every day, but what made this March so difficult is that at this time last year Mare and I were building the porch and Sean was calling me every day to see how it was going. Sean and I had plans for that porch, plans of drinking pitchers of sweet tea and eating fresh peaches there...of sitting on the big wicker couch into the small hours of the night counting fireflies...of finally, perhaps, defining what we were to each other...But then all of that changed irretrievably when Sean died the day before Easter last year in a car wreck. So I finished building and painting the porch while working through some of my grief and finding a small strange comfort in being where I was, where I stood talking to him, on what would be the last day of his life.
Yesterday I thought that I would tear off the rest of the carport roof, but I woke up from a dream in which Sean and I were talking (about what, I can't recall) and then turned on my mp3 player only to hear "Rise", an Eddie Vedder song that always makes me think of Sean. So instead of the roof, I went around to the front porch and took stock of it: dusty, small piles of leaves in the corners, the wicker furniture pushed up against the wall of the house, paint cans where I'd left them last fall. I swept and cleaned and straightened and when it was done, sat down in one of the chairs to call my mom.
"Um, I don't think that I can, um, go to church with you tomorrow after all because...because...well, you know." She does know. Knows how the pastor at that church (who is a grief counselor) was oddly silent after Sean's death, knows how no one there reached out to me at all though I had gone to that church since babyhood, knows how I have struggled in the past year with the hole in my life and in my faith caused by the sudden death of Sean. She was quiet for almost a minute, then said gently, "I don't think you have to go to church on Easter. You should be kind to yourself." And that's exactly what I will do.