Easter Mourning and Elephants

Easter Mourning and Elephants

Pastel colors, daffodils, shiny new shoes, hats with yellow ribbons, white belts, hugs, hardboiled eggs and bunnies; the hams in the oven and the songbirds are chirping  it is Easter morning…but for some it’s also an Easter mourning.


Easter is the U.S. is a major Judeo-Christian holiday that is celebrated by most Americans in a Hallmark Card kind of way as opposed to a deeply religious ceremony that some observe.  Regardless of your religious convictions Easter is treated as an unofficial national holiday when families get together for Sunday afternoon repast and relaxation. When families do get together sometimes there is an empty chair at the table and an empty heart in despair. For some this is an Easter mourning.


How do we survive a loss in our life and face the holidays with honesty and joy?  How do you prepare something delicious to eat for others, when everything tastes the same?   Food in general becomes meaningless for it represents sustenance when we do not want to sustain.  How do we make small talk when our soul is screaming inside?  How do we not cry when all we see and feel is the empty chair that no one else sees? For most everyone else all they see is a very large sleeping elephant, one that they dare not awake.


Let’s get serious, a kitchen, a living room or dining room is just no place for a sleeping elephant.  Who in their right mind would bring a creature like that into the house? I remember growing up on the farm with a variety of animals domestic and feral alike that would get into our house. My dad’s horse was his best friend and I will never forget when he brought Lucky into the kitchen when we had guests over for dinner. People move quickly when a large animal comes in the room; believe me and why this metaphor has such power.


In our continued despair we speak in frustration about the elephant in the room and why it’s there. We have to realize for the most part it is our elephant; we brought it here with us and people are just being polite not to mention it. It is up to us to lead it out of the room, ask others present for help in doing so. Literally ask them “can you please help me get this elephant out of the room?”  If it steps on a few toes on the way out… so be it.  Grief is not pain free; pass your pain around, share it. Wake up the elephant, and use it to carry you to a new place at an elephants pace, slowly one step at a time.  An elephant can also break down walls if they are in the way, use your elephant.


The timing of Easter is interesting as it is determined as the first Sunday following the last full moon (Paschal moon) of Passover which roughly coincides with the vernal equinox of March 20/21. Easter bespeaks of the resurrection of Christ in the Christian tradition, beginning of Passover in the Jewish tradition, and in most cultures is recognized astronomically as the first day of springtime and rebirth for the planet, when days get longer and the fields get greener. This cycle governs all living energy forms on the planet; we are all on a yearly cycle of death and rebirth.


 Our calendar days without the rotation of the earth -meaningless; our calendar years without the earths’ rotation  around the sun -meaningless; our birth without our death -meaningless; love without loss -meaningless; extremes define each other, they need each other to exist. So we learn to dance between the extremes.


This Easter, this spring, look at each new lengthening day as an opportunity, a day to start a new year with hope.  I think most New Year’s resolutions are a sham and are built to fail from the start, they are made in the darkest time of our planetary cycle and we make resolutions based on hope not on faith.


 If we are to make a resolution to bring new hope and healing into our life, let us coincide it with the natural flow and growth of the planet. Experience our own rebirth, our own renaissance, our own unique healing and personal growth as the planet comes alive.  I believe all resolutions should be made at this time of the year. This is our own fiscal year of the soul that starts at springtime and we can change our tomorrow with faith in an even brighter spring next year. It’s up to us.

We can become a casualty of our loss or become a springboard to an unknown, non-envisioned future of limitless potentialities. We have choices. Grief is a powerhouse of transformation, how and what it turns us into is up to us. Use your elephant.


Peace love n light

Mitch Carmody      4-15-12


To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

Ecclesiastes 3:1


Hope springs eternal in the human breast: Man never is, but always To be Blest.

-Alexander Pope




About the Author
Mitch is the author of Letters To My Son, a Journey Through Grief and the newly released 2nd edition Turning Loss to Legacy. Mitch is currently a staff writer with Living with Loss Magazine and has published many articles for a variety of national grief periodicals, newsletters, and internet sites as well as appearing in many radio and television interviews
Grief In Action