Saturday is the day of grief.
The mourners sit in silence, an unwelcome new reality sitting in hard upon them. “Is this really happening?” they ask one another. Friday came and went quickly and now we find ourselves picking up the pieces, scratching our heads, licking our wounds. Tears unbidden gush forth as an aching void engulfs us. We pinch ourselves, hoping to wake from the nightmare. But slowly we are overtaken by the cold truth of circumstance: there is no waking up and there is no going back. All that is left to do is breathe in, breathe out, and pray for the strength to carry on.
What must it have been like, that Saturday when all seemed lost? What consolation was there to be found? To what hope could they cling? You get the impression the fear paralyzed them; with each knock of the door they wondered, “Have they come to take us away as well?” I suppose I’m inclined to think of them in this way because fear and sorrow have been familiar bedfellows in my own life. Friday’s gruesome blitz is often over before you realize what’s happened; no, Saturday’s monotonously bleak recognition is what we find most agonizing, hope slowly ebbing from our pores as disillusionment claims us.
This is my story now.
And we grieve the loss of the story we had lived in, the story to which we can never return.
Saturday is also the day of regret, Friday’s finality a permanent shackle to the stocks of remorse. We become prisoners to our minds, the thoughts that play in a constant loop as we sort through our grief.
“I never had the chance to say goodbye.”
“I wish I’d told her how much I loved her.”
“We stopped talking a few years ago. I can’t even remember why.”
“I thought we’d have more time.”
As the Saturday sun sets, we find ourselves further removed from Friday’s ridicule and violence. But time does not heal all wounds. Far from it. Time helps us return to a level of functionality, but we must always bear our scars. The aftermath of Friday’s trauma is played out in a thousand ways in the Saturdays of our lives.
But even as the Saturday sun sets, a prayer escapes our lips:
You see, we’re just foolish enough to believe in the dawn, to long for the possibility of healing. We know better, and yet we can’t seem to help ourselves. After all we’ve been through, after all we’ve seen, aren’t we naive to think that tomorrow will have something glorious in store? Probably so, we tell ourselves. And yet, we return to our prayer, hoping against hope, clinging to what is possible over against what is probable.
And we close our eyes to the dusk around us, unaware of just how soon our prayer will be answered.