If I had known the last day was the last day

As we near the one year anniversary of the pandemic coming to life in our part of the world, I feel the grief in my spirit. I find myself glancing at my photo history from a year ago to notice how blissfully unaware we were of all that was coming.

I notice our last trip to the library where I snapped a photo of my kids in their favorite spot. I see our Super Bowl party with friends in their home. I smile at a date night picture of my husband and I at a crowded restaurant.

My heart is heavy as I scroll through the last Sunday we worshipped together in person. I see beloved human serving each other communion with hugs and love.

My throat tightens when I come to the last time I walked my kids to their school. I happened to snap a photo since I thought they'd have a few weeks off. Never imagining it was the last day at that school.

Moving during a pandemic complicates the grief of this one-year anniversary. Our last days were truly the last days in that life and season of our family.

Wherever you find yourself this February and March of 2021, may we hold all that we experienced in February and March of 2020. Our body, mind, and spirit took it all in. We acted quickly. We tried to adapt. We made hard choices. We struggled. We moved forward.

A year later, may we gently make room for the grief to emerge.

It simply wants our full attention for a bit. To tell us where it's hurting. What we lost. What we miss. How we loved.

We don't get to return to life before the pandemic. We are forever on the other side of it. And our hearts hope we'll make a little room for them to feel the complexity of it all.

And that maybe, grieving what was will shape how we show up to our lives now.

Sending you big love, my friend.

If I had known the last day

Was the last day

I would have looked around

One last time

And felt the love in the room

At that restaurant

In the school drop off line

In the full sanctuary

At the staff meeting

In our favorite spot at the library

At our grocery store

At our friends’ home

If I had known the last day

Was the last day

My smile would have been bigger

My hugs, tighter

My laughter, deeper

My prayers, stronger

If I had known the last day

Was the last day

The tears streaming down my cheeks

Would tell a thousand stories

Of gratitude, love, and joy

For those people

That life

In that season

If I had known the last day

Was the last day

I’d have opened my hands wide to receive

The gift it all was