Yes, that photo above is me. It is me sitting in the courtyard outside our room in a quaint little hotel in Besançon France.
We were in France for a friend’s wedding, and as part of the planning had added a week each side of the event to explore. We chose the town Besançon, and the hotel at random from a Lonely Planet guide book.
I look peaceful in that photo, serene, absorbed in the writing.
I was grieving.
We found out just over two weeks before we travelled that the long-awaited baby I was carrying had no heart beat. I had the D&C the week before we travelled. We left Australia on Good Friday and arrived in France in the middle of Easter.
The hotel where we stayed was right next to a cathedral. On Easter morning sitting in that beautiful courtyard listening to the bells ring out of new life and new beginnings, I wrote.
I wrote my grief, I wrote my hopes, I wrote my pain, I wrote my fears. I don’t remember Mr taking the photo. But I remember the sound of those bells like it was yesterday. I remember the cool April breeze and the sun on my back. I remember the release in the writing.
I remember walking into that beautiful cathedral and lighting a candle.
That Easter was confusing emotionally, the pain of grieving a child never to be, and the celebration the marriage of dear friends. And isn’t that the heart of Easter, the pain of loss, and the hope of the feast to come. Both need to exist side by side, because without the reality of being broken, there is no need for promise of being whole.
That’s the story behind that picture, the pain and the promise of Easter, the blessing of a beautiful place to recoup with Mr, and the therapy of writing.
This is the poem I wrote that day…
how does the healing begin
with church bells
on an easter morning
ringing out truth
with a lighted candle
illuminating the prayer
I can’t voice
I pray that you too may find the healing of Easter.