My Lazarus

Thank you to all the people who have offered prayers and love over the past few weeks. I don’t know what I would have done without it. I’m still taking comfort in reading (and sometimes rereading) e-mails and comments. Sometimes the pain seems unbearable and sometimes I find peace and take comfort in the knowledge that I did everything for Innocent that I could. Now all I can do is pray and ask for his prayers. Surely he would help his mother!

This has been the strangest, hardest and most meaningful Lent I will have ever gotten through. Tomorrow is Lazarus Saturday. I admit, although I know the story, most of the time I just think about how much I wish we were permitted pizza rather than caviar to celebrate the feast. A few days ago I was looking at pictures of Innocent and suddenly the words “four days in the tomb” floated through my head. I stopped. That’s Lazarus, I thought, and realized this Saturday is Lazarus Saturday. (Time hasn’t had much meaning lately so I keep forgetting what day it is.) Then it hit me: counting Wednesday as day one, by this Saturday Innocent will have been four days in the tomb. I have never so closely identified with Martha and Mary until that moment. Like Mary I want to cry, “Lord, if you had been here Innocent had not died.”

There are so many “coincidences” surrounding Innocent’s life and death. We found out he had died on the first feast of St. Innocent. He was due on the second feast of St. Innocent. We buried him on the old-calendar feast of St. Innocent. Like Lazarus, he will have been in the tomb four days tomorrow. I can’t help thinking, where is the Lord? When is my Pascha coming? Will it always be Holy Friday?

Pascha, the Pascha, came almost 2,000 years ago. Lazarus died before Pascha and so was in Hades during those four days. I believe Innocent, on the other hand, was translated from my bodily embrace to that of our Father’s without pause. It is always Pascha in Heaven.

Innocent’s soul is alive. His body will be restored to him in a perfected state on the day of the General Resurrection. “Lazarus, come forth from the tomb,” will be heard again. But then the Vanquisher of death will also cry “Innocent, come forth from the tomb.”

Troparion for Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday
By raising Lazarus from the dead before Thy passion,
Thou didst confirm the universal resurrection, O Christ God.
Like the children with the palms of victory,
We cry out to Thee, O Vanquisher of death,
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is He that comes in the Name of the Lord.

[Photo of Innocent’s hand in mine after the jump.]

11 thoughts on “My Lazarus

  1. seconding Michelle's comment. As painful as I'm sure it was, I'm so glad you were able to hold Innocent. What a perfect and precious little hand. You are in my prayers and heavy on my heart.

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  2. Many blessings and it is painful. May God continue to carry you into His Pascha… we are always told we cannot have Pascha without the Cross; but thank God that the Cross is not without Pascha. HUGS.

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  3. Reading your journey (and weeping every step of the way with you) I have been continually struck by how closely God has been with you throughout. Thank you for sharing your journey with us, we are blessed.

    Continued prayers, know I light a candle for that sweet baby. Memory Eternal.

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  4. I read this through teary eyes… it is not grief as the world grieves though… there is such Hope.

    You were so blessed to be able to hold him…

    Memory eternal, little Innocent – pray for us…

    ~Nonna

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  5. I can not do anything but pray and keep praying. You have touched me in ways I can not describe. Little Innocent will most certainly know your love now, through the love of the Father, in it's purest form.
    THe respectful glimps in your grief that you have shared with us has blessed me. Thank you. Allow yourself your grief, Matrushka.

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  6. Pingback: Lazarus Saturday  | Praying With My Feet

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