For the Caregiver Who Doesn’t Feel Like Celebrating Easter

EasterEaster Sunday or Easter Some Day?

Some celebrate with new outfits, decorating eggs, and a sunrise service at church. Others hide goodies for the little ones to hunt and then spend the rest of the day in the kitchen preparing a feast. Caregivers often just feel overwhelmed.

I didn’t grow up in a church that made a big deal about Easter Sunday (nor Lent, nor Palm Sunday). Other kids got new outfits, chocolate bunnies, and Easter egg hunts. I didn’t get why Christmas fell on the same day every year, but Easter hopped all over.

My dad explained that since no one had modern calendars back when Jesus was born, no one really knew whether he was born on December 25th or not. I never did get an explanation about why Easter falls on a different day each year. But I didn’t want to push the issue, because it took a fair amount of finagling to have a Christmas tree and celebrate Jesus’ birth. I didn’t want to push my luck by advocating for a holiday I couldn’t keep track of.

So I understand what it feels like when the whole world seems buzzing with excitement over a holiday you just can’t get in to. Don’t get me wrong. I know the significance of Jesus’ resurrection. I know he died on the cross on a Friday, got put in the tomb before sundown, and came back to life on Sunday morning.

The Caregiver’s Easter Moments

You don't need to stage a celebration to experience resurrection power! via @blestbutstrestAs a caregiver, I’ve experienced a small measure of the despair Jesus’ disciples felt as they saw him take his last breath on the cross. I have waited through the night, wondering if Pedro’s next breath would be his last. Because of a miracle, Pedro kept on breathing. But I understand the agony. I also understand the unbounded joy when a loved one pulls through—a resurrection of sorts.

I have despaired whether or not we would ever see our youngest daughter again. Friends wept and prayed with me through a torturous night of doubt. I understand the deep well of gratitude when a prodigal comes home—defying death and destruction and proving once again the miracle of rebirth.

So if you’re feeling wiped out and unable to celebrate anything today, dear caregiver, it’s ok. You don’t have to stage a celebration to experience the unbounded joy of knowing that Jesus lives. Hiding eggs and chocolate bunnies or slaving in a hot kitchen all day will not make the resurrection more real in the lives of the ones you love.

#Caregiver, you don't have to stage a celebration to know the joy of the #resurrection. Click To Tweet

Living each day with the knowledge that you follow the one who conquered the grave—now THAT has an impact. My Jesus conquered death; I know he can conquer my bad attitude. My Jesus has the keys to the grave; I know he can conquer my doubts and fears.

When we let Jesus conquer things for us, we have room in our lives for joy. And we don’t need to wait around for Easter Sunday (whenever it might fall) to celebrate.

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Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a ‘recovering cancer caregiver’ who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Great essay, Anita.

    Honestly, I feel so far behind the 8-ball now (prostate problems, seriously???) that I’d just as soon skip any celebration.

    But Easter is a part of every day for me, like KNOWING that there’s tabasco sauce in some MRE bags, to make the inedible…well, not palatable, exactly…but edible.

    Bet that’s the first time Jesus got compared to tabasco sauce. Hope the Dude has a sense of humour, else I’m totally…uh…well, you know.

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  • Rachel

    Thank you for this perspective. We sometimes forget not everyone is in the mood to celebrate or have the energy to do so. Thanks for these words to think about.

  • This reminds me how I used to feel on the first few Easters after our baby died. I’d forgotten about that sense of sadness I equated with Easter for awhile. Thankfully I can feel the joy of the resurrection again, but I do relate to how holidays (any holiday, really ) can be hard when you feel the whole world around you is happy except you. Thanks for sharing your personal experiences, Anita. It always reminds me how seasoned you are to have experienced so much.

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  • “When we let Jesus conquer things for us, we have room in our lives for joy. And we don’t need to wait around for Easter Sunday (whenever it might fall) to celebrate.” Yes to this! And thank you for your thoughts here that are so sensitive to those who have trouble celebrating holidays. Blessings to you, Anita. 🙂

  • Laura Melchor

    I love this. Especially the way you relate a caregiver’s experience to the three elements of Easter weekend. Great job!