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Matthew 27:61. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.
Our children experienced death for the first time, and they had a lot of questions. Will grandpa be skin and bones? Why is he cold? Why do they sew his lips shut? What do you mean his spirit isn’t there?
Death is hard to comprehend. We adults think we have a better handle on it than children, but sometimes we don’t understand either. We’re stunned into silence.
In the days following grandpa’s death, his son—the great-uncle of our children—goes every day to the grave. He pats down the dirt and plants flowers. Pulls weeds. Trims the grass. Sometimes, even though we know the person is dead, we still need to be in his presence.
In my imagining of that first Holy Saturday, Mary Magdalene and Mary sit side by side, not talking, just staring at the tomb. Words are clumsy for a loss so big. Streaks of tears cut the dust on their faces, and they knead and knot the folds of their robes. Their grief, palpable in this simple sentence of scripture, makes the experience all the more real to me, and I understand in a new way the very humanness of Jesus and the incredible miracle of his resurrection to come.