The first city that I started back at work with the tour was Eugene, Oregon. A gentle place. Quiet streets with overgrown lawns of new spring flowers. Signs for psychotherapy and massage and bodywork. Woke up one day with a heavy load of grief in my chest. A strong physical sensation of despair.
Walking seemed to be the way to go. Get out of the hotel room. As I was heading back on a different street I had one thought: I must find an Episcopal church. I'm not a religious person in most ways but it was important to me that my daughter have an Episcopal service and when she lay on her futon where she had died I called the Episcopal minister from my other daughter's school to please come and read prayers around her. Lueza had loved prayers during 2010 and I had always taken the little icon of our Lady of Guadalupe and hung it on her IV pole whenever she was in the hospital. I am obsessed with all things Catholic. Rosaries and religious medals of saints and images of the Virgin Mary. The idea of ritual. Amulets. Beauty.
The priest gathered the five of us around Lueza's bed and we read prayers.
So I'm walking on this street in Eugene thinking I must google Episcopal churches. And of course the next block it appears. I need to ring a bell. There are ladies at a little desk in the hall. They show me where the entrance is. In the front right side is a place for candle lighting. This is what I needed. Hanging over the rows of votive candles is an image of Our lady of Guadalupe. I stuff some dollars into the slot, light my candle and sit in a pew and weep. When I've stopped and it is silent I hear: Christ is dead. Spoken by a man in the back of the church. At first I think maybe it's a kook and then I realize that it is Good Friday and it is the hour when this is spoken by the priest.
I feel peaceful again and go back to my room to google the rituals of Good Friday and the speaking of these words.
Later that day I get an email from a friend who also lost her disabled son very suddenly and she said that she had lit candles for Evan and Lueza in Los Angeles.