The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Pooky's triumph

Like a struggling butterfly, my grief will emerge into something beautiful and new

My mother, Marguerite Bretscher, died suddenly on July 4, 1998, at an airport as she and my father were returning home from vacation. Just 16 hours earlier she'd called to tell me of my niece's birth — her 22nd grandchild. When our conversation ended, I didn't know that I had told my mother goodbye for the last time.

The months following her death were filled with disbelief, emptiness and utter despair. Despite my upbringing in a Lutheran parsonage, I found that I desperately needed repeated reassurances of God's love and promises. As the Easter following my mother's death approached, I yearned for a visible metaphor of resurrection.

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February issue


Embracing diversity