There's just something about the place. Maybe it's because the priest who said Thomas' funeral left the parish, or maybe it's because my patience is waning the longer things don't go the way I want them to (and I'm acting like a petulant child because of it) but each Sunday at church is a new experience in futility these days.
I was actually feeling fine this Sunday morning before church. On the way there I even vowed to begin anew with God. I thought I'd start fresh, let bygones be bygones, bury the hatchet and see if I could just get over it already. It was a pretty, cool day, the sun was out and I felt totally fine. Almost peaceful.
Which lasted all of five minutes once I got into the church. I couldn't concentrate on my prayers and gave up, and then spent the bulk of the Mass thinking about Thomas. But not in a good way. I kept thinking about how close we were to having him - to being able to bring him home, safe and sound like so many thousands of parents do every day. How it was just a matter of minutes - precious, unmonitored minutes - and he was taken from us. How it would have been so painfully easy for God, who is apparently capable of some pretty astounding miracles, to make everything just fine. To save our son.
I tortured myself uncontrollably in the house of God until I was so furious my only option was to leave. But because I'm still faithful (or stupid) enough to fear the wrath of God (although I have no idea why - what more could he possibly do to me?), I waited until after communion. Until after I knelt down and pretended to pray. I gauged the flow of post communion foot traffic until I saw a break in the line and jumped into it, flowing effortlessly to the back of the church where I continued out the door and into the sunshine, free at last.
It's the only thing I'm brave enough to do to God. Isn't that pathetic? As if leaving Mass before the final blessing is the worst earthly crime a person can possibly commit.
"Never mind the pedophiles, axe murders and terrorists," says God, "what the heck am I going to do with that defiant girl who keeps leaving Mass before she's been dismissed??"
But it's all I've got. It's my only protest against what I still can't understand or bear - the loss of my son and the feeling that God betrayed me.
Sigh. Can't wait for next week.