The weather is changing and conversations head in that direction as they always do. From porch to sidewalk, neighbors shout about the need for jackets or lack of. Somewhere, in line for coffee, two old friends discuss the 20 degree temperature difference from last week. And I promise, right this moment, a group of parents is discussing little feet stretching to almost adult-size since the last time they pulled out this season’s shoes.
But for me, this change of season means something different. As the temperature changes and the conversations go with it, my grieving season begins.
If I have nothing to add to talk of weather and outgrown clothing it’s because I can’t think of anything but how my life changed as this season rolled on.
For me, it’s the season of an anxious look on my doctor’s face I had never seen before.
It’s the anniversary of that one get-together we had with friends, the last of our “normal.”
It’s marked by all the things I complained about that I’ll never wish away again.
And it will always be the season of phone calls I never wanted to make, parenting with the little energy I had left and being completely unprepared for what was coming next.
This grieving season of mine is full of days I wished time to pass but now would give anything to go back and slow down.
It’s moments I thought couldn’t get any worse and that time I discovered that you can go to bed crying and wake up doing the same.
It’s full of memories that make me shudder and ones that make me smile, only because they’re all I have now.
Even years later, it’s months of life rushing past while I wade through– grief pulling at my heels.
It’s days of simple tasks gone unaccomplished, to-do lists left undone.
It’s fighting the urge not to blurt out what was happening right now, however many years ago, when someone else shares a trivial complaint or gives you a hard time about something you’ve screwed up.
But Grieving Season also brings with it longer hugs and people who say the right thing when you’re not even sure what you need to hear.
This is my Grieving Season, and while I might not have anything to add to your conversation about the weather or what time it will get dark tonight, I could tell you all about the person I love who isn’t here anymore.
I could spend hours thinking about how much life with her changed life without her…
how her face is the one I see when I close my eyes and wish I could still see when I open them again,
how having her here, even for a short time, is better than never having her at all.
I can’t cope with the mundane right now but I can sit with a memory,
watch it shift from one season to the next,
and tell you how it comes back with a bittersweet strength at this exact same time,
year after grieving year.
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