A seasonal grief


In loss, I've learned ways to get into a good defensive zone. In life, and basketball though, it can be hard to stay there, and so sometimes I just have to give myself permission to be all over the place. I think that's why I like Spring. It specializes in being jumbled up and there is comfort in common behavior so it doesn't always feel like I have to WORK ON IT.

I'm in my ninth year of widowhood. My husband died the Monday after Thanksgiving and that first year was literally, for a long time, and figuratively, for a longer one, the worst of winter. By the second year, for many reasons, I felt compelled to try to do better, be better, just as winter must feel compelled to lurch across spring and finally into summer.

Spring liberates me. It won't judge; we're too much alike. We're allowed to be unpredictable and a little nuts. On a given Monday or pick a day, I'm feeling all in control and totally in command of what I'm doing, in the zone. And outside it's a justified season with a perfect temperature and just the right amount of sun. Yippee. Maybe spring and I will stay this way until summer.

Then again maybe not even until Tuesday. My personal control throttle has lost some power and the sun has lost some wattage too behind all the clouds. Blah.

Wednesday is just uncomfortable. I didn't sleep great, and did it rain in the night? Surely that's why I ache. Well, but, May flowers, right? Our anniversary is in May.

Thursday is bones of cold. Is this redbud winter or blackberry or dogwood? Is there another one? Am I tired? Depressed? Disappointed? Just busy? Temporarily overwhelmed? Permanently? Will there ever be summer flowers?

Friday is the catch all day. It's still cold and the new wind outside could blow my head off, but at least it's not a tornado and maybe shrugging on a new head isn't all bad. I've got three sets of attitude today, and two sets of clothes plus a jacket. A didn't-see-that-coming reminder of the hole in my life is followed by a funny thought that veers into brief hysteria, but the hours finally smash together into warm memories, all while accommodating the early morning frost, clothed in layers, peeled off gradually as the wind abates and the day steadily warms too.

Saturday brings a restlessness I can't or won't study. I wake up feeling out of sorts and mutinous and loud about it. Mostly inside voice, but neighbors wouldn't hear anyway because the equally noisy thunderstorm outside drowns everything out. The snit and the storm run out of steam, and both are replaced by more soothing thoughts and a soft, brief rain. The sun pops out along with a sunnier disposition and it's good to be alive. And it won't even be humid today.

Sunday's good. The brain and the day remain clear, the spring flowers demand appreciation, and Spring and I can start all over again tomorrow in no particular order. We're not going to worry too much about the zone right now. We both know summer's coming. We'll straighten up then.


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