I knew I’d be okay when I saw the sliver of blue while driving home. It’s been raining for the last two days; unusual after months of drought. The sky has been low and slate gray, and even when it wasn’t raining the gray mask of clouds made everything look wet.
The day matches my current mood. The sharp, immediate tang of grief that was there the first few weeks is gone. I’m more in control now, less likely to suddenly break down with no warning. I’m gray; deep, dark gray with no break in the horizon. A friend asked how I was doing, and I said there are days that are Okay and there are bad days. There are no good days, not yet.
That first month was like a summer sky just before a rainstorm, that sudden darkness and crackly feeling as the lightening strikes start. Anything can happen when the weather’s like that; if the storm hits the sky goes black and then gets lit by those sharp, white bolts of lightening. Thunderstorms can change to tornados; growing up in the Midwest, you learn that when the sky turn an eerie yellowish green it’s time to head for the basement.
That’s how I felt, those first few weeks; on the verge of some major catastrophic event that would come with little warning and then leave. It’s different now. I’m calmer, smoother. I still cry, but I can control it better. What I can’t do, not yet, is feel any semblance of normalcy in my life. I still can’t cook a meal; all I’ve eaten for 6 weeks is frozen or take out. The house is a mess; my desk at work is a mess. I can’t seem to pull any order out of my life.
It’s dark, deep, gray where I am now. Not the sudden uncontrollable darkness of a summer storm, but the low hanging cloudy dark of a 3-day fall rainstorm. The kind of gray that just doesn’t let up, where the day starts out dark and never seems to get any light. I know the rain is needed, and that while it makes for a dark and gloomy day the result will be all the bright colors of spring and the lush greens of summer. But there’s no color or light today.
Until… just now, driving home. The clouds were hanging dark, deep low. Except there was a small break way off in the distance. A bright blue sky showed in that break, and a ray of sun shone through. It only lasted a few minutes, not even the entire 15 minute drive; by the time I got home the break was gone and the sky was back to all gray.
I know I’ll be Okay. Right now it’s dark and gray and rainy, but that’s needed. This is giving me time. Time to mourn, time to say goodbye to the life we had, time to slowly pull myself into a new life. I’ll feel gray for a long, long time. But there will be small breaks in the gray, and each one will be a little larger and a little longer. One day, a long time from now, I expect the clouds will be gone.