"Just remember in the winter, far beneath the bitter snows, lies the seed that with the sun's love, in the Spring becomes a rose." - "The Rose", by Bette Midler
Soon the temperature will warm, the snow will melt, the nights will get shorter, and the days will get longer. Winter will be replaced by Spring, and plants, that have been dormant, will push their way up, through the snow, and blossom. And so it is with my own "winter", where the sun seems to be shining more often, and I am beginning to experience a time of renewal.
"Into each life some rain must fall." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
On the 7-month anniversary of Austin's death, I found myself missing Austin more than I had in a long time. The tears poured down, like a rainstorm not wanting to stop. Of course, they did eventually dry up. And, like the way rain washes away snow on warm Spring days, so my tears washed away some of my sadness. And, just like crocuses push through the heavy snow to bring beauty on cold days, a rejuvenated spirit has been pushing through my grief, allowing me to feel joy in a way I haven't experienced, since Austin's death. This is a beautiful reminder that, although at times, there are harsh seasons which we must endure, there is light shining at the other side. And just like the short, cold winter days eventually turn into long, warm Spring ones, our dark moments are eventually replaced with longer and longer rays of sunshine, allowing us to begin to live again.
"However long the night, the dawn will break." - African Proverb
For 7 long months I've tried to enjoy life, the best I could,even while enduring a dark cloud overshadowing my emotions. Then, one day last week, I experienced a feeling that was very foreign to me - it felt like the "old" me, the one before Austin died. There was an excitement for life, one that I had forgotten about, one I thought I'd lost. I was truly enjoying the moment and loving it, while it lasted. But sometimes, that can be a scary feeling, because as I start living life again I wonder, "Does this mean I won't miss Austin? Will I be 'betraying' him by getting back, completely, in the game of life?" Absolutely not! I will always miss Austin, always love him, and always wish he had stayed around a little (no, a lot) longer. In fact, the best way to remember Austin is to live life the way he always did - to enjoy every moment, as much as possible, even when it's not going the way I want it to!
"With time, grief's force will diminish. freedom will return: freedom to be happy; freedom to remember; freedom to live; and freedom to love... and your pain will recede. Your heart will be scarred, but your heart will sing again: not the same song, not a weaker song, just a different song." - Gillian & Darryl Torckler
The feeling of "lightness" didn't last forever, but it has visited me, more and more frequently, throughout the days since. It is a welcoming sign that I am healing and will be enjoying more of these bright moments, in days and weeks to come. Just like Spring, when there are gorgeous, sunny days, followed by snowy, windy or cloudy rainy ones, followed by sunny days, again, I know that my feelings will vary hour-by-hour and day-by-day. And through it all, I will continue to do what I've been doing - take one moment at a time, making the most out of what I'm given, good, bad, or indifferent. And as I weather my personal storm, I know that days with beautiful rainbows are ahead of me, I've already seen a glimpse.
"The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears." - John Vance Cheney