I have been feeling sad these last two weeks.
Just plain, good ol’ fashion sad.
I didn’t initially see it as sadness.
Instead, it showed up as a short temper with LA drivers and impatience with the microwave because it took longer than it should to heat up my soup.
Instead, it showed up as feeling like I couldn’t get it right. I can’t get this blog post right or somehow, after two months of doing them, I can’t get my knee exercises right.
Instead, it showed up as tears. Crying because I was frustrated and crying over some darn commercial. Crying for what I saw as “no reason.”
Then, last Monday, I said out loud, “God, why am I so frickin’ sensitive?”
And it hit me. Thursday is Art’s birthday.
Then in March, the boys have birthdays. April is Art’s death month.
I am in my season of grief.
I didn’t recognize this season of grief when I first went through it. I remember feeling like I got punched in the stomach with his birthday, smacked on the side of the head with Langston’s birthday, kicked in the shin with Ezra’s birthday, and hit with a log on my back with Art’s death date.
The thing is, every darn year, EVERY YEAR, I forget about the season of grief! I start out by blaming it on other things - like my period or lousy drivers.
What is a season of grief?
It’s the physical and emotional memory of a difficult period in your life.
Somehow my body remembers too.
It remembers the fatigue.
It remembers the terror.
It remembers the sadness.
It remembers the heaviness.
And together, the only solution is for my body and brain to sometimes sit and weep.
This is my 13th season.
And in these latter years, I see the death of Art from a more objective point of view. Not like it happened to me, but almost like it happened to someone I deeply care about.
I wish there were a way to explain to you, if you are uninitiated, how the sadness is different in the “later” years. It’s not the same sadness that many associate with grief.
There are moments of heaviness and heartache, and these are now mixed with thoughts of sweetness and gratitude and, dare I say…joy?
It feels odd to write that. Almost like I am betraying widowhood in some way.
But that is my truth.
So I am in my season of grief, but unlike in my early years, I know what to expect.
I will cry more frequently.
I will get mad at more LA drivers.
I will remember.
And I will feel the joy of being loved and continuing to learn the deep, powerful life lessons that only death can teach.