It’s early on Sunday morning as I write this. The sky has just turned that odd yellow gray, signaling an oncoming rain. Sure enough, before I even finished that line, the skies opened up and it’s pouring again.
I always have loved the rain.
Which makes it tricky now, my love of this weather.
The year Matt drowned was full of rain. We went out for a swim on that other Sunday morning, the first sunny day after 6 solid weeks of rain. The river was high, the currents under the surface strong and fast. What had always been safe and beautiful had become dangerous.
Rain did that.
The sound of the rain is the sound of the conditions that claimed his life, and completely altered mine. What used to be purely comfort for me has now become – complex. Complicated.
That’s how it is in grief. The things, the common place ordinary things, we found comforting in our lives before take on a greater weight. Innocuous things become painful. Evidence of what you’ve lost is everywhere. Nothing just is what it is anymore.
Everything is tied to loss.
In some ways, like with me and the rain, you can no longer love what you’ve loved the same way. It’s shifted. It’s all changed. Grief rearranges the entire territory.
What I can tell you, from my spot on this grief trail, is that the complexity, the way things have changed, gets softer. When the rains come, I feel more comfort than conflict. I’m more able to open to the complexity, to hold both the utter wrong-ness of what that rain brought and my enjoyment of the sound.
The rain contracts and expands inside my heart. The pain and the comfort are both true.
If something you love contributed to the death of someone you love, there is a complexity inside you. Inside this life. While is may seem impossible, comfort and pain will eventually sit beside each other, co-existing.
Finding that comfort again won’t be moving away, or forgetting. What is clenched and closed in you now will eventually shift. It will shift because that is what things do: contract, expand, contract, expand. Eventually, in its own timing, what is now only pain will soften.
Your capacity to hold this complex and painful life will expand, will let it all in, even the beautiful parts.
There is nothing you need to do to make that happen. Like all natural processes, it will happen, on its own, in its own time.