I signed the date a dozen times or more today sitting on the 23rd floor of the Columbia Tower, watching a spectacular light show. Last night, I set out the majority of my "stuff" to be sold at tomorrow's yard sale including furniture and toys and games. The weather forecast said sun through the weekend. This morning, on the drive downtown, I heard "possible thunderstorms" on the radio. In between signatures, I looked outside to see multiple bolts of lightening flashing over the city. It poured downtown, but not in West Seattle (I still texted my kids' summer nanny- Aunt Lisa- to get the tarp over the furniture).
Grief is a double-edged sword that cuts the gut. And both sides cut, usually at the same time. Leaving this house and moving into a new one forces us to face that we are, indeed, a family of three. Ed's not coming back home because we are in a new home. He doesn't know where we live. I sort through our things and pack up our stuff facing that reality. It's a brutal reality. One that I'm glad I took a month from work off for. The brutality of it has me ready to fight. (Or flight, apparently, since I'm moving). I thought I had no patience before, but it's gone now. So much so that I can't stomach small talk or laugh at domestic niceties. I avoid email and conversation so the friends I cherish won't breathe in my disdain and mistake it for a personal attack (I can't imagine what damage I'd do at work). I suppose that if I didn't have the anger, it would mean I wasn't facing this all head on. I suppose if I didn't have the anger, I would sleep the month of July away because God knows I'm tired. I'm beyond exhausted.
Though, driving home (out of the rain), I felt okay. Okay in a way I haven't in a week. For a moment, I had a glimpse of a future. I have no idea what that future is, but to have a sense that there is one, is great. I was reminded of the power of status quo. Like, when Ed & I were married; somehow, despite the fact that we were only 21 and 22 years old, we were suddenly seen as legitimate- that saying "I do" to something we had no idea what we were saying "I do" to transformed us into responsible, credible adults. We would talk about the ridiculousness of that notion, but were also seduced by how easy it was to be transformed. Buying a home is similar. I am equally irritated by this as I am in awe, because it is the power of "normal" that seduces and leaves those less than normal, us outliers, isolated. Though, I felt okay. These days, I'll take "okay" at almost any cost.
I'm ending with a quote that I've returned to all week. It gives me permission to barrel forward and not judge the anger- mine or my kids (who have also been incredibly angry in spurts). But to respect it as the normal response:
She taught me that grief is a time to be lived through, experienced fully, and that the heavens will not fall if I give voice to my anger against God in such a time. -Elizabeth Watson