I am an unabashed lover of color. Certain hues elevate my mood and expand my spirit. When I see a warm, rich orange, yellow or red it is as pleasing to my senses as biting into the perfect, bursting-with-flavor tangerine or piece of dark (yes, it has to be dark!) chocolate.
So when one of the “Women in Transition” (AKA widows) who came over for our monthly dinner gathering a few Saturdays ago commented on the vibrantly colored table cloth spread over my table for eight, I told her the colors made me happy. Because they do.
I am so thankful to be able to appreciate color again. Grief does the oddest things to your senses, leaving colors muted and flat. And even if we could see them in all their vibrancy, somehow I still don’t think we’d be very interested. Because not much of anything makes us feel much of anything when we’re in that emotional desert.
But now, approximately two to two-and-a-half years since most of the women in this group lost our husbands, I look around the table and am struck not only by the ease we have with each other, but also the ease we each seem to be finding within ourselves. I notice more light to our eyes, more life energy in our bodies, and more laughter spilling from our mouths.
I know it’s not that life is suddenly “easy.” One of our members is fast-approaching her husband’s two-year death anniversary and making plans for how to care for herself on that predictably painful day (the second anniversary lacking the merciful numbing the first year tends to carry. By the second year, it’s all just too real, too hard.). Another of the women is battling a serious illness, and I’m coming out of a week dotted with bouts of melancholy (which seem to be a consequence of working through some of the more painful material I’m reviewing as I write my book).
And yet, we are all shifting. And while it looks a bit different in each of us, I think we would all agree there is a change in the air. Definitely not some lightweight, transitory thing. No, I think it is something much more foundational, born of time, love, and a thousand layers of healing. So I’m guessing this new state is around to stay. And for the opportunity to move back into life alongside these great ladies, I am immensely grateful. I can’t think of better traveling companions.
“Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5