There’s something oddly comforting about weather that reflects one’s emotions. While we’ve had a rather mild winter here, it’s still February, a month that is unpredictable at best, a month when the best days are still cold, with a wind off the ocean that bites through your clothes, no matter how well-prepared you think you are when you leave the house. The colors of the landscape are muted, the grass dormant, with only a vague hint here and there of the resurgent growth to come in the spring. There is often a chill fog over everything that mutes the colors even more, makes you strain your eyes looking for details, landmarks, the road you are on as you try to find your way home. The cold, the biting wind, the rain and snow, the fog, even the indifferent sun on clear days, all of February’s weather here makes you cautious, damped down, slow. At night, the weather’s treachery multiples, sometimes painfully so. It’s easy to get lost.
It’s the perfect metaphor for grief. I feel like I am wrapped in a cold fog, even when I’m out of the weather. I put one foot in front of the other. I go to work. I come home, crawl into bed, pull an extra blanket over me. I find it hard to think, to organize my day, to remember what I’m supposed to do. Often, I cry. Always, underneath everything, I think of Rachel. Thoughts of her are never far from the surface.
It’s painful to think of her, but I can’t stop myself. And I don’t want to. I want her to stay alive in my heart — laughing, determined, wise, generous. Helping me figure out how to go on without her. My ability to go on is minimal right now, but I know that slowly, my grief will transform itself, like spring transforms the landscape, into light and clarity. But it cannot be rushed. I cannot change my weather, but I can endure it.
Text of my eulogy for Rachel, at her Memorial Service on 11 February, 2012.