Bittersweet End of Summer

I‘ve got bittersweet feelings about summer coming to an end—it’s been such an enjoyable season and I’m sad it’s almost over. I feel like I’ve been making up for last summer somehow, when everything was shrouded in the darkness of grief after Ellis was stillborn. Last year I barely had the energy to appreciate summer, though to my surprise, I’ve developed a special fondness for that season.

Sometimes I find myself missing the space of grief, where I was raw and tender and felt connected to everyone and everything. There were moments where I couldn’t even bring myself to kill a bug in the house, and instead gently picked it up and carried it outside.

Grief took me both deep inside myself and also far beyond myself. Both of those places collided, melding into something that had no boundaries and revealing to me the interconnectedness of all things. I felt as though the “veil” of my perception of reality had been pulled back and I got a glimpse of the divine at work.

Over the last year the veil has slowly fallen back into place, which is both welcome and difficult. It makes it easier to function in society but I also miss that sense of awe I had for all living things, for the cycle of life.

I won’t ever forget what I saw and what it felt like to be on the other side. I can still get close to that feeling through certain practices like prayer, meditation, and being present in life, but I can’t fully experience it like I did during acute grief. Death gave me a greater understanding of life.

Life is cyclical and seasonal. There’s something about an ending that makes you appreciate things more. This season I’ve enjoyed sandy beaches, sunshine, river floating, shared meals, stargazing, and time with family and friends, yet there’s also been more loss, sadness, and unknowns.

Last summer was the darkest season of my life and thankfully I emerged with the ability to see the good that permeates everything. Darkness helps hone our sight—when it’s dark we‘re able to see even the smallest glimmer of light, and when the lights get turned on again we don’t take it for granted as much.