The Right Weather

Summer Weather - The Children in Sicily - August 2007

What can I say, I don’t think I am weird, but while everyone was happy that spring had sprung this past week-end; I felt… it’s odd, but… spring seemed to be out of place to me.
I didn’t realize that that’s what it was until yesterday, when the sun wasn’t shining and it rained all day, and I felt comfortable, well, more comfortable that is.
“I would like to skip spring, summer… I would like this weather to continue,” I found myself thinking. “Is it really already… what.. three, four weeks, since we had that snow storm?”
This week-end, while a friend pointed excitedly at all the buds ready to bloom, I felt uncomfortable. The thought of the forsythia, dogwood, Magnolia, daffodils, crocuses, cherry trees bursting into life all around me… No, no, no, no… please…. not this year.
On St. Patrick’s day, the first of last week’s sunny days, Andrew’s friend Tom, the one who taught Andrew to ride a bike, came by. From the living room I heard his voice coming from the kitchen, I cowered under the blanket and closed my eyes. Then I heard a burst of vroom, vroom, vrooommmm, vroom, vroom, vvvvroooooommmm render the quiet outside. Tom had started Andrew’s bike, after a while I poked my head through the window in time to see Tom drive off, he’d taken it for a quick spin.
Loki, the bike that Andrew named after the Norse God of thunder, had sat quietly in the drive all through the winter snows, rains and thunders. Seeing it sit there silently, all winter long had been a sad reminder of Loki’s missing rider. But seeing it come to healthy sounding life, I wondered which was worse.
The sun outside was shining, nature seemed to be smiling, but I was drowning in tears.
Now Loki is sitting quietly in the drive again, the sky is grey and it looks as if today is going to be another rainy day.
This is better for me, for now.


29 thoughts on “The Right Weather

  1. I could not agree more. My flowers are budding, the grass is greening, and all I can think is..why is life continuing on all around me when Andy’s life has halted? The thought that things go forward without him is crushing. He was my ray of sunshine, my reason to smile.
    Yes, the rain and cold suit us better just now.

  2. This is the time of year that Jono died. That 2007 March spring was glorious! For Seattle standards it was an early bloom our street was lined with Cherry blossoms and the tulip tree in my driveway was making merry the drooping petals, sweet with mornings dew. I felt stuck in this room overlooking this beauty with constant streams of visitors smelling of fear and puffy tears. There’s that smell that eminates that I smelled quite frequently on people…the ones who I think were almost as upset as I was, very hormonal and musky. Such a strange bubble looking from the outside in and visa versa…I knew if I tried really hard I could smell the sweetness of spring but I was a shutin, my world hemed in by one tragic act. The beauty of the outside took some of the pain away, in a very distant way.

  3. Not surprising or unexpected, but what you describe is almost exactly how I’ve been feeling. Only difference is that with the first beautiful spring day we had, I just knew – and said to myself that morning, I would feel so much better if we were still having those grey and dreary days. Then, I realized our emotions are so much stronger that they overwhelm the weather, and it doesn’t really matter. Make sense? Carla xox Exception: the day of Teddy’s unveiling on 2/21, it was a sunny clear cold day with a blanket of snow. I was thankful that day for the weather. (And that we didn’t have a blizzard which would have required us to reschedule, something I certainly didn’t want to have to do.)

      • It’s a Jewish tradition, fairly “modern” (vis-a-vis Jewish history) I believe. Often, around the one year anniversary of the date of death, there is an “unveiling” where the headstone of a loved one is “unveiled.” (It is covered with some cheesecloth for the start of the service.) There is often a small service at the graveside. We did it with our Rabbi and a group of close family and friends. I’ll send you an email I shared with some people who weren’t able to be with us that day, with a picture and some of the poems we read. I think I wrote about it on my blog, too. Carla

  4. I was terrified that after my son’s death the tree ferns would not do what they did every year during his life, and throw out new fronts unwinding into the sky to form new branches. In fact in NZ the “ponga” frond is the Maori symbol of new life. I took photos of the unfurling of the fronts every day, especially in sunlight and against the sunset. Of course I was seeing my son in every burst of new life. Today I still fear the time when the two 20 foot ponga that grew up with him die and I have to adjust to the more final death of my son. To forstall that day we have planted a garden where he died with two natives, one a climbing vine that circles around the giant Kauri trees, the other a Kowhai, the national flower, which has bright yellow blooms in Spring. Where we live one of the markers of spring is a yellow mat on the roads made by the fallen Kowhai blossoms. Other plants in the garden are self-sown, one a Nikau palm and the other a Karaka. These grow like weeds in our bush. Last Xmas for the first time we got a native Pohutukawa in a pot instead of a small harvested pine and replanted it where is it growing like crazy. My son is in all of them.
    To see these you can start here:

  5. John Stork commented on your note “The Right Weather”:

    “…..and one day my beautiful friend, when the sun is shining down on you, you
    might believe it’s Andrew smiling down on you and perhaps the stars above are
    actually openings in Heaven where the love of Andrew pours through and shines
    down upon you to let you know he is happy and at peace. xoxoxoxoxoxo “

  6. so beautiful Esmeralda… I will print and tape – so that it is near me… beautiful… and I understand, the beginning of new live when they are no longer living. I felt the sound of Andrews bike, I felt your tears, and I smelled the sweet beginning of spring. you are a true gem…. ((((((much love)))))))

  7. Poignant blog and sentimental comments…so comforting to read. I wonder if Carla wouldn’t mind sharing with us more about the unveiling ceremony for her son.

    Aloha Dave in Aotearoa!

    I found comfort in the sunshine because sunshine brought majestic
    sunrises, misty rainbows, and butterflies…>III<… and hope … Oh how I needed hope…more than sorrow I needed hope…

    • You know, the strong sunshine feels harsh and shines too bright on the sorrow. Inclement, or simply clouded weather seems to be more soothing. It is easier to cuddle up with ones memories when it is raining, snowing or cold outside. Nobody pushing you to go out. I think winter weather has been for me what chicken soup is for a cold.

      • Oh Esmeralda I do know what you mean, really. I’ve felt those days too…often…in just the way you’ve described them so well.

        But I also found comfort in sunshine…Somehow the spectacular Hawaiian sunrises, the rainbows coincidentally appearing at just the moment I needed, and the butterflies that only emerge in light and warmth seem to communicate to me…”mom, you know I’m near.”

    • Thanks Rayo 🙂 for pushing it forward.

      A friend just wrote me to ask for information on suicide prevention in the elderly. I sent her a link from NAMI and NAMH – does anyone else have info that they think might be helpful?
      Best, Shannon aka Green Monkey – Kerry’s Mom

  8. John Stork commented on your note “The Right Weather”:

    “My beautiful dear Esmeralda,
    With all the challenging and VERY challenging experiences life is thrown in our
    paths, we(you, Hugh, Florentina and me) cannot forget we have been touched,
    HUGGED, by a LIVING MAHATMA. There are two things we know in life to be
    true…we are born and we die. Sometimes people we hold very dear to us leave
    this planet not how we think they should leave. We may sometimes feel life is
    unbearable because of how they left this planet. But we are only spiritual
    beings having a human experience. We need to try and remember our human
    experiences are just that….human experiences. With Amma in our lives, in our
    hearts, those human experiences become bearable and we are going to be ok.
    Andrew is safe….and so are we. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo”

  9. You’re very welcome Shannon.

    If I come across good links on suicide among the elderly. I will let u know. But I think you’ve sent your friend good places to start.

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