Shed Another Layer

Spring comes slowly in Utah. The snow will melt in the valley, and an occasional crocus will peek through the dirt, and then we’ll get another snowstorm. The hardy crocus gives way to daffodils, whose cheery yellow blooms promise warmth to come, but very often they are blown by a bitter wind and pelted by repeated rainstorms. Only now, as June approaches, are we seeing weather that seems like we might be able to count on some consistent warmth.

I like to walk in the mornings, but I get cold easily, so I usually bundle up in every way possible, from cuddle duds to sweatshirts to ski coat, gloves, hat, a scarf and earmuffs. Each Spring I rejoice every time I go out and realize that I’m dressed too warmly, and I shed a layer. If I get home and my coat is tied around my waist instead of being zipped securely clear up to my chin, that’s a good sign.

Today I shed one more layer as I walked. And I determined that we’ve finally reached the point where I don’t’ need the winter underwear anymore. Yes, it’s brisk that early in the morning, but the cool air feels good against my face, and instead of being so biting cold that I have to brace myself against it, I find it invigorating. While grieving, I protected myself with a cocoon of isolation. Layer upon layer, I kept myself ‘safe’ from intrusion and further trauma. However, I found as I worked through the deepest parts of grief that I would reach a point where I suddenly realized that I didn’t need one of the layers, and as I began to remove them, one by one, I welcomed the warmth of friendship and healing. I found I began to crave a little more involvement in life.

We each grieve differently, and no one can say whether you’re doing it ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. But if we choose to, we can notice when we are beginning to feel a little warmth seep into life, and we can shed a layer, and let more of life into our cocoon.

May you, too, find gradual warming. If it still feels far away, take heart in knowing it CAN come. And when it does,

Shed another layer 🙂