Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Why spring bruises a broken heart
Spring. Count the variety of budding flowers. See all the color. Quite a contrast from the stark, bare limbs of winter. Who knew that all this creation was going on underneath the soil while we huddled in warm houses and watched our breath in the chilly morning air of January? Each spring, I'm amazed at nature's robust and vibrant offerings in my yard and on my street. From the first daffodil to the azaleas to the wisteria that clings like a scarf around tree branches, I'm glad to be alive to experience it all.
It wasn't always this way. Years ago, there was a spring that came too soon for me. I wasn't ready for the showcase of irises, cherry blossoms and dogwood. I wanted to huddle in the dark and dead of winter. I felt dead. I couldn't embrace the vast colors of spring.
My four-year-old son Daniel had just died. Why was spring happening when he no longer had life on this earth? My mother's heart was broken, wounded, bruised. I felt inadequate to view the season of spring. I was still in the throes of wondering why my child had to die, why my child was not around to come out to play with the other children on the cul-de-sac.
Do you feel like I did? Does spring make you feel, as one of my bereaved friends put it, "Like there is too much life"? Perhaps you are unable to join in the beauty of the season. Perhaps you still need time in the winter of your grief.
Don't chastise yourself. Be gentle. You are not alone. Plenty of others who have had a recent loss can't encompass all that a season of warmer temperatures and brightness has to offer. Know that it is okay to cry, to shut yourself inside with your tissues and memories for a while.
One day those memories you held of past springs when your loved one was with you will be sweet. One spring, you will be able to dance underneath the budding cherry trees.
It is in spring when I recall
how you taught me
the heart survives
even the harshest wounds
from the gentleness of spring.
~ By Alice J. Wisler