There are flowers everywhere on the edge of summer. They weren't here last year. There were no flowers and no summer, and the only colors were in my hair and on my skin, where I'd painted my cracked and crazy grief that grazed everything with pain and snaked inside me like tight, barbed wire and tore me up and broke me down.
Someone talked at me when the grief was new and fresh and raw, when I didn't know I wouldn't be the same again, when I didn't know that there is no going back to who I was. She talked at me because she wanted to help and she couldn't stand to witness pain in silence, and I remember hating her a little bit, because she couldn't handle my grief, and it wasn't even hers, it was mine, but she said something I didn't forget. She said someone she knew had a husband who died, and that woman had spent the first year after his death walking into walls. And I thought that made sense, it was the only thing that made sense while I was standing there on the edge of his death and my life, and I wasn't quite alive and I wasn't quite
I tried to find other words and sentences that spoke to me like that. Grief is a lonely business, the loneliest in the world, and there was fleeting solace in other people's expressions of helpless, hopeless, howling sorrow. There is nothing to do but endure it.
But there are flowers today. And I'm standing on the edge of life. I'm standing on the edge of hope, excitement, even joy. Sometimes it's a skim over the depths of sadness that are driven through me now, not so barbed, but clean and smoothed – most days – but somehow the sorrow and the joy and the hope are all one thing. I like standing on the edge of this brightness. I like looking at its possibilities.