second year of mourning

It is a curious thing when the unusual feels familiar. The sharp chill of a late February rain—in Minnesota. It isn’t supposed to happen, but you still recognize it, like an old friend. As if it were a memory.

 The way dull light filters
through gray clouds can make mid-afternoon feel like early morning. How that is simultaneously somber and serene.

February is a somber month. Or, maybe Lent is under a week away and I have a lot on my mind?

I am thankful for the wisdom of the Church in instituting this season. My soul longs for renewal, for austerity, for silence. We all could use a bit of conversion, it is a never-ending process. But, I feel it so acutely now.

This year, the First Sunday in Lent falls on the one year anniversary of the death of my brother.  As Laura has

written of before
, I feel the thinness of this place. There is something about Lent that welcomes grief. I don’t feel it as a burden in this season, but as something transfigured in Grace.

Will grief leave you if you are able to neglect it for a time? Or does it settle in, like stains of red wine—forever altering the fabric? If I’m granted forbearance from grief, does it collect interest like a bad debt? How long does a person
need to mourn? Can it be that a second year of mourning is harder than the first?

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