I did not know that a storm was brewing.

abstract watercolor illustration looking through a window at a storm a mixture of rain and snow
Image created via Midjourney

The air had a distinct look of snow this morning. Silent, still, and gray.

It is easy for a confluence of emotions to devolve into chaos. That might be the most accurate categorization for the collection that I carry around: sorrow, pain, anger, fear, out of control.  

I would be described as an organizer, a planner, with an aversion to spontaneity.  Grieving is the opposite of order, as there is no schedule, no preparation, and no clear path.  At any point, when I think I have everything pulled together and functional, I may be reduced to a boneless heap by something unforeseen.

Yesterday morning, I ventured out into the cold with my older son, for a trip to the museum.  I am rarely comfortable driving around Chicago without my GPS, but having been to the museum many, many times before, I thought I could do it.  If I focused, I could make the correct turns and arrive at our destination without a precise map to guide me.  

We arrived without issue and I congratulated myself on being able to navigate, amidst road construction as an added obstacle.

I did not know that a storm was brewing.

The drive home was another story. Feeling feverish, we cut our museum visit short.  By that time, the snow was starting to come down in huge flakes. The roads were wet and as I glanced at the temperature, I knew that it was only a matter of time before ice would form.  

Gripping tight, I had to drive headfirst into a white-out. I could not see more than a few car lengths in front of me. But I had my son in the car, and we had to get home.

Other cars would speed by and splash slush and sleet onto my window.  Still, I kept plowing ahead.  White-knuckled and breathing heavily, I drove.

The roads closest to the safety of our house were the worst.  I had to rely on what I knew, after years of experience with driving on snow, that I could get us home safely; though I was not prepared for this particular storm.

So it is with grieving. I have to keep barreling forward, unable to see my destination: swirling snow, slippery ground, grey skies, and inconsiderate people around me.

Chaos along the way.  Trusting only myself, that I will figure out how to handle whatever is thrown at me.