It’s a grey day outside my windows, but it’s not the grey of an impending storm so much as a day that seems somehow muted, shrouded. Or maybe that’s just how I’m choosing to see the world, today.

I came home from a day of beautification and book-browsing to an email informing me a cousin had died. I didn’t have a particularly close relationship with her; she is my mother’s generation, after all, and while I’m sad for her family, I also know she’d been fighting serious kidney disease, in and out of hospitals, for much of her life. Her death is an end to that, and end to her pain and her struggle. If death can be a balm, this one is.

She did not “pass” and she is not “gone,” and we did not “lose” her. I hate those words. She was not taking a test, she remains very much present in our hearts and minds, and she is not an object to be misplaced like a stray ring of keys. I hate that people are afraid of death. In the garden of life, as in any garden, there has to be death to complete the cycle. A flower must start from a seed, bloom, grow, wither, die, and return to the soil to offer nutrients to the next flower.

Mind you, I don’t think we should actively seek death, except in the case of terminal illness, because it seems to me that to do so is to give up.

I don’t believe in giving up.

But I do believe that sometimes you have to rest, and today, I see the grey sky as a resting state.
Soft clouds.
Balmy breeze.
A hint of coming change.
A whisper of winter far down the road.
Pencil strokes of thoughts, rather than bold declarations in fat black ink.