05 January 2011

The Rainbow

I never did write about Ewan's funeral. If the night of his emergency surgery was the longest night of my life, then this was most certainly the longest day. I drifted in and out of surreality, between wondering if this could really be happening, and the kind of sadness that had me making fists and considering taking my fingernails to my eyeballs. In and out, back and forth. By the end of the day, I was exhausted.

It rained all day the day of his funeral. Appropriate, I thought. I probably would have been offended had God permitted the sun to shine and the birds to chirp outside my window. I've endured a lot, but that would have been too much.

All morning long and all through the funeral, all through the graveside service in Seattle, it rained. It rained on me as I reached to touch his casket in the hearse, and rain splashed up against my bare ankles as I walked from the car to the graveside. Rain everywhere.

We buried him, and then we drove home. Family and close friends joined us at our apartment afterward.

I changed into my pajamas, just wanting to be warm and comfortable. As my brother and sister-in-law and a good friend of mine were out procuring food and wine for everyone there, my sister-in-law texted me.

There's a rainbow!


There's a rainbow! A rainbow for Ewan, she said. She sent me pictures.

I slipped on some shoes and ran outside. Sure enough, after all that rain, enough sunlight was breaking through to make bright multi-colored beams of light across the sky.

Whenever I see one, I always think of what the first one meant: a promise never to destroy the earth with a flood again. A promise. A promise that went deeper than a mere symbol, a promise that meant life again.

Before I go on, I just have to say (and if you've been reading here for any length of time now, you have probably already perceived this) that I am not a terribly sentimental person. What I mean by that is that I don't care for cutesy explanations for hard things, that I don't like to hear things that are truly ugly made to sound pretty. Don't tell me that Ewan died because "God needed another little angel in heaven." (For the record, no one said that to me; I'm just using it as an example). Don't sugarcoat it, just give me the truth straight. No fluff.

I say all that because what I'm about to say might sound overly sentimental. It might sound like something cute someone would say just to make me feel better. But I saw that rainbow and I thought: a promise. A promise for me, a promise for us that life won't mow us down like this again. I know there will be plenty of difficulties, but maybe, just maybe I thought ... I won't have to bury a child of my womb ever again.

I dare to hope that it is true.