By Thanksgiving weekend, I had learned a few things about grief. One of them was that, even though this was the worst thing that had ever happened to me, my body was not going to let me succumb to sorrow. Food became appetizing again. A certain amount of wine went down easily. And I was sleeping very soundly: by 11 or so at night, I would lay down, close my eyes, and be out like a light until 7 or so the next morning. There were very few dreams, and none of Thomas during that time. Sometime during that weekend I was overcome with a desire to speak of something else, anything normal that had been important or at least fun before we lost Thomas. My friend Debbie was in New York visiting her mother: I dialed her cell phone and begged her to talk about quilting or books or anything that did not have to do with death. Debbie is capable of discoursing on any number of subjects on the least promising of occasions: I think we did end up talking about quilting (The City Quilter is a great shop in NYC, always good for at least a half hour of discussion of classes and new fabrics, not to mention the great samples on the walls) and we talked about Debbie's mom, whose health was a concern but who also was still very fun to be with in many ways. I don't remember the conversation clearly but it was immensely comforting to know that I was still capable of talking about other things.
I also learned was that I was going to need to let time pass at its own rate. Part of me really wanted it to go faster so that I could stop feeling so desolate sooner but patience was required. There were moments during the days when I felt less awful, and for now I was just going to have to live on the contrast, feeling good by comparison to how I felt ten minutes ago for example. And I learned that tears are very healing. Every time I cried I would think, this is one more step toward healing, and it would turn out to be true even if I didn't actually feel better when I stopped crying.
The weekend ended and everyone went back to their first full week of school or work. A neighbor called and encouraged me to go running with her, I think it was that week. It was the beginning of what I can see now was a time of transition.