We're expecting snow late tonight. Not a lot, but still I visited the grocery store after seeing clients today. During heavy winter weather, my little home can lose electricity and, since it's a ways out of town, it can take days to be reconnected. So I prepare.
It's like knowing someone you love is approaching death. A certain tension or awareness hums underneath everything you do.
As you head home from work, you re-enter the world where sadness is ready to grab you and take you down. You try to prepare, but your mind cant help going there. And if you look directly at it, you know you can't really prepare. You can only acknowledge your pain and take care of yourself and your loved ones the best you can.
Both in the case of bad weather and terminal diagnoses, the closer you get to the storm or the death, the more accurate the forecast can be. But only for the external event – the storm or death – not for you.
No matter what you do, you just can't know in advance how it will hit you.
All you can do is prepare. Think of what you might need and do your best to get that into your life.
For a storm, make sure you have food to eat if the electricity goes out and pull the sleeping bag out of storage.
For an impending death, make sure you're getting as much sleep as you can, nutritious food, exercise, and the connection and/or process you use to stay in touch with whatever gets you through your hardest times. And gather around you the people who can and are willing to let you be real with them.