We often don't realize how grief manifests within us and others. We hear words like "Move on" and "Get over it" often. People see things changing around you, but they don't understand what they are seeing. They see you gaining weight or not doing your hair or many other things but don't necessarily associate it with grief. Sometimes you yourself don't realize it.
Today, suddenly, after an entire summer of watching my weed garden expand at the front of the Parlour, I decided I wanted to clean it up. Two days ago, Dahlia May Flowers came across my feed with new posts about bulb orders and shipping coming out in mid-October. I had ordered their bulbs for home a couple of years ago, but I suddenly wanted to order them for the Parlour. So, I did.
Everything I ordered was pink.
Today I went into the Parlour and sat outside ripping out weeds and clearing away old dirt, and topper dried out wood chips. I had told myself late last year that I could not afford the flowers and I even believed that. Until two days ago. Even then I kind of even just thought to myself,
I'll just suck it up and pinch pennies on something else.
But then, today, while cleaning the garden and pulling all the weeds, carefully throwing them into a bucket that I had sitting beside me to soon be taken off to the waste, I heard,
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust...
I realized it wasn't because I couldn't afford to buy flowers or that I didn't have time for the garden or any other excuse I made up, in my mind. No. I realized today that the garden reminded me of my late mother-in-law. I realized that when the roses became infected, it reminded me of her cancer. I realized that when we removed them, the garden became a mourning garden. The weeds grew and took over all the other plants. The garden was not watered this year at all, other than what the sky offered her.
There were two plants that managed their way through this drought and lack of love... the Hosta and her favorite... Chics and Hens. She loved those so much and was not successful growing them at her home because the damn squirrels would always dig them up.
So, we planted them here... and they made it. Even through the lack of attention.
As I pulled and yanked and felt pain in my hands and wrists, I remembered the pain of losing her. As I raked away all the old dried-up wood chips and threw them into a bin, I saw my pain leaving me. I felt a space opening up for joy to remember, instead of a pain that we were so immersed in for six long years. I saw hope.
So today was the beginning of creating room for love. Today was a day that I cleared away the old pains of missing her being here with us at the Parlour and JayBird Digital Arts, each and every day. Today I began a process of creating a space to remember her in love and not pain.
It has taken nearly three years to get to this place where I can begin to realize that the loss and the grief can hold a place within joy. It can be a place where we spend time, tending to weeds, watering and nurturing flowers that are in her favorite colour PINK and a place that will welcome my clients, as she once did, and as Jonesy and The Butcher once did.
I am sure there are some of you who passed that garden this year and thought what a pity it was that I had let it go. I am sure some of you judged that I was letting the place fall apart but I know that when you came inside you still felt the focus on you... I never let that slide. Not ever! YOU are my everything. YOU are what has kept me going through all of it.
I would like to apologize for not having a beautiful entry for you. I really tried. I just couldn't. I didn't even know why until today. Not really.
I want you to know that this coming year, the garden will bloom with white tulips (should they return after this drought), Chicks and Hens, Hosta and new to the garden:
Italian Ranunculus Hot Pink Corms
and Pink Cameo Tulips
I will think of some other plants to add to the garden in the coming spring. Some that will flower throughout the summer and something to last into Fall if at all possible. If you have any ideas... I would love the suggestions.
As a matter of fact... if you ever wish to bring a cutting to add to the garden, as long as it will last outside... I would be happy to add it to the WELCOME garden. A memorial garden of sorts but really, a garden of LOVE... of you, of me, of family.
If you want to pull a weed you see... go for it.
Something for us all to look forward too... and I supported local! ALL the Rees' love that!
Just know that if you are grieving... this garden is for you! I hope you find room for love withing that greif, I hope you find room for joy and can soon pull the weeds from your heart and remember them, your lost loved ones, in peaceful, gentle, happiness.