While they planted, I supervised and remembered. Our urban beautification project and the anniversary of my father-in-law's passing crossed in time. To plant living things and nurture them while they take root is an act of patience and love. As it turns out, so is recalling the memories.
It takes patience with yourself that the grief is not past. I read a book that said it takes 3 years to move through the grief process for an unexpected death. I more recently read Anne Lamott's Stitches and I think I agree with her. You never get over it. It's a visitor that can come unexpected and sometimes doesn't visit as frequently, but you're never quite rid of him.
It takes love to actively engage in the memories despite the pain. Love and beauty intertwine in whispers of faint laughter and new buds struggling to open. I find it difficult to straddle time this way. To recall the past and keep the memory alive, while also looking straight into a future where those memories will never be repeated or experienced again in the present.
We didn't set out to plant a memorial garden, but in the afternoon of togetherness, that's what it became to me. The foliage and flowers have bloomed, re-bloomed and some fallen away. When I step past it on my way to work each morning, I think of it as Harry's garden. And I think I would like to spend some time there, fortifying the memories.
I'm loosely participating in WeVerb 2014 as I catch up on several saved posts and reflect on last year! Join in the fun: http://www.weverb14.com/