Memorial Gardens

It’s just fine to feel a little heavy, and it’s just fine to sit here and catch  my breath, and it’s just fine to be a mess at times, and it’s just fine to be relatively normal sometimes. It’s just fine to let it all hit me, surrendering and succumbing and it’s just fine to remember that grief has no rules, and that really, it will in many ways last as long as love does. Forever. 

Scribbles and Crumbs

It was over ten years ago that I built and planted my first memorial garden. I had learned my cousin, Donna, had died. She died in Iowa and I was still working in Denver, Colorado.

That did not set well with me.

I had to find some way to honor the person who had been such an important part of my life.

I decided to plant a garden in her memory. This garden expanded to honor the memory of my sister–we re-named it the Donna-Bethie garden. It was a place where the butterflies gathered and the hummingbirds stopped over the course of the summer. Leaving this little garden behind was one of the hardest parts of leaving Colorado.

When we bought our house in Texas, we planted a new Donna-Bethie garden. The little garden faced some challenges but it has thrived this past year. The tiny little plants are now nearly bush size and the incredible varieties of Texas butterflies visit this garden all day long.

This year has been a tough one. I’ve lost friends and felt I needed to expand my gardens.

My timing certainly could have been better. After several days of seriously hard work, I have the foundation down for two new rock gardens. I am toasting them with a glass of cold water while giving thanks for the ability to have such a lovely way to keep those amazing souls close.

“People you love never die. That is what Omai had said, all those years ago. And he was right. They don’t die. Not completely. They live in your mind, the way they always lived inside you. You keep their light alive. If you remember them well enough, they can still guide you, like the shine of long-extinguished stars could guide ships in unfamiliar waters.” 

Matt Haig, How to Stop Time

 

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