Friday, April 27, 2012

Memorial Garden

One of my newest projects is here in my backyard.  I am building a memorial garden with flowers dedicated to special people in my life who have died.  This has been an important step in my healing process. 

I have had the privilege of knowing an abundance of beautiful people in my life. Everyone we meet has something unique to bring into another's presence. In the past 7 months 3 people dear to my heart have died and gone to heaven as I believe. One was a friend from junior high and high school, Sofia. At the time she was one of my best friends.  When collage came around we went separate ways and got involved in different things. I regret that we had not seen each other in a few years. It was unexpected and sudden and I found out via Facebook. Thankfully I was able to attend her funeral and reconnect with her beautiful family.  I often look at old pictures.  The second was Scott's grandpa who was his mother's father. I did not know him well I cherished the few times I got to visit with him or read his letters.  He was completely deaf and not always interested in being around other people.  He was very good at painting and I enjoyed learning ASL to communicate with him as I do with Scott's mom. He lived until he was close to 90. The third was a beautiful lady whom I've known my entire life and she happened to be my aunt through marrying my mom's brother Carl. Her name was Linda Marie and she was one of the kindest, gentlest people I've ever known.  She took me into her home many nights for sleepovers with my cousins growing up during the summers.  I always loved to be in their home.  She made trips to visit us for many important events in our lives growing up such as my confirmation, my brother's first communion and my son's baptism. We found out in November that she had cancer.  The 5 months after that are almost a blur.  Linda went to heaven on March 6, 2012.

 I often find myself back in the denial stage but things such as the garden bring me great comfort. Each person has flowers named just for them. 

Sofia's Roses

Linda's Roses

I also have flowers planted for Scott's grandpa Philip and am planting more for two friends from high school, Zack and Kristen. I met Zack in choir and had biology with him.  He was one of the kindest and most respectful men I have known. Kristen I met at church. I don't think she had an enemy.  She was always cheerful and kind to everyone. 

Another resource I have found helpful is the set of books from the Stephen Ministry. Although it is put out by a religious organization the information inside applies to anyone. It discusses different types of grief and helps guide people to a healthy grieving. There is a book for 1 month after the death, 3 months and 6 months I believe. I highly recommend them. 

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