How do you remember those who you have lost?
I’ve been struggling with this one for a while. I’m not one for visiting graves, it’s not something I’m comfortable with. Breaking down and crying while strangers could see me – heaven forbid. I want to be able to sit and think about those people we’ve lost and miss so much, in private when I want to. Not necessarily on an anniversary. Not to mention, I am not able to visit all of the graves of loved ones as they are either in another state and some in another country.
A few weeks of each year are the anniversaries of several lost loved ones. Yep, one particular week has 3 significant dates and is always hard to get through. I’m not great with remembering dates, but some how my subconscious must know and those particular weeks because I’m a blubbering mess.
This year I was struggling a lot, with life and one of those weeks in particular I was having a really hard time. I actually started crying at work, for what I thought was for no reason at all. Until I realised what week it was.
One of my work colleagues, who I now consider to be a good friend noticed I was upset and asked me about it. Obviously I was highly emotional and nearly fell apart. Some of my grief was – how do I remember all these wonderful people? How do I show my respect, honour their memory if I can’t remember dates? She had a wonderful suggestion, knowing that I was slowly getting into gardening. To plant a tree for everyone I’ve lost. A tree, not just a plant, that will be there for many years to come, more than likely it will out live me.
I can’t plant one tree for everyone that we have lost, I’d need a few acres for that. So I’ve altered the idea slightly. I’ve designed our front garden to be a memorial to those we’ve lost. I’ll have a couple of out door seats and a cute little table to be able to sit surrounded by nature, and be able to remember all of those we’ve lost. I’ll cry and smile, and hopefully laugh at the memories we shared.
I’ve got a lot of work to do, I’ve only just started with one garden bed at the front. It will be a labour of love, I’ll take my time.
The first plant I planted for someone. A Melaleuca Thymifolia. It’s a beautiful native bush with beautiful purple flowers. This one reminds me of my Grandma. Her favourite flower was actually an Angel Face rose (her nickname for me), which I do plan to put in if I can find one. They are super rare so I have to be patient. Grandma loved Bribie Island, she loved walking along the beach. She loved her garden, she would always tell me to go and smell the roses. She loved to read and taught me how to knit. Now, I’m teaching my daughter how to knit. We would sit together and read, I used to take her grocery shopping when I was old enough to do so. I miss her dearly. We were close. She was the first significant loss in my life when she passed.
Just having a plan to create something like this, a memorial has given me a lot of peace. Even if it does take me years to complete it. The sobering fact is, it will never truly be complete. Unfortunately their will always be new names to add. The good thing is, a garden, trees, plants the ecosystem that will be created will long out live me and be a beautiful calming place for all.