Fresh Air and Sunlight

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During my current garden renovation, I’ve rediscovered a little tree I planted a number of years ago. It is still alive, but small for the time its been in the ground. A similar one I planted at the front of my house 3 or 4 years later, is now roof height! This poor baby is under 2 metres tall.

It’s not surprising it hasn’t grown much.

Growing over it was a tangle of branches from shrubs out of control. There was barely any light. Under the ground there would be competition for water and nutrients.

The thing about this tree though – it was planted with a friend in mind.

For a while it was special to me, as was my friendship. I hoped the tree would reflect our friendship and grow strong and healthy.

But it has kind of gone the way of the friendship.

It has been hidden away in the dark, stunted and denied the light it needed to flourish. The tree has been choked by vigorous, twining branches, much like the friendship was choked by misunderstandings and hurt feelings.

I felt so much sadness when I saw the tree.

It could have been thriving and beautiful.

My friendship could have been thriving and beautiful.

I’ve never really grieved the passing of that friendship properly. I never really let it go. When I’ve thought of my friend I’ve alternated between anger and shame, longing and deep regret. I miss my friend.

I don’t know if my friendship will ever be what it was. Maybe one day we can cut through the past hurts, and reach an understanding of each other that allows our friendship to grow again, in a healthier way, that helps the both of us to thrive.

In the meantime I’ve cut away the overhead branches from the little tree, and untangled the ones that had wrapped around it. I’ve cleared away the weeds and leaf litter at its base. I’ve opened up the area around it to the fresh air and sunlight.

How the tree grows now is up to it. I’ve done all I can. It will  grow and thrive as it will, or not. I just have to let it do its thing now. I have to let go of the expectation that it should be bigger and healthier by now.

Much like my friendship.

It didn’t work out how I expected it to.

I’m letting go of those expectations.

I’m letting out the tears that I’ve held on to.

I’m untangling and cutting away all the hurts and regrets in my heart that I’ve allowed to keep me trapped in the dark.

I’m letting in the fresh air and sunlight. Let’s see how I grow.

 

 

 

 

You think I’d be used to it by now…

19055047_1556513824359783_4929464684087511454_oYou think Id be used to it by now.

Yet the end of May rocked around and my mood started to shift.
Really subtly, nothing to really notice at first.
Just a vague sense of unease, a certain ‘flatness’.

The unease evolved into dread and a strong feeling of…da da da…DOOM!

I’ve been ill this past couple of weeks too. Nothing serious, the flu, vertigo…oh, and my blood pressure is way up.

Maybe that’s not so good.

But, maybe that’s it? That’s why I feel the way I do?

And, yeah – things are tight financially, but, meh, nothing new there.
I’m enjoying my work, getting on (for the most part) with my kids (now, if they would only wash up their dishes things there would be perfect!)
Lots of potential opportunities with my business, heaps to look forward to.
Even been out on a few dates here and there.
Exploring hiking as a more regular hobby, and been indulging my fascination with labyrinths (more on that in another post).

All good.

That sense of impending DOOM though…what’s that all about?!

One benefit of being sick is it makes me stop.
Eventually, I can’t stand to binge watch any more TV series on Netflix or STAN and I start to think…

Dangerous, I know.

In this case though, its been enlightening.
Its shown me how easy it can be to forget (or maybe ‘avoid’ is a better word) all the emotions that come up for me at this time of year.

As I said – you think I’d be used to it by now.
It has been nearly 21 years after all.

You see, Rhiannon’s birthday is on June 29. She would have been 22 years old now. A short 2 weeks or so later on July 17 is the 21st anniversary of her death.

The last month of her life is firmly entrenched in my memory.

It all starts with my birthday.
I remember my birthday dinner at a restaurant, just family. And how well Rhiannon did, smiling at everyone, and eventually falling asleep in her pram. Such a good little girl to take out.
I remember a farewell party for one of her Daddy’s work mates at the local golf club and how she tottered around a circle of women sitting nearby, walking baby steps from knee to knee, smiling at everyone, making new friends, not shy like her mum.
I remember her 1st birthday, at Nan and Pop’s house. How she got such a shock when a balloon she was playing with popped. And how she giggled at her cat birthday cake.
And the day before she died, at playgroup, giggling and smiling, showing off how well she could stand, hanging on for dear life ( and what a dear little life she was) and ‘talking’ to a friend in a wheelchair.
I remember well the cheeky grin she gave me early that evening when she tottered across the lounge room then plopped onto her bum and looked back at me. “See?! Look what I did! I walked on my own!” that grin told me. She was so pleased with herself.

Just over 24 hours later she was dead.

It was only yesterday.

Really.

That’s how it feels sometimes.

Especially this time of year.
Isn’t that interesting?
Why does this time of year affect me so much? I’m without Rhiannon every day of my life. Why is the pain reignited now?
What is also interesting is I actually think it’s worse in the weeks and days leading up to Rhiannon’s birthday and anniversary. The days themselves are just another day really. Nothing significant to mark them as different from any other day, except memories of days decades past.

In recent years, my ‘go – to ‘ comfort for upset and grief is to look at nature, get out in the garden or the bush and look for what is being reflected back at me.
I look for insight as to what meaning I can give to whatever situation is occurring. I generally find a lesson in there somewhere.
Sometimes it’s a change in my perspective, and sometimes it’s a simple as distracting myself for a while and through that distance from the issue, I can often find a solution.

Not so easy this time. It’s taken a little while to understand what I’m experiencing.

Yeah – there’s all the ‘circle of life’ stuff.
Everyone and everything dies eventually. I get that.
I suppose I was looking for more about why I feel this way, year after year and always at the same time of year…oh, wait…

Might it be that this is now a ‘season’ in my life?

Too obvious, maybe? And nothing I haven’t already experienced and written about before ( https://leesahart.wordpress.com/…/…/10/resistance-is-futile/)

Diving into the season thing a little deeper though, I realise that I’m always fighting my emotions this time of year.
I resist them. I don’t WANT to feel sad. I don’t want to let those feelings out.
They mess with my life.
I find it difficult to focus and get stuff done (well, actually, that’s probably me most of the time if I’m honest) but it is worse this time of year.
I also start to get really hard on myself. Why haven’t I done this, or that? Life is short, and I’m wasting it…nag, nag, nag. No wonder I end up sick!

You know what?
Even seen a deciduous tree decide it’s not going to drop its leaves in winter?
(Ha! it says, after all the effort I’ve put into growing these leaves, you are MAD if you think I’m going to drop ‘em now just cos its getting cold. No friggin’ way!)

Or a rose determined its not gonna flower…
(Bugger that, the rose says, all that happens is some mongrel comes along with some sharp secateurs and lops my flowers off! )

Nor would you see birds or animals digging in their heels over when they are going to mate, or lay their eggs. They follow the seasons and do what they do, when the conditions are right. If they get it wrong, it could be disastrous.

So I figure that now I have a ‘season’, where all my emotions and memories bubble to the surface.
The ‘conditions’ are right for a period of sadness and grief.
I have 2 days ahead – one that would be a day of celebration, and another a day of irrevocable loss.
It’s almost like how you know winter is coming (Game of Thrones fans, you’ll understand). The days get shorter, the temperature drops, maybe it rains more. My feelings of sadness and doom are my shorter days and longer nights and distinct change in the weather.
Like winter, it doesn’t last for ever.
Oh, there will be the odd sadness and tears on any day of the year, most of them actually. Like the weather, grief is not always perfectly predictable. And that’s ok.

Maybe this year I will go with the flow.
Allow this ‘season’ to just be.
Allow the memories and sadness to be my signs of the change of season.
Stop fighting it.
It’s part of me now, after so long.

It’s become almost instinctual.

And like all seasons, it will pass, and then come around again next year.
Maybe this year, the season will be gentler and easier if I just allow it to come however it does.
Like how much rain we have, or how cold it gets, I don’t think I have that much control over it anyway.

‘Tis the season…

Deep Roots and Endless Sky

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July 31, 2016 is National Tree Day in Australia.

While planting a tree has enormous benefits to the environment and our health, planting a tree in memory of a lost loved one can help the grieving process.

In Perth we have the avenues of trees in Kings Park commemorating fallen servicemen and women in wars, most cemeteries have trees where name plaques can be placed. There are groves of trees around Western Australia that have been planted in memory of lost loved ones. In the wider world, there are memorial trees planted at the site of the World Trade Centre. Many cultures have rituals around grief and trees.

 

What is it about trees that make them so popular as a memorial?

 

They are living – and most are long lived too.

They represent the continuation of life and love, even after death.

Where they are planted becomes a place to remember and grieve, especially if the tree chosen triggers significant memories of your loved one.

And some trees show seasonal changes which can be symbolic of the way life changes and continues in cycles.

 

For myself , I don’t have a specific memorial tree for Rhiannon. I do have a potted shrub called Leptospermum ‘Rhiannon’, which I love. But I find so much comfort in trees. Being around them helped when my grief was at its rawest, and still helps me now.

I love the Karri trees surrounding the cemetery in Pemberton where Rhiannon is buried. And that love has extended to all Karri trees now.

It feels like they watch over the resting place of my little girl, and that of the others that have been buried there for so long. They have seen my tears, and the tears of those that visit.

Is it silly of me to feel that they extend comfort and understanding toward me, that it feels like I am lovingly surrounded and protected?

There is ancient magic and wisdom in those trees I’m sure.

I love that they are long lived and majestic.

They are deeply rooted in the earth, uniquely suited to where they grow, strong straight trunks and graceful branches stretching upwards and outwards to the endless sky.

They represent to me certainty and a sense of place.

A continuation of life and growth, and limitless possibilities while being grounded and able to stand strong.

In this I find so much comfort and peace.

 

Rocks and Sand

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I’m feeling ok today.

I’m also feeling slightly weird that I’m feeling ok!

It’s been 20 years today since the light left my little girls eyes and we were left broken hearted. So much time has passed, yet it seems that it wasn’t so long ago. Shouldn’t I be a mess today? Significant day, significant number of years? It IS the day my daughter died after all!

I’ve been wondering how best to describe my ‘ok-ness’ today. I still miss Rhiannon so much – I have missed seeing her grow, her personality develop. I don’t know what she would have enjoyed doing, what her talents may have been, and what kind of young woman she would have become. My heart aches at times with a longing to know all these things.

 

And yet, today – I’m ok.

 

Don’t get me wrong. There will be tears. But not tears like there used to be.

No storms of grief that leave me feeling battered like I’ve been dashed on rocks by ferocious waves…

PLEASE! Somebody stop me!

I love metaphors around nature, and the images and understanding they can give – but I have to laugh at myself sometimes with the poetic drama that can appear sometimes once I start writing!

However, I will continue with the ocean waves and rocks metaphor to describe my ‘ok-ness’ – I’ll just try not to get too carried away J

Id love to get to the beach today. I wont get there, but it would be so nice to walk on the sand, soft, easy under foot, watching and hearing the waves break, rush up the beach and withdraw again. Ebb and flow. Over and over. Day after day, for time unknown.

Water is a powerful force. Given enough time it will wear down rock (thinking of the beautiful gorges we have in the north of Western Australia, the grand Canyon, and so many other iconic natural wonders formed by the action of water on rock)

That’s what sand is – worn down rock and shells. Over time, the action of the waves has broken the rocks into tiny pieces, smoothed the rough edges, which makes for a soft pleasant surface for us to walk on. Occasionally there may be the odd pebble buried under the sand that we may tread on that causes pain for a short time.

Grief can be like that. Over time it is worn down, softened, easier to move through. There are times where there might be a ‘pebble’ – a memory, an anniversary or birthday, or some moment that triggers the heartache.

 

The grief is always there.

 

Like the rocks, it has been broken down into smaller parts but it is still made of all the same elements.

 

It never goes away.

 

Time, and the action of life’s experiences after a loss wear the grief to soft gentle sand. Really soft sand can be hard slog to get through when its deep, but it doesn’t cause the same pain that rocks would.

 

Grief too, can be deep and hard going, but over time it no longer has the sharp edges and heaviness.

Other times the ‘sand’ will be firm and solid, easy to walk over.

 

That’s where I am today.

 

In spite of it being the anniversary of the worst day of my life, the grief is gentle. I feel sure of my footing; I’m not mired in deep ‘sand’ or trying to negotiate a path over rocks. Maybe tomorrow or another day I might get bogged down or stub my toe on a rock I didn’t see. Right now though I’m going to enjoy the easy walk on the soft sand.

I’m ok with being ok today.

Butterflies, Birds and Bridges

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Besides gardening one thing that I did regularly after Rhiannon died was bush walking. I had been doing it before she died too, as the forests around Pemberton were perfect for getting out of the house and pushing a pram around to get a fractious baby to sleep! We also had 2 energetic German Shepherds to exercise.

After Rhiannon’s funeral I would walk daily through the bush to the cemetery. After Connor was born I’d have him in the pram, and the dogs too.

It’s hard to put into words the effect of walking through the beautiful forest had on me, but I’ll try…

It engaged my senses:

  • The sounds of birds, the wind, branches falling (actually that was kind of scary, the big, branches made a sudden crack, then a boom as they hit the ground!); the crunch of leaves and twigs under foot;
  • The smells of the earth and eucalypt leaves, especially after rain, the flowers and other aromatic leaves;
  • The touch of the breeze, occasionally the stinging slap of a branch on a narrow path, the feel of the rain,the texture of leaves, seed pods and nuts;
  • The taste of that cool crisp clean air. Impossible not to want to breathe deep.
  • And most of all, the visual feast – the towering trees; wild, tangled undergrowth, masses of bright flowers in winter and spring; the birds all around, kangaroos and lizards, just so much to see and take in.

 

It freed my thoughts and emotions:

  • I could let my thoughts wander. I could cry if I wanted, there was no one about to see. I even talked to myself, to Rhiannon, to God. Mostly though I just soaked up the beauty around and let it lighten my heart and put life back into perspective for me. It gave me something to be grateful for at a time I didn’t believe I had very much to be grateful for.

 

It connected me with myself :

  • I became more aware of my body, how I moved, the soreness in muscles walking up and down all those hills! I was aware of all the thoughts and emotions moving through me, without all the distractions of everyday happenings. I wasn’t always kind to myself, but during these walks the negativity generally dropped away after a while. It was a time to think about what I wanted, where I was going, who I was.

 

Since moving back to Perth over 10 years again, the bush walking has dwindled. I’ve enjoyed walking around some of the urban parks and wetlands, and I appreciate their existence greatly (I’d go insane without some kind of green space around me) but I miss the wildness and getting away from suburbia. I miss the connection with nature that I used to have.

I’ve discovered a list of walking trails in and around Perth and I intend to walk one of them at least once a month.

The first one I will do is the Butterflies, Birds and Bridges Trail, in Canning Park. It’s a short drive from home, and a good place to start as it’s an easy walking trail (and I’m not very fit at the moment!)

The name is appropriate – there’s nothing like wildlife to make a walk feel like you really are immersed in nature. I also intend rebuilding a metaphorical bridge to connect me with nature again and to connect with myself again too.

Life gets too much of the ‘doing’ these days. I want to experience more of the ‘being’.

Seeya outside 🙂

Leesa

 

 

 

 

Resistance is futile!

No matter how many years, it can still take me by surprise. In the past I have anticipated it. These days, amid the busyness and distractions around me it tends to sneak up on me.

Every year, without fail, I am confronted with Rhiannon’s birthday and the anniversary of her death, just over 2 weeks apart.
Subconsciously I must be aware of the dates looming, but some years my first conscious awareness comes when I start to question why I’m feeling so irritable, or sad for no reason, or even worse I just start ‘losing it’ at the slightest thing.No matter how hard I try to tell myself – “chin up, should be used to this by now” (19 years so far); “it’s just another day, move on, get over it”…it only makes me feel worse, and for far longer.

I believe I have dealt with my grief fairly well over the years. I am open to talking about my experience of it, no problems crying in front of others, and seem to have come out of it all ok.
And yet, even now, I see myself avoiding really feeling the pain of it. Part of me just does NOT want to revisit those dark days of early grief, when I could not see an end to the agony of it, EVER!

I’ve put off writing a book about my experience as I haven’t wanted to remember how hard it was. I have to overcome the fear that I will lose myself again in the pain, that I will lose my current peace. That I won’t be strong enough to handle it if I go there again.

Resistance is futile! (Star Trek fans, you’ll understand…) It doesn’t matter how long ago the grief began, or even who or what the grief is about, it doesn’t just go away because you try to ignore it. It turns inwards and eventually can manifest in ugly ways. No matter what you do to stuff the feelings down, distract yourself from them, work longer, play harder – those emotions will still be there.

The only way I have found to deal with intense grief, or any other emotion for that matter, is to dive right into it and experience it fully in all its rawness.

What an absolutely terrifying idea!

But oh so worth facing up to.

I don’t lose myself, or the peace I’ve gained over the years. I grow a little more, heal some more, and honour the memory of my little girl in the process. Tears are cleansing (stay tuned for a blog in the near future on the healing power of tears) and afterwards I feel refreshed, more peaceful. The pain somehow integrates within me. It’s still there, it will always be, but it has mellowed some more, and is softer. I gain a renewed appreciation of all I have and what I’ve experienced. Each time it becomes a little easier.

There are a few ways that I embrace the grief. Some of these may be helpful for you too.

(IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Keep in mind that everyone is different and deals with grief in their own unique way. There is no right or wrong in this. The only thing I recommend is you find a way that does not harm you or others in any way. Expressing your grief is good. Lashing out in any form at yourself and others defeats the purpose of the expression. Try only what you think you can handle. Have others around you to support you if you are concerned that it may be too much for you. And wait if you must. There is no rush. Just the awareness that you may be avoiding your feelings may be all you need to help you begin to slowly let them go. Please do what feels right for you!)

Be with others – share your memories, cry together, celebrate your loved one. Create meaningful rituals, especially on significant days such as birthdays and anniversaries. It may be as simple as lighting a candle, or spending time in a place that was special. Other people grieve as well and may appreciate the opportunity to express their feelings as well.
Choose your company well, as some people may not be comfortable sharing their grief openly. Others may not understand why you are not ‘over it’ already which may not be helpful for you!

Bring out the memories – bring out photos and meaningful items. Spread them out, go through them and recall the memories attached to each, whether happy or sad. Allow the tears, or the laughter, whichever emotion comes up. Don’t fight it. It’s exhausting to swim against the tide of emotions. Go with the flow. You will eventually come back to where it’s calm again.

Anger Management – Sometimes it’s not sadness we experience, but anger. Stuffing down anger can do all sorts of terrible things to our physical and emotional health. Let it out, but as stated before, all expressions of emotions must not be harmful to you or others.

  •  Use a punching bag, or bash a pillow against the bed or a wall to release the rage and the feeling of the futility of it all. Rant and rave about the unfairness of the situation, even if you don’t believe you should be feeling those things. Be rational later!
  • Run it out. Pound that pavement! The physical benefits and the way exercise can help with your mood make this a great way to deal with anger. Just take care and look where you are going, especially if there is traffic about.
  • Scream! Long and loud! Put all your emotion into your voice. You may need to warn people what you are about, so you don’t frighten anyone. Or find a soundproof room. Or a quiet spot miles from anyone. The sense of release with this one is enormous. I’ve done this. I felt so much lighter and clear headed after. I’ve also heard recently that sports such as martial arts where you yell (called a ‘kiai’) as you punch or kick has a similar effect, with the added benefit of releasing the anger physically as well.
  • The Silent Scream. I used to scream silently when I was in the shower. I would physically make the action of screaming, without giving voice to the scream. It’s not as satisfying as actually screaming, but it did release some of the tension and was less disturbing for others.

Meaningful Music and Sad Movies – sometimes it can be hard to get into the state of emotions that will allow you to cry or experience your grief. Watching a sad movie, or listening to beautiful music, can bring the tears, even if they are unrelated to your pain. It is the release of emotions that is important.

Walk it Out – go for long walks, particularly in nature. There will be less people about to see you cry if you prefer to do that privately. It will give you space to think and remember. It may help create a feeling of connectedness to the world, and a sense of your place in it. And often a sensation that your loved one is not so far from you after all.

As with nature, grief has its seasons. Regular periods of sadness, anger or any other emotion are totally normal and to be expected. Just go with it. Allow yourself to feel it. Do whatever you need to do, in your own time and in your own way. It may sound a little clichéd, but it is still true – the storms come, then they pass and the sun comes out again. With time I have found the rain seems gentler, and the time of sunshine is longer and warmer. May it be so for you too.

‘Great (Un)Expectations’

Have you ever had expectations of something – an event or occasion, other people, or even just life in general, only to discover that things turned out in a way you did not anticipate? And then the unexpected turn of events resulted in life heading in a direction you never even imagined you’d go?

I’ve experienced the unexpected in many ways over the years. Sometimes it has been major and traumatic. Others have been surprising and exciting, like the marketing retreat I attended a few weekends ago, organized by Ming Johanson of OTOTGO.

I anticipated an interesting weekend (it was!), learning some helpful new information and skills, (I did!) and maybe making some new friends (absolutely!)

What I didn’t anticipate was a huge shift in my thinking – about myself and how my life and business ‘should’ be.
I’ve been caught up for a long while, hovering between my landscape design business and my recent foray into the fascinating world of personal development coaching. As a result of my lack of focus I did very little with either!
I hoped that the marketing retreat would help me decide which business to focus on, and which to let go. Both are important to me – how could I chose? – but I believed that if I didn’t make a decision soon as to which business to move forward in, I may as well start looking for a full-time job, and give up the dream of having my own successful business (*insert sad face here*)

During a discussion (after a delicious meal on the balcony of the lovely beach house we stayed at for the retreat), Ming suggested that I combine the two businesses. I have had this suggested to me before but I’d been unable to see how it could be done.

At the retreat I shared my story about how I came to appreciate gardening and garden design, and how it has helped me personally over the years. Since then I have also considered why I began coaching. I have had a number of unexpected major challenges in my life. I saw coaching as a way to help myself through some of the lingering aspects of these events, and also as a means to contribute to, and support others, in similar situations. I began to see how I could apply my coaching skills in a unique way to garden design, and the ideas also flowed about including gardening as part of my coaching. TOTALLY unexpected!

I will share some of these ideas in later blogs. For now I’ll share the story that got this thing going. As you probably expect, after reading this far, it’s about something entirely unexpected…
For those who know me, you may be surprised to discover – I HATED gardening! (Didn’t expect that now, did ya?!)
I’ve always loved being outside in nature, appreciated a lovely garden and all that. But seriously, who wants to pull up weeds, mow lawns, get dirt under the fingernails, and deal with all sorts of creepy crawlies? Not me! I worked in the garden when I had to, and no more.

That is, until one of those unexpected life events dumped all over me.

My sweet baby girl Rhiannon died just a couple of weeks after her first birthday. She was just starting to walk, and smiled and giggled constantly (I loved her bubbly laugh). A medical condition we didn’t know about until it was too late took our smiley girl from us.I was a full-time mum; my main focus in life at that point was caring for and loving Rhiannon. Suddenly, unexpectedly, I was…what? Was I still a mother? What do I do now I no longer had my baby to care for?

My parents and I created a little garden on Rhiannon’s grave (her resting place is still referred to as ‘Rhiannon’s Garden’ by my family). Initially the garden was to soften the look of the raw earth piled up over her grave. My heart and soul already felt bare and barren. There needed to be life and growth, a reminder that there is still beauty and peace.

I didn’t consciously think these things when I planted the garden on that small mound. I simply needed something, anything, to do, to care for, to nurture and watch grow. Caring for a garden was a poor substitute for caring for my baby, but it kept me sane. It provided a meaningful connection to Rhiannon, a regular distraction from my grief, and gave me something to do and accomplish. I could no longer take care of my daughter, but I could do THIS.

I never expected the peace I would find in that little garden. I could focus on the present; lose myself in the feel of my fingers in the dirt, the texture and fragrance of the plants, their flowers and form – easy on the eye and restful for the heart.

I could look forward to the seasonal changes in the garden, pretty flowers, colourful new growth and the way the light at different times of the year created a whole new feeling to the garden.

It was a safe place to sit and reflect, to cry when I needed to, and to have it all put into perspective by the majestic Karri forest surrounding the cemetery. The giant trees have seen so many laid to rest over the years, yet are still there, standing strong and proud.

Now I can’t imagine my life without a garden in it. I never expected I would ever feel that way.

My current garden is very overgrown at the moment. The paths have all but disappeared. Some plants have taken over, while others are struggling but they are surviving. Strong winds have damaged a few shrubs too. But that’s ok. The garden is lush, green and growing. It’s like my own backyard jungle. Who knows what treasures there may be in there? Soon there will be a mass of flowers as spring approaches. Every year I find plants that have unexpectedly flowered and others that haven’t.

My garden reflects quite accurately where I’m at, right now. Things have been chaotic, but slowly I’m creating some order. My own growth has been massive in certain areas of my life and a challenge in others. I haven’t really been taking good care of myself, but like my garden, I’m surviving. I am looking forward with anticipation to pruning a few things back in my life, clearing pathways to get a better idea of where I am going, and planting some ‘seeds’ to see what will bloom. Unexpected things still keep happening, but it is only a season in my life. I just remind myself that spring is coming.

Until then I intend to explore and enjoy the all unexpected challenges, AND the unexpected sweetness , of this present season in my personal ‘jungle’.

Life Lessons in the Garden

Gardening and engaging in the natural environment became very helpful to me as I worked my way through the grief I experienced when my daughter died.

In this blog I intend to share my experiences with grief and the lessons I have learned from observing what happens in my garden, and in nature in general, and applying those lessons and the understanding gained from them to my life.

(Please keep in mind that these posts are relating to my own personal experience. Everyone experiences grief in different ways. There is no right or wrong way to move through life after loss. Take what you need from my posts, and share if you feel moved to.)