Sunflowers

The time period after about 5 months of a loss is a weird, vacuum like space, where time continues with normalcy and grief finds expected and unexpected moments to seep in.

It has been over 9 months since my mom died. This time last year she was helping us weed our garden beds, preparing the space for a summer of butterfly bushes, roses, coneflowers, irises, lilies, and sunflowers. Now, as the plants gain new life and grow green in the soil, I look at my garden beds and feel connected to them with deep sadness, gratitude, and joy – a balled up mixture of grief.

grief shifts over time

like tides

flowing over

and

through you

with love

The trick is to be gentle with myself and let the tides flow over and through as they need to. Showing empathy to myself and those experiencing my seeping grief. Honoring vulnerability with my emotions, thoughts, and overall process of being. Continuing to give and receive love in the face of normalcy, seeping grief, and all that is in between.

My mom was good at showing vulnerability and empathy. She would tell you when something bothered her and share your perspective when you needed connection.

  • She would call to see how my day went.
  • She would ask how my children are doing.
  • She would share when she felt left out.
  • She would share when she felt appreciated.
  • She would want to know all about everything in my life.
  • She would give great big hugs
  • She would come over in the evening to make dinner with us and say, “What can I do, Toozy-Dooze?”

These moments of love are everlasting in her memory.

And although her life was cut way too short for reasons I will probably never fully understand or come to terms with, she filled her living days with immeasurable moments of giving and receiving love. As the sunflowers in my backyard will emerge from the ground and follow the sun for as long as they can, so did my mom.

Thank you, mom, for teaching me how to be vulnerable and empathetic. I will move into this week looking for ways to give and receive love – to live my brightest life.

IMG_5658mom sunflower