Two months and six days from today will be the one-year anniversary of my son’s death. Am I ready for this anniversary? Will Grief overcome me with uselessness, or have I learned how to live with it?
I believe I am learning how to live with Grief everyday, for the rest of my life. I do not think that Grief is something that anyone “Masters,” it is a part of who one is. As I have compared it before, to an appendage, like an arm, or leg, that hurts from time to time for whatever reason, and calls for attention. That is how I live with Grief, accepting it as an appendage, and for right now, this moment, it is not belly-aching for attention, and I can move forward with recounting something that occurred just the other day.
When a loved one dies, caring persons lend thoughts of healing, many of those thoughts are telling the bereaved to “watch for signs” sent from the departed loved one. Folklore and friends tell us that feathers, cardinals, music, fragrances, etc., can all be signs from our departed loved ones. For me, I do not believe in those particular “signs.” I require something less familiar, like, say, maybe an ostrich showing up in my backyard. Yeah, an ostrich, quite non-native to my locale. I prefer something quite out of the ordinary to become a believer in everyday “signs” from the other side.
Yet, that is not to say that I believe the departed cannot contact us. I have “felt” the presence of my late husband many, many times over the last 29 years, and had extremely vivid dreams (more like visitations) from him that I do believe were signs/messages from him.
My son, however, does not seem to have sent me any “signs” from the other side, that is, until a few days ago.
While sitting on the patio, looking at all the leaves in the yard which need to be raked and bagged (we have not been able to burn with such a dry winter,) I noticed something purple where my sickly lilac bush lives. Taking a closer look, sure enough, there were five blooms on it! This, this is what I will accept as a “sign” from my son. Each bloom represented one of each of my sons, and myself. That is my interpretation and belief.
You may think, “You’re settling for lilacs? Ordinary blooming lilacs when you wanted something outrageous, like an ostrich?”
Yep. Ordinary blooming lilacs are what he sent from the great beyond, and here is why:
Ten years ago, we moved into our home in Oklahoma. On the other side of our small patio wall, a scraggly lilac bush was trying to live. My first thought was, “What kind of dummy plants a lilac bush where it will grow 20 ft. tall, and block the view from the patio?”
Apparently, that “dummy” knew more than I did, for lilacs do not grow well in Oklahoma, at least not in our particular location. Anyway, shortly after moving in, I re-located the lilac to a sunnier location, watered and fed it for ten years. It has barely grown and never bloomed. As a matter of fact, during that moment of surveying the leaves in the yard, I thought about transplanting it to the opposite side of the yard where I had planted more lilacs (I’m a sucker for punishment) which have actually doubled in size in just two years!
Now that my scraggly lilac has finally bloomed, I will not be transplanting it any time soon, at least not until, maybe, next fall, and move it next to its own kind — away from the crepe myrtles, who might not like living next to lilacs.