When we lose those we love, many of us wish to honour their memory in some way. It’s not enough to grieve and remember, sometimes we need to have a tangible reminder that those we have lost were once a part of our lives. As I write this, I look to the top of my computer desk and see photos of my brothers who are no longer with us. David (my younger brother) left us over 20 years ago but I still remember saying goodbye to him as if it were yesterday. Damien (my stepbrother) who was taken by Leukaemia. In the photo I have of him, he is in his hospital bed beside a smiling Alfie Langer (an Australian football legend). Then there is my little bro in the frame I made of buttons smiling at me wearing his glasses and false teeth (both of which he hated wearing). Behind these photos are dried flowers from the corsage that adorned his coffin. Sadly we lost Peter after he contracted Swine Flu. His defenses were already weakened from his battle with Leukaemia and GVH (graft versus host) and he stood no chance.
I have lost more than siblings. I have lost my beloved grandmother and other loved ones including babies. The graphic above is a digital scrapbook layout created on the second anniversary of our first loss.
“Today marks the second anniversary of the day you left my body. I know your spirit had gone in the days before but today is the anniversary of the day we had to say goodbye to the baby we had begun to love. The jasmine bush that the Scrap Heap Inspiration Team gave me is in bloom once again and I smell its sweet fragrance and remember the feeling of you growing inside me. Today, I not only remember you my angel but the four other angels that we never met as well. I always wanted a large family but I guess not all of you were meant to be here with me. We don’t love any of you any less than if we were able to meet you and hold you in our arms. Take care my butterflies”
When we moved home, we had to leave the jasmine bush behind. It is still growing beside the front door of the house we left behind and it no doubt still flowers and sends its beautiful fragrance wafting through the door each October.
I keep other physical reminders of those I love as well. Each year when we put up our Christmas Tree, I place ornaments representing those I have lost on the top of the tree right near the angel. In my mind, it is important to remember those we have lost. It is just as important to move through our grief and live our lives once more. All the what ifs and longing in the world won’t bring back those who have left us. Each day, we put one foot in front of the other and move forward.
We need to stop with the blame game as well. If only I’d done this…. or that…. I wish I’d called more often… I never told him/her that I loved them…. None of this is doing anyone any good. Channel some love back toward yourself. Forgive yourself. Be kind to yourself. Wake up each day and breathe. That is all that anyone can ask of you.
Grief is a process. It takes time to heal from it. Sometimes years. I still cry for my lost babies and it has been almost 10 years. For those of you grieving (and I know there are many of you amongst my readers), I am sending you a virtual hug. Take care of yourselves and above all be kind to yourself.
Have a blessed day :P)