Grief is a mysterious and complicated emotion with a mind of its own. Just when we think that we’ve got it licked, something happens to remind us of our loss. As Elisabeth Kubler-Ross said in her book, On Grief and Grieving, “You will heal, and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again, but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to”.
A year ago our office suffered the sudden and unexpected loss of a colleague. It filled us all with enormous sadness as she was young, and bright, and talented, and a friend to each of us. In our pain, we found solace in the landscape. We planted new plants in our interior planter, we set daffodils at our desks to reminds us of the hope for spring, and we made ornaments to hang in a tree in our local cemetery as a healing gesture of remembrance.
I wandered back to that tree recently wondering what I would find. I felt such comfort in seeing those ornaments still there shifting in the wind. Pieces were missing and the offerings were weathered and battered as one might expect, but somehow that felt appropriate as a reminder that the river of life continues on while still marked by those who have passed before us.
In loving memory…