Yesterday my family experienced a sudden and unexpected loss that has shaken me. Since I am deeply saddened and will be processing this loss for some time, I have decided to create a peaceful and healing space to remember my loved one.
My grandmother Helen was a strong, faith-filled woman who was very passionate about her hobbies and interests. She loved to decorate for Christmas like it was her job [and I’m talking multiple months spent decorating to achieve contest-winning results], she loved making seasonal and holiday wreaths for people [and had paying customers because of her creativity and craftsmanship], she loved singing, baking and making flower arrangements for her church [among other volunteer efforts], and she loved gardening.
Oh, how she loved gardening. When I was a little kid, I remember playing in her backyard while she watered her plants and told me about them. I’ll admit that I was more intrigued by the ladybugs and butterflies at a young age, but I loved the time with her and in recent years I gained my own appreciation for flowers. Though I still have a lot to learn because I do not have my green thumb yet. I remember one time in our first home as a married couple, I called to talk to Grandma Helen and asked her for advice on how to care for my transplanted rose bushes. Since I was an adult in that conversation (compared to the child in the garden), I got even more insight into her self-taught extensive knowledge of gardening. That was one of our longest calls ever and I really cherished it because I got to learn more about her and really hear the passion come through in her voice.
In memory of my gardening Grandma Helen, I want to create a sacred space in my next yard where I can go and smell the flowers she was fond of and feel her presence. I already have a backyard location in mind: a shaded, receded corner with the best view of the woods. Perhaps I will add a bench and create stepping stones with pieces of mosaic glass from something special that belonged to her (such as a broken but cherished Christmas ornament).
I have decided to begin planning my memorial garden so that when it comes time to meet with my landscaper in a few months, we will be able to use my memorial garden inspiration to create a special space to remember my dear grandmother. I believe that in this project and through the care of my trees, plants and flowers, I will find myself connected with her.
I know I can rest assured that there will be at least one singing angel with me in my memorial garden.
You are so loved and will be so missed.