This is Day 144 of my #6MonthsOfGrief Project. To learn more about this practice, feel free to visit Day One, where I explain this project in more detail.
When my husband and I first met, he wanted to know what my favorite flowers were. This was a hard question for me to answer, because I've always loved flowers and even worked for a florist in my 20's. I tried being vague and not really give him an answer, but he was set on knowing what I liked best. I finally decided that if I HAD to choose, peonies are my favorite. I love how they start so tight and round and slowly open into a wild, frothy explosion. They are silly and wild and short-lived and magical.
Every single year that we were together, as soon as it was peony season, my husband would bring me weekly bouquets. I would catch him looking at the fading ones on the altar and know he was deciding when it was time to replace them. Even when we were fighting, he would always return with a bouquet of peonies. He'd thrust them at me and say, "I'm still mad at you, but I love you."
Peonies start showing up in California in Mid-April and when I first saw them at the grocery store this year, I started sobbing. I had to abandon my cart and drive home, it hurt me so much to see them.
But today — at the very end of peony season — I picked up a bouquet and my heart opened. I wanted to buy them all and fill the house with them. My wallet forced me to just pick up one bouquet and they are sitting on his altar — another testament to his love, his care and his dedication to our connection.
I am very aware that this project can bring up a lot around yours or other's grief and loss, I will always follow every post with some online grief support resources that have helped me. Please feel free to let me know of online support that you have found healing in your grief, as well:
Art with Grief:
- Filmmaker Gemma Green Hope made a short animation in memory of her grandmother
- Photographer Sarah Treanor Takes Moving Self-Portraits to Cope with Her Fiance's Death
- When the Fall Comes, a film about Grief by Adriana Marchione
- Self-Portraits: Expressing Emotion Through Art on What's Your Grief?
- The Hard Romance of Grief by Mark Liebenow
- The poetry of John O’Donohue
- What Joe Biden Has Said About Dealing With Personal Tragedy And Grief
- Stifled Grief: How the West Has It Wrong
- How Grief Can Make You Sick
- What's Your Grief?
- The Grief Geek
- Modern Loss's excellent resource list
- The writings of Tim Lawrence
- The Rules of Grief are for Other People by Shawn Doyle on The Good Men Project
- Grief Bibliography on Grief Healing
- Teresa “TL” Bruce's What to Say When Someone Dies
- They Brought Cookies: For A New Widow, Empathy Eases Death's Pain by Ann Finkbeiner on NPR
- A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit
- Megan Devine’s Refuge in Grief
- The Geography of Sorrow: Francis Weller on Navigating Our Losses, interviewed by Tim McKee in Sun Magazine
- How to Be a Friend in Deed by Bruce Feiler in the New York Times
- 12 Things to Know About the First Year of Grieving Someone You Can’t Live Without by Laurie Costanza in Elephant Magazine
Thank you, and see you tomorrow.