The idea for this blog comes from an actual memory garden. I created the garden in remembrance of my husbands Richard and Stephen who left this life too soon. My garden features a climbing red rose, two red roses (one for each of them) and a white rose for remembrance. Growing roses is a fairly new experience for me. Stephen and I enjoyed gardening together but he was particular about his roses. He had been growing them for a few years in honor and memory of several members of his family. Stephen’s rose garden is the inspiration for my remembrance garden. Stephen always reminded me never to forget my first husband. I don’t believe one can forget someone they truly cared for. I feel that Stephen and Richard would appreciate this remembrance of their lives. It is only one of many ways to remember them.
The value of memory and experience are vastly underrated and we are encouraged to forget and “let go” in order to heal from our most traumatic experiences. Perhaps we can learn to use some of those experiences to teach us how to move forward in our lives in a purposeful way. Many well-intentioned friends and relatives tell me that if I just take an antidepressant, all of my sad feelings will end and I can get on with my life. Although medication is necessary for some people, I don’t find that is useful for me. And I wouldn’t want the end of my sad feelings (if that is even possible) or “getting on with my life” to mean that I lose the feelings associated with remembering those people and experiences that make me who I am.
Grief is not only about death of a person. Our loss and despair can be caused by losing a job, a serious accident or health issue, or the end of a marriage or relationship. There are many reasons for us to feel a loss that is much like bereavement. It should be expected that these experiences will change us and our personalities although those who care about us would like us to return as the person they once knew. It is important for them to understand that our sadness doesn’t always drive us to desperate measures that require intervention. Sometimes it is helpful to know the experiences of others who are travelling on a new path of understanding due to a new introspection that has been forced upon them. I am hopeful that readers of this blog feel comfortable to comment and contribute to the various discussions to follow.
And of course, I welcome advice to help me nurture my new rose garden!