This post is from a guest contributor, Lena Sawyer. I was touched by how beautifully her poignant note expresses the grief process and wanted to share.
by Lena Sawyer
What’s strange about people is how they survive their emotions. Emotions are killer….. And when I lost my grandpop, I felt like there was no getting over it.
That, because I was in Italy and they were there, I would be miserable forever, forever mourning on my own.
Everyday, though, I felt better and better, I was anything but alone, I was surrounded by people who understood loss and understood how to love me back whole.
I still feel it, I still feel that part of my heart that wants to love something that isn’t there to hold, it’s reaching to grasp something that hands can’t wrap around. But just by remembering him, something grabs hold of ME and I can love it. I still love my grandpa, but it doesn’t hurt so much. I came back to the States a few weeks ago and I am finally getting the chance to see my family.
My grandmother has a yellow vase of orange daylilies on her kitchen table.
When I first saw them, they were beautiful…vibrant orange, wide open and bloomed.
But the next morning they had all closed.
They had become ugly and dry, shriveled and browned.
So I asked her why she kept them and she said, “Oh, I’m waiting for them to open up again. They’re daylilies, you know? That means they reopen every day and when the flowers die, you just trim them off and new ones come in their place.”
Four days have passed and the lilies keep coming and going.
She trims the dried-up stems and makes space for the new ones…the dewy, moist, orange petals emerge and everyday, the daylily remains a lily, but it stretches in different directions, its colors change and sometimes we get only two blossoms and some days, four.
Yesterday, we changed the water and the blossoms arrived in time for breakfast in an orange more vivid than we’d seen in days.
My grandma is living without my grandpa. Parts of her life have expired and she allows them to be as she allows herself to be: to adjust, grow and change, develop, learn, thrive even.
God, it sucks to see the blossoms close at the end of the day…they look so worn and pathetic…so much that it makes me wonder whether those lilies will be there again. But the lily, that lovely stem, continues.
My grandma has never forgotten that there is yet life in her.
She doesn’t forget that her source is that water.
She changes and grows and has to say “addio” to things that have been a part of her…things that were beautiful.
But the water remains, and just the same, so does her vivacity. From sunrises to sunsets, she may be less or more than the day before, but she is always a lily.
“The flowers you gave me are rotting and still I refuse to throw them away.
Some of the bulbs never opened quite fully
They might so I’m waiting and staying awake.
Things I have loved I’m allowed to keep”
“Hope in God for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance, and my God”
Psalm 42:11, 43:5