A friend of mine has been in hospice with Alzheimer’s. And she died today. There will be a day when I write about Barbara… what a great friend she was. How I hate that she is no longer in my life. How I know how hard it is for her spouse to lose her. How hard it is when someone so vibrant leaves your community.
But writing about her was not what I could do today. And today is when I had this blog due. I decided after I learned that she had passed – to garden. Barbara used to help my wife water the garden. It was something comforting and familiar and useful that she did with us.
So, I went to our community garden and I pulled a wheel barrow full of weeds, harvested onions, squash, carrots, string beans, tomatoes and I deep watered everything. I stayed until it was dark, and then I came home.
It was soothing, and I began to work through the complicated entanglement of grief. How it is forever and it also passes. How it shows how much a life matters, and how we are all so connected to each other.
I’m sending photos of our garden from last spring and this summer. In that eternal Summerland I believe Barbara feels the love I poured into the garden for her today.
May all beings be sacred. May all beings be blessed.
What are your rituals and ways that you begin to manage grief FAR family?
Marie Cartier has a Ph.D. in Religion with an emphasis on Women and Religion from Claremont Graduate University. She is the author of the critically acclaimed book Baby, You Are My Religion: Women, Gay Bars, and Theology Before Stonewall (Routledge 2013). She is a senior lecturer in Gender and Women’s Studies and Queer Studies at California State University Northridge, and in Film Studies at Univ. of CA Irvine.