May 17, 2010

Garden Grief Relief

Everyone grieves differently. There is no right or wrong way to grieve.

And, no parent should ever have to bury their child.

My father loved my brother greatly and was so proud of him. My father grieves by spending time in his garden. He begins back in the winter by taking his seeds from last years plants and begins the process of turning them into fabulous deliciousness.

He turns the soil. He plants. He waters.

My dad is 82 and had to be hospitalized after my brother's funeral. The grief was just too much for him. He is okay now with a clean bill of health. But now, when he needs to take on these garden tasks, I watch him and help him. I am scared that I will lose him. Because then, I will be alone.

I took this photo of my dad this weekend. I thought it was so poignant. He didn't know I was taking it but I can see and feel his grief.
Together, we planted sunflowers.
Swiss chard.
There still is a lot to plant.
But, my Dad's garden will help him deal with his grief at losing his only son. I know my brother is watching my dad as he toils in his garden.
"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal.
Love leaves a memory no one can steal."


Leslie said...

I am so sorry for your dad's pain. I want to reach through the picture and hug him ~ a big ole bear hug.
God will keep his arms around your dad and I am sure that tending the garden will help your him cope with his grief.
Take care and have a good week.

Mary Ellen said...

Carmie... I am terribly sorry for your sudden loss. Losing a sibling unexpectedly is indescribable. Stay close to your Dad and lean on each other. Sharing time and experiences will help heal the hurt. All your friends in the blogosphere love you and are here for you!
Much Affection, ME

miss corner cape said...

every time something blooms and grows in that garden, you can think not only of your brother, but also of the memories you created by planting them with your father.

Angie said...

Carmie, you are absolutely right. I can feel your dad's sadness even though I cannot see his face. I know it is going to take time, and for him this will never go away. I just pray that it gets better with time.

Bored@Work said...

A beautifully, poignant picture.
Nothing I can say here will take any of the pain away or in any way fill the void that your brother's passing has obviously left in all your lives, but I just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking about you and your dad and your family. I'm sure all your readers are thinking about you.
Stay strong Carmie.

Cindy said...

Oh, Carmie, I am so sorry for your loss...The picture of your dad is simply wonderful...and planting his garden has so much meaning....

This weekend I saw a movie called "Remember Me."
You may really find it touching...I was very moved by it.

I pray that your family is healing every day from this loss...and that the smiles of your brother live forever in your hearts.
Cindy Adkins

Karen- The Graphics Fairy said...

I'm so sorry for your family's terrible loss. I will keep you and your Dad in my prayers. I hope the beautiful garden will help to heal both of you.

Kathy said...

Dear heart, I know how you two must feel. In January my brother was killed by his roommate. There were five of us - now only four. Our parents passed away not too long ago as well. We have been working through our grief-being together and doing things as you have does help. I am glad to have stopped by and will add you two to my prayers. There is an unspeakable peace only God can give - death ends a life - not a relationship - cherish these moments you have now. Joy can come back.
Love in Christ,

Jessa Irene (Holiday-Haven) said...

Such a moving post. Reminds me of a Mark Twain quote... something about being poor after having so much wealth. He was speaking of his loved ones. Death feels wrong because it is wrong. We are eternal creatures. My heart goes out to both of you.

Sparky-Jean said...

I'm so sorry about the loss of your brother. My mom planted a flower garden when my brother died (at age 16 and I was 13). She referred to the garden as his garden. My dear sister-in-law passed away a week ago. The day after her memorial service, I found solice in doing much needed and previously avoided weeding in my large backyard garden. Take care and be gentle with yourselves.

Ann @ makethebestofthings said...

My heart goes out to you and your father. As someone already said, be gentle with each other. Enjoy and love the days you have together. The garden is a wonderful idea.

Holly said...

That photo speaks a thousand words. I guess you never imagine you will have to bury your own child. Again so sorry for your loss. I hope you have the most beautiful sunflowers to brighten your day.

Jennifer Juniper said...

That photo says it all...this is the best way for him to grieve right now and he's so lucky to have you to help him.

Sandy said...

What a sweet post!
Just as you, I watched my Mom's pain after my brother, her son, died at the age of 43... Mom never got over his death but did the best she could. She sat mostly, for the next 8 years. Like you and your Dad, I did the best I could keeping her busy!
No one should loose a child, no matter the age.
Moms with my brother now and the two of them are smiling from above.. at me!
Lovely Post!

Jill from Women Who Do It All said...

That is a very touching photo indeed. I think the sunflowers will bring some cheer when they bloom, I love sunflowers. Sending prayers and good thoughts your way.

Ann said...

My heart breaks reading your post, not only for your dad but also for you. I have not lost a child but one of my children lost his soulmate. There is nothing that I can do take away his pain, and oh how I wish that I could. I would give or do anything for him to make it all go away. Anyways, I am so glad that your dad has something to do to keep his mind occupied. My prayers will include you and him both.
The Tattered Tassel

Beth said...

Very poignant, indeed. And touching. I'm sorry for your loss. Gardening can be so therapeutic. Peace.

Lanie Ree said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine burying a sibling, or a child.

RJ @ A Life Designed said...

What a wonderful way to work through the grief, and special that you were able to work alongside your dad.

Diane said...

Bless you and your sweet dad. I am so sorry for your loss. I, too, lost my brother 3 yrs. ago and it seems like yesterday. I will always love and miss him as I know you will your brother. I pray that time will ease your pain, It has mine.

I found your blog via Frugalicious Friday. I enjoyed seeing your garden and that is a great picture of your dad.

Come see me sometimes over at Pittypat Paperie. Diane

Threeundertwo said...

I am so sorry for your loss. This is a very touching post.

Leslie @ Farm Fresh Fun said...

I am so sorry. I lost my Father very unexpectedly last spring. I too was hospitalized - for ongoing chest pain. I'm not sure if time heals but I do know friends help, A LOT. I hope it helps you knowing that you and your Father are in so many prayers for peace n comfort.

Susie~From My Home To Yours said...

Wow, well I'm definitely moved to tears. I can think of no other place to find some peace than the garden. Your Dad is blessed to have you by his side there!
Wishing you blessings, strength and comfort.

Fawnda said...

I cannot image the pain of losing a child or a sibling... I am so sorry!

What a great way to bond with your dad, gardening together and keeping your brother's memory alive!

vanpeltium-4 said...

What a beautiful tribute. And a beautiful photo of your dad.

Jerri said...

So sorry to hear about your brother. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

Thank you for coming by to link up this week.

Debilou~Mississippi Mama said...

I cant imagine your dads pain,, or yours. Hoping time will ease some of the pain for both of you, Your dad is lucky to have you help him in the garden. Love the sign.

Stephanie Lynn said...

What a lovely way to pay tribute to your brother. My heart goes out to your Dad, you and your family. I will keep you all in my prayers. The photo of your Dad is priceless. ~ Stephanie Lynn

Kendall said...

Thank you for sharing your post at Shop The House Sunday. I'm so incredibly sorry for your loss. The picture of your Dad is beautiful and made me cry. Bless you and your family!

Stephanie Lynn said...

Thanks so much for joining The Sunday Showcase. I greatly appreciate it! Thanks for the response...your story has touched my heart. ~ Stephanie Lynn

Room to Inspire said...

What a beautiful post - the photo of your Father is simply touching. Thank you so much for linking up to Be Inspired last week.


Kristi Flanagan said...

Love this post. I have witnessed that grief with my sister losing young adult son tragically. Such a beautiful post, thanks you for sharing it with us.

Punkin Seed Productions

Gay Vaughan said...

Love this post and the fact you are willing to share with others. Just letting you know that I featured you in my weekly round-up. Thanks again!

Wendy said...

I cannot imagine the pain of losing a sibling or child. ((HUGS)).

I think that is a great picture of your dad though.

Shugee @ Blue Heron Cottage said...

Oh my goodness Carmie. This is so touching and I feel it also. I've found to just live in the moment and embrace because life is so fleeting. We could get in a car and so much could in in a second.
My heart goes out to you so much.

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