Celebrating Early Spring

herb thyme

The groundhog was right! I’m celebrating our early spring. Yesterday I spent an hour outside pulling weeds and enjoying some sunshine on my face. While pulling the weeds, which seem to be more delighted with this bout of early warm weather, I also found scads of sunflowers already sprouting and a three inch high sprig of lemon balm already growing underneath our porch steps. Don’t be a hater. I can’t usually be out doing yard work the last week of February. Usually I’m scraping ice off the windshield to go to work this week. I’m always happy to be able to start yard work by mid-March.

This year, I’m enjoying this early bit of sunshine after a week or two of early spring rains. It’s cool enough that we’re turning on little heaters once the sun goes down and I still need a jacket in the morning hours. But, I’m still doing a happy dance for being able to get my fingers dirty this early in the season. I love that little groundhog. (At least the years he predicts an early spring – and the year’s that he’s right about it.)

To celebrate early spring, I’m extending the February Memory Gardens sale through March. Regularly $9.99, it’s on sale through the end of March for only $4.99!

(This sale is only good through my author page, not through Amazon.)

Following is a snippet from Memory Gardens.

Happy Spring!

cover_memory garden

Why Plant a Memory Garden?

To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die.

Thomas Campbell

Planting a Memory Garden is a very special tribute to honor the memories of a loved one, or loved ones. It is a way to have a living reminder, where seeing the plant, tending to it and enjoying the beauty of flowers or fragrance brings your loved ones to mind.

Your Memory Garden can be anything you want it to be. It can be as simple as one plant or a single stepping stone to honor someone’s memory. It may be a small corner with a few plants and possibly a piece of statuary. It can also be a more elaborate, full-blown garden with many plants, possibly a winding path and perhaps a small bench or seating area to sit and reflect. Your garden can be any size you wish it to be, according to the space and land you have available, and the number of plants you wish to maintain.

A Memory Garden can be a place of solace, a place to remember and heal. It is a gift you give yourself, a living legacy of memories and love.

A memory garden is just that, a place to recognize and honor memories – those of our loved ones.

A garden is a living memorial for us, the living. It does not bring them back. It does not remove our pain or grief, although for many it does help soothe and soften the grieving.

The planning, the gardening, the caring for living plants nurtures our souls; it is a way for us to say — Here. I place this plant, or this stepping stone, or this statuary, in your honor and memory. It is a symbol. It is a symbol of my love for you. I cherished you in my life. I miss you. I will remember you.

I believe they see our tributes. I am a firm believer in the afterlife, and that our loved ones still know what is happening in our lives. I have too many unexplained coincidences in my own life and experiences that confirms it for me. Does it help to believe my brother is here, that he is sending a message, that he is still involved in my life, yet I can’t see him? Some days, yes. It is comforting. Some days, absolutely not. I want to see him. I want to give him a hug. I want to sit down and have a cup of coffee with him. But, I can’t do that. And sometimes I still get angry about that.

Grief is not a static emotion. It is not a one-way path. We do not walk the pathway of grief, one step at a time, to the end, where we reach ‘non-grief’. We waver. We’re back and forth. Some days are good. Sometimes we drift along towards healing. We go on and live our lives. (We have to. We have no choice.) And other days, there will be one memory, one song, one fragrance, one thought – and we are suddenly back to a painful place that we thought we’d left behind.

Just remember this, on the path of grieving no one’s path is the same. None of our journeys are exactly like another’s. Don’t let anyone tell you what’s ‘normal’, or what’s ‘not normal’. Follow your own heart. Follow your own healing.

Yes, go on living. Definitely do so, as we are still alive. We can do that while keeping the memories sacred and honored.

I take comfort in the actions of caring for zinnias, believing that my brother knows that when I tend to them, I’m thinking of him. When I tend to the red roses, I remember Grandma Jones. When I clip the carnations, I think of Grandpa Jones.

For many years, families were the caretakers of loved one’s gravesites. The whole day was spent there, often with picnics. A celebration was created around the loving care of the final resting places. Nowadays, some people still do this, but not many. I loved to take flowers to the graves of loved ones at Christmas. Now, I’m too far from any of them to be able to do that. So tending the plants in my backyard is a way of making that connection. That is something I can do every day, not just on holidays and honoring special dates.

Why plant a memory garden? For our own healing. For our own souls. For a tribute to the ones we loved that no longer walk this earthly planet with us.

Remembrance is a golden chain

Death tries to break, but all in vain.

To have, to love, and then to part

Is the greatest sorrow of one’s heart.

The years may wipe out many things

But some they wipe out never.

Like memories of those happy times

When we were all together.

Author Unknown

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Savoring Sixty and Beyond
    Feb 24, 2019 @ 21:42:36

    I really love the idea of a memory garden especially now that spring is just around the corner. Every time I smell gardenia’s it brings back happy childhood memories spent visiting an aunt and uncle (who are now deceased) that I was so very fond of.

    Reply

    • trishafaye
      Feb 24, 2019 @ 22:17:06

      I love that you have gardenias to remind you of your aunt and uncle. I have carnations for my grandpa, lilacs for my grandma, and zinnias for my brother. I love how flowers and scents can connect us to our loved ones long after their passing.

      Reply

  2. Deb
    Feb 25, 2019 @ 00:01:44

    Amaryllis,gladiolus in my flower beds are reminders of my dad,and lilies my mom.. I have them planted side by side. My mom hasn’t gone on yet but she broken up housekeeping to live with my sister ..I dug some of her lilies from her garden . She’s delighted that their beside dad’s favorites. Little things like this are so helpful in healing!

    Reply

    • trishafaye
      Feb 25, 2019 @ 20:11:13

      I love your story of your parents favorite flowers being together in your garden. Even though mom’s still here, it’s still a special connection between you all. I just adore this!

      Reply

  3. Sheryl
    Feb 26, 2019 @ 03:04:12

    Memory gardens sound like a wonderful way to remember loved ones.

    Reply

    • trishafaye
      Feb 26, 2019 @ 13:40:46

      Thanks Sheryl. It is for me. I tend my zinnias and think of my brother, clip carnations and think of Grandpa…feels like they’re in the garden with me.

      Reply

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