Every year in mid-May the tree that hangs over one corner of my patio bursts into tiny white blooms. The heady scent perfumes the air. Butterflies and bees hover over the flowers.
I sit outside and breathe in the scent. So sweet and fragrant.
Then in a week or so the blooms will fade. Tiny bits of the blooms will fall all over the patio and make a mess.
It serves to remind me that for everything there is a season. Life is precious and often far too short. But seasons pass on by, I know. To the next one.
Grief is a wide yawning hole. You stand at the precipice and look down into a bottomless pit of sorrow. And then you fall in.
You swim in it until you’re so tired your arms grow weary. Sometimes you wonder if you should just give in and stop fighting the tide.
The worst part is that you have no choice in the matter. Life can take what is most precious to you. And suddenly you’re left to swim in a cold dark place that at times threatens to pull you under.
It can happen in an instant. You can be happy and life is normal. Until it isn’t.
I smell the heavenly scent of the white blooms on the tree that I enjoy every year, and I feel no joy.
I think of my sweet Abi, of her bigger than life personality, and I can hardly bear it.
On the last day of Abi’s life, I took two photos. I hesitated before I took them. I didn’t want to remember her in pain. But I couldn’t stop myself. I photograph life, and what happened is part of life.
A desperately sad period that I won’t want to remember. But it is part of my story. It is Abi’s story.
I couldn’t let her go without recording her alive. Before the vet arrived at my door.
She was sick and weak. Her left paw was wrapped due to the intravenous fluids she’d been getting. It was the place they’d put the needle into.
There are all those firsts to face.
First time I took photos of the patio after Abi died. First time I mopped the floor after Abi died. First time I went out after Abi died.
Surely the firsts won’t lost too long. Or spring into my mind as a reminder of my loss.
I think back weeks ago to when she started wetting my bed. The urine was colorless, like water. It had no odor. I remember finding that so odd. I had a bit of premonition then I think.
I watch Charlie and if he exhibits any strange behaviors or changes in habit, it strikes fear in me. I tell myself he is grieving too and it is nothing. But the mama in me is on high alert.
This morning I finally stripped my bed. I couldn’t bear to do it before. It was where Abi slept. I wore the same clothing for two days because I’d held my baby with those clothes on.
Then my daughter came yesterday to take me to lunch, and I reached into my closet for something else.
I know you don’t want to come here to read about sadness. I’m sorry for that. Writing is how I’ve always made sense of things. How I’ve come to terms with things.
I know they say that time heals all wounds. That the passing of time is balm for the soul.
I know that the odds are that I will feel joy again. That I will smile and laugh again.
I just don’t know when.