The beautiful flowering tree planted in Nina’s memory on Memorial Day a year short of a decade ago (by her favorite cousins) looked so regal and smelled so delicious yesterday. I like to think it flowers this time of year as a special birthday message from my “baby girl”. However, with the vicious storm we had last evening, I watched the soft white petals drift and swirl to the ground, as if a deluge of tears from a breaking heart. Today, it sits almost bare – a few petals still hanging on for dear life, unable to let go, desperate to regain its former beauty.
I can’t help but see a symbolism in that tree that I can associate with. It is as if it stands as a monument to my grief, the ebb and flow of emotions that I have felt for the past nine years since Nina no longer walks this earth. When the tree is in full flower it seems much like family life “before.” Of course there were short-term crises that now seem insignificant, and life’s speed bumps along the way, but all in all, pretty good. I mean, at least our family was intact.
When the leaves were suddenly stripped of their branches and thrown to the ground in the furious hailstorm, it was like our lives after Nina’s sudden death; thrown suddenly into a world of intense pain and sorrow, trying desperately to survive the unthinkable.
But, yet this morning, the tree stands, more barren and most definitely battered, but still hanging in there. Nine years later, those who love her, have weathered the tornado-like force of grief and loss. And nine years later, much like Nina’s tree, though the storm has taken its toll, we will still manage to be upright; definitely bent, but still standing.
And somehow, life roars on!Tags: grief, hope, signs and connections