I was in the garden yesterday planting flowers around your tree like I do every year. I plant marigolds, your father’s favorite flower.  He loves the strong yellow color and how they feel light and bright like you.

When he planted the tree four years ago, it was so tiny — not much more than a twig. As I gaze upon your tree today I see a strong, tall, beautiful trunk, firmly planted, reaching for the sky.

A beautiful cypress tree — that is what we wanted for you when your father planted your tree on that sunny but sad Easter morning. When we planted your tree, our hearts were heavy with missing you. We wanted to do something tangible in your memory. We picked the beautiful water cypress, a tree you always loved.

At the time, we did not know the meaning of the cypress. We have since come to find that the cypress tree often symbolizes the universe, due to its roots being underground, its trunk above ground, and its leaves reaching skyward. This represents three distinct levels of life: birth, middle life and heaven.

Since the tree is evergreen, it also symbolizes immortality. The cypress tree is known as the tree of life.

How fitting that the tree we planted for you is known as the tree of life. For you were always so full of life, from the tomboy little girl who could outrun most boys to the strong beautiful young woman you became.

The tree has become a shrine to you and your life, so as I plant the sunny yellow marigolds and place your angel statues around the base of your tree, I feel you, I feel your strength and your love, and I know you live on just as your tree does.

I also know we will see you again in another time, another dimension, for love lives on. Love is strong and solid, just like your tree. It is only love that matters. I love you, my daughter, and I always will.

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Louise Lagerman

Louise is a mother to three: two sons, Eric and James, and her daughter Keren, who died in 2006 at the age of 23. Louise has worked in health care for many years in the geriatric field. She lives with her husband Steven outside of Houston, Texas. A year ago, she created and opened up Grief Support website and message board with friend and fellow bereaved mother Gladis Alcorta. Grief support now has over 500 members who share and depend on each other for support. Her favorite quote is by Jason Reeves, In my own way I take you everywhere I go and it feels like Home.

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