Friday, May 12, 2017


Yesterday, I planted lilacs. They usually bloom in the first week of May and I have always loved their intense perfume which seems to fill my head and cascade down the back of my throat. I love the varieties of lavender to purple color, the fronds of tiny blossoms. In the past, I brought armfuls of branches in to the house, filling every room with fragrance and causing my oldest child to sneeze repeatedly. The smell of lilacs now call up memories of Alby.

In my new home, there is one old, scrawny lilac, struggling towards the sun and not having much success as it is surrounded by fir trees. So I was thrilled when a colleague told me that he would be winnowing out his wild patch of lilacs, not encroaching on his walkway. Gladly, I accept a bucket full of shoots.

Yesterday I planted ordinary lilacs. I spread these shoots out in the yard several sunny places. I also planted some Korean lilacs with smaller flowers. This morning, cup of coffee in hand, I visited these new residents in my garden to say hello and welcome them. They are standing up straight, reaching towards the sky. In a couple of years, I will again be scenting my home with their aroma, remembering Alby with a smile.



Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Birthdays and Anniversaries

It’s May again. It happens every year. Lately, I have been more focused on writing my book, on my consulting job, on helping clients and on my herb garden. I spend time trying to decide when to make my Moss Milkshake and spread it on the bare spots in my yard. I imagine soft waves of different shades of green instead of brown mud with weeds struggling to find some sun.

It’s May again, that time of year when everything is sprouting, popping out of the ground, turning from grey and brown to green, red, pink, yellow…It’s May and it is, once again, catching me by surprise. My life is filled with bright spots, soft spots, and underneath it there it is, the mud and muck of grief.

I have witnessed clients anticipate anniversaries and birthdays months before they happen, dissolving into fear and worry. I used to do this too and over the years, have stopped feeling anxious months ahead. I have a plan for May 6 and thought that would be enough this year. But this morning I posted some information on a grief support website and when someone made a slightly negative comment, I felt stabbed. And I realized, well, here it is. It’s May and underneath it all, I feel a bit raw. Maybe more than a bit.

In the midst of the rough pain of grief we beg the universe for it to be over. Slowly we discover that we have longer stretches of calm, longer periods where we are more involved in the lives we have built for ourselves after they died. AND…you see, it is never either or. It is never done with, not really. I have a great life, a growing career, two book contracts, wonderful opportunities and a lot of love. I rejoice in how the “children” are creating their own lives and how our family continues to expand and dive into new adventures. I am grateful for travel, for support and for everything that has come my way since he died.

AND, it’s May again.

I miss him.