[Joining Bella Cirovic at 52 Photos Project - Week 1: Begin at the Beginning]
a beginning and ending
deep within my heart
Yesterday morning, waiting with my son for the school bell to ring, I turned and noticed for the very first time these beautiful hearts. In that moment these delicate flowers touched my heart and brought together a flood of emotion. One single image that represents both a journey just beginning and another just ending.
On one hand the pride, excitement and comfort in my heart for the beginning of my journey into Pipkin Hollow. This space that I recently created with the guidance of Susannah Conway and alongside the remarkably creative and inspiring group of women that she brought together with Blogging from the Heart.
While on the other hand the whole mix of emotions in my heart for the ending of a life. The life of my mother-in-law, who died peacefully last Saturday. The shock in the unexpected. The surfacing of very raw feelings of not being good enough for my husband’s family. The guilt in knowing that the relationship I had with my mother-in-law was not perfect. The guilt in finding it very difficult to reach out to my sister-in-law. The emptiness in the absence of my husband. The deafening silence in the house after my son has fallen asleep. The conflict in wishing I could be with my husband to support him, but knowing that not being there is the best thing for my son.
I have been told that you would be very upset if your grandson did not go to your funeral. But in my heart, I have to believe this is not true. I have to believe that you are in a place of understanding and acceptance. That you know in your heart, the strength your grandson shows by freely expressing how he wants to acknowledge and accept your death, is a true gift for him and for us. I have spent so much time walking on egg shells, feeling like I do not meet expectations, and have not done things as I should have. But, through my son’s strength, I hope to find that place in my heart. That place that believes my choices and my ways were not wrong, do not make me somehow flawed, simply because sometimes they were hard for you to understand.
Today was your funeral, and your grandson was not there. I was not there. But we were with you. Your grandson had a special and fun day at school watching the grade eight play. Then together we went to the woods and in the midst of mother nature we stopped for a moment on the suspension bridge. In silence we remembered you. I remembered the lives you touched, near and far, the trip to the Oregon coast that we shared and all the pennies you brought along, your generosity, your caring and strong heart, and that astounding memory of yours. And when he was ready, your grandson let go of a red balloon tied with his finger knitting and one delicate heart-shaped flower that he picked from his school yard. We watched the balloon quietly float away and then we said goodbye. Then we took a little walk in the woods and, on the way home, stopped for an ice cream cone.
I am so happy that you were here for your grandson’s eighth birthday. To see and experience that he is now thriving, despite all the pain and anxiety he has experienced. He is thrilled that you got to see him skate.
As a mother of a son, I know your love for your son, my husband, is intense and limitless. I know he loves you deeply and will miss you terribly. I promise you I will do my best to help him hold you close while letting you go.
I wish I had known you when you were younger. To meet that adventurous travelling spirit that I have so often heard about. And today, I know that you know, you will always have a special place in my heart. I will miss you.
An ending, death. A beginning, my journey to Pipkin Hollow. Somehow connected here today by delicate heart-shaped flowers. Life, a weaving of endings and beginnings. All connected by the heart.