On Saturday, I had my meditation group over for “Meditation in the Garden.” Jason’s Garden is a place for meditation, remembrance and celebration. It’s a labor of love to honor the life of our son, who we lost last year when he was just 35 years old. Creating the Garden has been a journey of healing for me, and I spend time there every evening because the healing is never quite complete.
When I first conceived this garden, I saw it as a place to meditate, to remember and honor those we’ve lost and to celebrate life. I know, a lot to ask, and I gotta say, I love it when a plan comes together. Meditation in the Garden checked off all of that. As I usually do at times like this, I forgot to get photos to share. Ugh.
I love sharing the Garden with others, and I consider it a Community Garden. Here you’ll find little pieces of remembrance that others have added, to honor their loved ones as well – a figurine here, a token there, something meaningful that symbolizes a life lost.
We have all experienced grief in our lives. And while I know I will always grieve the loss of my son, I have learned to find joy in my grief. What a concept, huh? And what do I even mean by that?
Well, there are a few strategies I’ve noticed that help me feel joy even in the face of my grief and I want to share them with you today.
I remember that Jason is always with me.
In fact, I have a remembrance stone on my desk that says “I am always with you.” I know I can still talk with him, feel close to him and have him in my life. I often sit in my garden and share my day with him. It gives me peace.
I talk about him often.
I know it makes some people uncomfortable when I do. I have family members who quickly change the subject when I bring up anything to do with my son. And that’s okay. I know it’s it stretches some people too far. But it brings me comfort to talk about the silly things, the memories, the good times and even the bad times. It helps keep his memory alive.
I created Jason’s Garden.
The garden is a living legacy, and as I said, I spend time in it often. It’s my way of memorializing him and healing myself. He loved the outdoors and I know he would be honored. Jason has left other legacies, in his son, and as an organ donor, for example. The Garden is just one beautiful thing that came from this tragedy.
Grief is hard, and I miss him every day. Tears still come easily when I talk about him, but I know he is always with me. I hope some of my coping strategies will help you in the face of your own grief.