5 Years Since Our 4 Year Old Died
Five Decembers ago plants and flowers from our sons funeral were carried one by one into our home. Symbols of care and support that people held for us, and opportunity for more tangible reminders of our 4 year old. Something I desperately ached for.
I tried to keep those plants alive, for years I ran a private practice plant ER throughout my house. Tending to them the best way I knew how. Over the years most of his plants died. Several falling victim to a toddlers grasp or aching for water that I didn't deliver soon enough. I still kept them though, hidden away in our basement, dried out ashes of brittleness. Unable to let go. A few times over the years if the weeks were nice I would bring those dead flowers still tucked safe in their beautiful pots, out to sit in the sunshine. We have big planters at our front door that while meant for luscious overflowing flowers, would temporarily hold my sons dead funeral flowers. Filled with whatever concoction of fertilizer I was able to convince my husband to try. I'm more than aware that many would shake their heads at me, how silly, to give such care and maintenance to dead flowers. But last year, overwhelmed with joy, I ran to my husband, "they are growing," I called. Collins plants are growing!! I had barely got the words out when he reached in and plucked out the lush green leaves. "Weeds mama, they are only weeds, not plants, not flowers.., weeds." Now you need to know that my husband owns a lawn care business and weeds, well, are not a welcomed addition to our yard. Never the less you would have thought he plucked an arm right off my body. I turned and walked away. I had been defeated. My sons death had now reached every shadowed stubborn area of my brain. I took that pot and dumped out the soil and brittle ashes of peddles in a small area where Collin and I were building a fort, that last summer before he died. Saddened yes, but surprisingly I also felt a sense of relief, the heaviness and guilt of not being able to keep such a tangible reminder alive, now felt freeing. The months continued by until one afternoon something unfamiliar arrived in that very familiar spot. There among the weeds and rotting boards were flowers. Blooming flowers. Those seeds had found a place they could thrive and they were once again very much alive. By releasing them, I was able to once again enjoy their beauty. Our son died 5 years ago today. He is no longer here, the grief we hold is still very raw and deep but I know he is thriving in a place where he was called to be. With Jesus, in Heaven, where he now belongs. By excepting this, I am able to release a little more of my own chains. My sons death found a new, more comfortable home in my mind this past year. That home still has its own weeds, it has dry places that are still too treacherous to venture. But my eyes are starting to really see some of the beauty that has grown around me, through the ashes.