Grieving is Like Flowers

FlowersMy older brother Roger died on May 1st.

I’m grieving for the physical loss of my brother who was my best friend and hero for my first 7 years.

I’m grieving for the loss of a loving relationship with that same brother who was abused as a child and then abused me.

I’m grieving for all the complex, unknowable reasons why our family experienced those traumas.

I am so glad that Roger lived and had a beautifull daughter, and that I am close to her.

I’m beyond glad for my younger brother Andrew, who arrived like a love beam when I was 11.

I am glad for the transformative “gifts of death” that have already been arriving since Rogers death.

Some of these gifts come in the form of flowers, which live and die within our sight, and remind me of grieving, which arrives and subsides beyond our knowing.

I go where the grief leads me, and even though the route is often inconvenient and dark, I know that the roots of grieving produce things of beauty- like flowers.

And I now know that grieving leads to and from gladness.

It is not separate- it is woven.

That weaving is my place to practice living in the “marvelous messy middle,” with all of my feelings.

My beloved partner John witnesses and loves me as I practice, and gives me the many gifts of vulnerabilities, strengths and love shared.

I’m so glad I can grieve and continue to grow and bloom, and one day die, like the beautifull flowers do.

Susan and Roger

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