Tuesday, September 9, 2014

No Orchids

This year Flynn's anniversary was different.  We did not recognize it with the same tradition that I have grown accustomed to. Truly I was okay with planning the change in scenery and I enjoyed the time we spent with the boys. If I am being honest I did not miss the moodiness, body aches and extreme fatigue that I normally experience in anticipation of the anniversary. Instead we were eagerly anticipating our escape from daily routines and I knew I could still hold Flynn's memory close and acknowledge him on that day.
In my blog about his anniversary I struggled with the feeling that his birthday was not as comfortable as I wanted or needed it to be. I have come to realize that it was not only the change in scenery or the lack of a time held tradition that made it so different. Moreover it has taken me months to reconcile and recognize that the changes that were made to Flynn's anniversary had a more profound effect on the grief that journeys alongside me.
Every year on May 3rd I purchase blue orchids. They were the flower that showered Flynn's tiny casket and on his anniversary I leave some in the cemetery and I bring five home to represent our family. I place them in the centre of our home, typically the kitchen, where they bloom for a month if not more. They had become a symbol of our grief and consequently marked a period when those around us may extend care and compassion especially if we were less than our optimal selves.  In their own way the bunch of orchids were symbolic of our mourning, while not active any more, still a time that we could give ourselves.
This year, not only were we far away on Flynn's anniversary but there were no orchids. No symbolic representation of our grief that we could meet daily, touch and have loved ones appreciate.  What effect did that have on me? Now, in retrospect, I believe that the lead up that in past years I was so accustomed to became a down swing following this anniversary. The days and weeks that followed May 3rd were filled with fatigue, sadness and periods of depression.  While I found ways to cope and manage these all too familiar feelings it took the guidance and understanding of a friend to help me see the significance of the symbols in my grief. It is with gratitude that I am finally able to write this blog, something that I have struggled to express for months.
So next year? I don't think I am willing or ready to permanently change the tradition surrounding Flynn's anniversary and I will likely look toward familiarity as a form of comfort but I know without a doubt there will be orchids.

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