Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A Photo Journal of Another Anniversary that ended in Conversation

Long title to a blog, I know, however I did not want to misrepresent myself, it is not just photography and I plan on ending this blog with the conversation that I had with Landy as I think it was a really important one.
Today is the 14th anniversary of Flynn`s birth and death and this is how I spent my day.

I woke up this morning and it was kinda sunny. The type of day that is mostly cloudy (not the fluffy kind, more the gray rainy kind) with moments of sun poking through.  I dressed in layers for the day and as I left my house I noticed that Flynn`s tree, the weeping pea that we bought after he died and have transplanted 3 times, was budding it`s leaves.

I started the day with my children, whether getting them ready for school or daycare or sipping a coffee on the couch while they got themselves organized for the day.  I did not remind them of the significance of today, not in the morning, I wasn`t prepared to share it with them.

Then I was off to the floral shop where I confused a florist for ten minutes as I requested six, no seven blue orchids before changing my mind and asking for two blue, two purple, two yellow and one white orchid (one to represent each member of our family).  Then came the usual argument where the florist insists on putting water picks on the sprigs and if not that then orchid food and finally if not that, at least let them wrap it in paper.  I had to explain three times that the flowers were simply being placed on a gravestone and did not require any additional treatment.  Finally she tied a blue ribbon and let me leave.  When I arrived at the cemetery I noticed that I was one sprig short, how fitting.
Next, I was off to a favourite coffee spot where I could indulge in a "breakfast" of sorts and made use of free WiFi.  Getting lost in the project I was researching, the sound of the shop fell away and I was left in a tranquil quiet of my own making.

Lunch was spent in the company of care, nurture and friendship with a side of sushi!  I never tire of talking about Flynn or the stories that surrounded our life during that time and today was no exception.  Susan listened as I shared aspects of his story that she may have never heard before and I appreciated her sharing her own moments in time (past and present) where I could listen for her.  We ended on a note of enthusiasm as we discussed a potential project we would like to work on together!

My afternoon was spent watching my oldest play high school baseball, something I may not have another opportunity to do, given our crazy schedules.

I ended the afternoon with a friend pedicure alongside Tonya. I want to share the message she sent me today, as it meant a great deal (as did all the loving messages I received on Facebook, Blackberry Messenger and text).  It started when she asked me how the day was going and I told her that it felt like a heavy day, different than other years, this was her amazing response:

My day ended in a conversation with this guy.  A long time ago I called myself a grief pusher.  At the time I was learning about my own grief journey but was also pursuing an education in social work.  The concept of self determination and the unique and individual experience of grief was a theoretical underpinning to supportive social work practice in grief and I was taking it all to heart.  I took what I was learning and applied it to my marriage; Landy deserved space and appreciation for his own grief journey and I started to give that to him.  Consequently, this little label that I had created of a grief pusher had stood in my own way when it came to Flynn's anniversary.  While I love and appreciate the friends that surround me, the person I most wanted to spend his anniversary with was the one person who like me understands what Flynn's death felt like.  Today I told Landy how hard it is to do this day without him.  I told him I want to do this day together, that is how we experienced Flynn's life and death and I hope that is how we will honour his day.  It will not surprise anyone that it was met with love and kindness and an acknowledgement that next year will be different.
It was a good day.

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