I used to hate marigolds. To me they were reminiscent of flowers that are considered weeds in Florida, like Lantana. In my mind they were cheap fillers for my mom’s flower bed. Not that attractive at all considering they only came in yellow and orange hues.
But all that changed in 2008. Easter came early that year and forever changed my feelings about spring. As a native Floridian, I thought of spring as the season that the weather grew hot before it grew really hot. But for the first time in spring of 2008 I discovered the pain and beauty of death and new life.
Unless you’re new here you know I lost my first husband on March 22, 2008. He was in a motorcycle accident on Leap Day in which he sustained a serious head injury. That injury left him in a coma for three weeks before he went to his forever home on the other side of eternity.
So now I find myself five years later and this journey is nothing like I expected. I feel like Darryl’s been gone just a short time. Two years perhaps? But that’s not the case at all. I’d always thought that I’d be further down the road of grief at this point but I’m not. If I’m honest with myself, I’m only just beginning. I thought by now I would be ready for some glorious five-year memorial where we bring family and friends together to reflect on the beauty of Darryl’s life. But friends, right now that sounds like torture.
I have learned just a couple things about grief over the past five years that I’d like to share with you:
- Grief is necessary. It must be experienced in all its stages. (I’m sorry to say it’s taken me much too long to learn this one.)
- Grief is unpredictable. You can't do it right or wrong. There’s scary freedom in that.
In 2008, Easter came the earliest it had in nearly 100 years, on March 23. Needless to say this timing also affected my view of Jesus' death and resurrection. And oh what a joy it is to know that not only did Jesus rise for us to be reunited with him but he made a way for all of us to live again. What comfort, what peace, what joy can be found in the hope of seeing believers who have gone before us again in eternity.
And now? I try to plant marigolds every spring. They were Darryl's favorite flower.
Do you have a story of grief you would share with me? I would be so honored to hear from you in the comments below.