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We hope you will find inspiration, information and most of all humor as we share our adventures in advancing a more sustainable lifestyle in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My struggles with death in this time of springing

Oh heart, if one should say to you that the soul perishes like the body, answer that the flower withers, but the seed remains. ~Kahlil Gibran

Last night a friend and colleague from work was killed in an automobile accident.  Today I have spent my time divided between tears and anger.  Since death is such a large part of medicine (my real job) I find I like to cram those "stages of grieving" into one large emotional package. Today was not a day I could channel my inner emotional detatchment.

It was a struggle to stem the tears at work and while running errands afterwards. I just wanted to go home and cry.  When I got home, I called my Mom who invited me over to talk and have a cup of tea.  She allowed me share things about Lauren and how sad I was that this beautiful mother was taken so young.  We talked about her daughter, how happy she was with her recent engagement and how cruel fate can be to rob someone so deserving of new found love and happiness.

Mom then announced she was going to the store and asked me to please plant a climbing rose for her that had just come in the mail.  She put Rupert ( her puppy ) and myself out into the courtyard of the walled garden and took off- knowing nature would begin the healing process.

My Grandma Pennell- her mother knew one very important secret of life- 

The balm for sadness and grief lies in a garden.

Grandma was the most peaceful person I have evern known and I imagine she literally worked out her cares growing her own food.  When I was young, I remember my mom watering her gardens late in the evening after a stressful day as a social worker.  It seems to be a genetic link that we find comfort in working the soil.

I spent this afternoon planting Mom's rose, sweet alyssum, creeping jenny, dianthus and pansies.  I found laughter through my tears as little Rupert "helped" by pulling up what I had just planted and running around the courtyard like he had won the doggie lottery.  Why are puppies so proud when they destroy things?

While I cannot make sense today of this horrible and unfair loss, I found some peace and time to reflect with busy hands.  The raw wound is still there- but somehow, covered in dirt, the hurt wanes.

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