Friday, August 27, 2010

It was a quiet day.

Overgrown Window

"Dad, how was your day?"

My day was rather quiet. I did do some gardening, which is always nice, but mostly it was quiet.

"I don't like it when it is quiet. It makes me think of Mike, and I feel sad."

Yes, I think of Michael whenever it is quiet as well. So I guess the better answer to your question is that my day was sad.

This was a short conversation with my son Remy this evening. He always seems to capture and meet me, where I find my emotions at any given moment. I think because he was with Michael and I the most during Michael's illness, death, and those early months that followed, he is well in tune with his grief and mine.

I know that I have had a couple of clever posts this week, but I'll share with you that mostly I have been greatly depressed and hurting. All week has been a struggle to get through my days. I feel as though I am living in a different atmosphere. One that is thick, like jello, causing all my movements to be slow and purposeful. I keep thinking I should take myself out, and do something pleasurable, like to go a movie, but in the end I decide to just sit here at home.

When I am like this I need to stay away from the local nursery. I went there earlier to look for one particular plant I have been seeing around the neighborhood, but I ended up coming back with so many more plants and ceramic pots, for both indoors and out. Some people collect cats when they have really lost it. Weeks, then months go by, and friends start to wonder what happened to them. They go by the house and get no answer. They call the police to request a well-being check, only to find their friend trapped in their house with hundreds of feral cats.

That's what my fate will be, only my house will be filled from floor to ceiling with plants of every type. I will have created my own jungle, or rain forest. It will take them days to find me. And in the end, I will have been half eaten by some large carnivorous plant. Everyone will be in shock. Over the water cooler people will be recounting the last time they saw me, and how well I seemed to be doing at the time. Nobody will be verbalizing what is really on their mind, which is how guilty they feel for not thinking to look beyond the facade, and insisting that I get out from under this heavy burden of grief.

The county coroner will conduct an autopsy, and make a curious find. Under all that soil, insect and larvae will be my face, with the biggest, and most peaceful, smile. My death certificate will say cause of death; "happily consumed by plant life." Upon further inspection the coroner will find that my veins are void of blood, instead filled with the roots of many species of plants.

My children will be so torn as to what to do with my body. They will remember that I was to be cremated, and my ashes mixed with Michael's. Yet they would know that I would not want to terminate the life of these plants that have taken root within me. In the end I will be buried in the back yard, without a box, and with Michael's ashes scattered all over me. By next spring a beautiful exotic garden will have emerge. It will be naturally laid out beautifully. The kids will go buy the large image of Buddha that I always looked at, but never bought. They will place it in the garden, along with a small koi pond. Two large stones will also be placed there for people to sit, and reflect.

Years will pass, and my children will have passed on. Yet generations of people will have come to this garden to experience it's peace and tranquility. There will be tales of how this garden came to be, yet no one will ever quite believe. They will instead choose to remain in disbelief, but never question the garden's healing and soothing properties.

Now, where was I?

Oh, yes, it was a quiet day.


  1. Wonderful - an urban myth garden. Love it.

  2. Agree with Dorthea - this is the stuff of urban myths.

    Sorry that, in spite of the clever posts, you have been hurting underneath. That's a feeling that is quite familiar to me too. Clever and funny on the outside, and quiet and sad on the inside. Fortunately, it comes and goes - rather like the tides here in the Bay of Fundy. Maybe that's why I feel better here - more in sync with the larger world.

    Reading about your plant purchases reminds of a rather scary period that I went through during my first winter in Arizona. I used to go for a daily walk with Sabrina at a conservation area down in the desert a few miles from where I live. There are trails along a small river sheltered by cottonwoods. I would sit for awhile on one of the benches located overlooking the riparian habitat. I'd often be feeling quite sad and would just sit and watch and listen to the birds. After my walk, I'd return to the van and often visit the birding visitor center next to the parking lot. They sell all kinds of field guides for everything from butterflies, to snakes. I would go in each day and buy one or two books. By the end of a couple of months, I had so many nature field guides to Arizona that I could have opened a library or study center for naturalists. I was well aware of what I was doing, but couldn't seem to make myself stop. I call that my "goddammit, I deserve this for all the crap I've been through" stage of grieving. For the most part, I'm over that now, but do have the occasional splurge - most of which are not too hard to justify as I'm fairly frugal in a good many ways. Still, some people would think they were funny - a UV flashlight for blacklighting for scorpions, a motion-detector night camera for photographing animals at night, and stuff like that. What the hell - why not, eh?

  3. Wow, what a post. I'm sorry things have been rough for you this week. If it provides any solace, the weeks leading up to the first "anniversary" of Austin's death were very difficult for me. The anticipation of having actually lived an entire year without him was completely overwhelming and I simply went through the motions of living while my soul was completely dragging bottom. But it did eventually work itself out once I passed March 20th. Not to say I don't fall back down (I was crying at work yesterday, but that's a different story). But the anticipation of the day is heavy and overwhelming. I hope you find some peace today.

  4. I know this is just an imagination of yours, but I love the idea of that kind of garden. But to be on the safe side, don't buy any large Venus Fly Trap.

  5. I love this dan - well, the part where you are consumed by plants. And bev, I am usually not a spender, but I have splurged over the last year on those funny to other people things. I think the same thought - after being forced into this, I think it is okay to buy -----. Each of us seems to go to their own, I don't know - specifics. Bug lighter-uppers, jungles, removable bottom tart pans, decent barn boots, a pitch fork.

    Dan - I find that part extra special challenging - appearing to outsiders as "doing better," when the reality is Not That. I also found the two weeks before and two weeks after the anniversary to be quite brutal, though I also had the ashes scattering ceremony almost 2 weeks after the actual date, and that extended the date-specific brutality.
    In other news, I may have internet at home again, and I will fb you my # - you can always call me, too.

  6. Regarding the stuff everybody is buying - it all sounds key to who each person is and their own interests. Not a bit frivolous, and an investment in self, which we deserve if not even NEED. Not like a day at the spa w/ mani-pedi or anything. Not that there's anything wrong with that.