A better me because of you

We all have bucket lists of some form or another, learn to cook, run a marathon, travel etc. I always had things in the back of my head that I wanted to do, but just like the garden  I always wanted and never grew until after losing her. I never did those others things either, but suddenly I had to occupy my mind and body so I did them.

Canuck Place Adventure Race 10k, Run for water 5k, BCCH Child Run 1k and 5k, Tough Mudder16k, Vancouver Sun Run 10k

Canuck Place Adventure Race 10k, Run for water 5k, BCCH Child Run 1k and 5k, Tough Mudder16k, Vancouver Sun Run 10k

These are the races I ran over the last 3 years since her passing I have raised over $15,000. for BC Childrens Hospital and Canucks Place Childrens Hospice. I feel proud of her for encouraging me to do the things I always secretly wanted to. I’ve adopted a street I maintain in her honor and I donate blood 3x/year for her. She has made me a better person. The loss of her has taught me that life is precious, life is short and what you do should be meaningful, if only to you.

Lily’s Tree

Lily's Tree

When I was 6 months pregnant with Lily I had an urge to plant a new tree in my yard, my thought was to watch it, and her grow together, I would always know how long the tree was there because it would be the same age as her. I chose a beautiful red Japanese maple tree. I planted right in my front yard; it greets me every time I pull in the driveway.

After lily died, it was hard to look at my tree and not think of her, her name pops into my head when I see the tree; Lily’s tree.

1 dwarf cherry tree, 1 plum tree, 1 apple tree, 1 azalea, 1 lavender bush, 2 rose bushes, 3 blueberry bushes, 4 strawberry bushes, 10 hedge trees, , multiple vegetables yearly in my vegetable garden.

I became obsessed with wanting to grow things, walking in nature; I spent many hours outside staring at tree tops and crying. I told my husband I wanted to build a garden box, I had always wanted to plant and grow things and since I didn’t have a baby taking up my time why not now. The first thing I planted in my garden was Lilies of course and they come back to greet me each July.

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Thank you my angel.

Thanks for reading.

Namaste

 

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Grief and Loss Books

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MY TOP BOOKS ON GRIEF AND LOSS

In the dark hours and days/weeks after someone dies we often lay in the literal dark not able to shut off our minds, only wanting to sleep so the pain is not so physical; literal, as it is mental in those early days. Consumed with anguish, grief and loss. We search endlessly for books, articles, websites to help us understand what we are feeling, to know we are not alone, to help up cope. I have read many, many books on grief in the 5 short years since my daughters death, the ones that helped me cope were actually the fictional stories of parents suffering though a tragedy, in a very morbid way I was comforted. But I also read many books written specifically to help the bereaved and as I, 5 years ago would have loved to have stumbled upon a list of grief books, I didn’t, so I will share the top that helped me then and the ones I have read more recently to this day, when my daughter should be 5.5 years old.

#1 –   “no death, no fear” , (2002)  by Thich Nhat Hanh

#2 – “A Grief Observed”,  (1961) by C.S. Lewis

#3 – “Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief”, (1994)by Martha Whitmore Hickman

#4 – “The Bereaved Parent”, (1977) by Harriett S. Schiff

#5 – No Time To Say Goodbye: Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One”,   (1996) by Carla Fine.

#6 – “The Trauma of Everyday Life”,  (2013)  by Mark Epstein

#7 – “Wave”, (2013) by Sonali Deraniyagala

#8 – “Option B”,  (2017) by Sheryl Sandberg

#9 – “A Gift of Hope” (2012) & “His bright Light: The story of Nick Traina” (1998) by Danielle Steele

#10 – “Her”, (2013)  by Christa Parravani

#11 – “A Wind from the East” , (2016)  by Wendy Dartnall

 

 

 

Thanks for reading,

Namaste

Sheri

Would you turn off your mind if you could?

How complex our minds can be. How simple our minds can be. How do we learn to shut them off? Can you or would you even if you could?

I roll my sweet baby girl around the floor as she giggles with the joy of being played with by the most important person in her world, the one who birthed her the one who still feeds her from her body. I stop, she stares into nothingness and  without a  moments notice I am ripped away from this beautiful present and taken to that horrible night of my beautiful but broken 2 month old baby girl who lay on this very same carpet in this very same spot struggling to breathe, myself screaming at my husband to call 911, desperately trying to remember the infant CPR course I had taken not but a year and a half earlier for no real reason but for maybe this…I quickly pick up my healthy six month old girl that bares incredible resemblance to her sister, the dimple, the cheeks, the button nose they share. I stand up trying to get the horrifying image out of my mind, trying to forget but then of course the guilt comes, why do I want to forget, I should embrace that pain because it is for her. My angel.

Yesterday I planted flower bulbs around the two foot sitting angel that I placed in my garden recently. I cant wait to watch them bloom around her next spring.

My 5-year-old son helped me and as we were raking the dirt around the angel he said –  “thank you for buying this angel mom cause I been missing lily a lot” I said -“I know me too”. He said –  “can I call it Lily mom?” I said -“of course”(god I love this boy!) I bought it with her in mind, she is my Lily in my mind, sitting, watching, silently helping.

And at the end of that day as I lay in my bed thankful that my kids are safely tucked in theirs. I go over the day, a simple day of playing with my kids and gardening but a complex day for what my mind went through or perhaps for what it put me through. Sometimes I think having a simpler mind would be easier. Sometimes I am glad for the torture and awareness a complex mind gives and sometimes I want it to just shut up so I can finally go to sleep!

My Angel in My Garden

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My Angel in my Garden

After Lily died I would sit outside for hours just staring, at trees, at plants, shrubs, leaves on the ground. Mulling over life. Why we suffer. Why some survive while others do not. When I look at life as a continuing cycle of nature I am better able to understand life followed by death a bit more clear. Not with less sadness but with less confusion.
I wanted to watch things grow. I wanted the stillness and very realness that is nature. My first mothers day after Lily died in 2012 my boys gave me an apple tree. I planted in my backyard.(seen here) I put the Buddha there for calmness when I sit and stare and now my angel to sit with me.