In the Garden

Thank you for your kind comments and emails.  As you probably guessed, Mom is no longer with us.  I have some things I’d like to share about the intense time in late August, during and after her death, but not now.

On the copy of her legal will in the metal box with all her important papers, she had hand-scrawled an addition at the top of the cover page twenty years ago. “At my funeral, please have my friend Barbara sing the old hymn called “In the Garden.””  My good friend Karen and I were able to sing it to her immediately before she died, with her best friend Barbara on speakerphone singing along with us at her bedside when she was just leaving consciousness.  We’ll all sing it again at her service. 

Some of her ashes went into my garden right away, and her gardening hat sits on the fence by the flowers she loved, where the birds she adored love to peck around for seeds as fall descends.  I like having that tangible physical space so close by to honor her with, to leave treats and flowers, to talk to her when her memory calls me.  A cemetery would be much too far away, even if it were in our town.  Now I understand in my heart why so many cultures create shrines at their homes for their ancestors.

Life is moving along.  We’re planning her memorial service out east in early October.  Grief was overwhelming the first few days, and now comes and goes in gentler waves that I can embrace and let move through me.  I’m sifting and winnowing my emotions, her belongings, the memories, the space.  Light and shadows, always shifting.  Not bad, not good.  Bittersweet transition time.  Deep sadness for the physical end to such a sweet, long-in-coming friendship with my dear mother that I only knew for a handful of years of my life, and profound relief that the long suffering from her illness has lifted for both of us.

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5 Responses to In the Garden

  1. Relief here, too, for you both.

    Thank you for letting us know.

    With love,


  2. s*kate says:

    just catching up…. I’m relieved for you to, and in awe of your grace and deep, deep intelligence with all that has happened. Lots of love your way, kate.

  3. terry1954 says:

    I am writing because I was searching information across the internet and fell onto your blog, and since I write on this blog, I decided to write to you. The doctors say my brother is now in the fifth stage of PD, but I find it strange that for the last four days, his tremors have calmed way down, his smiles are back more, and tonight he even washed the few glasses in the sink. I was dumbfounded, to say the least. Do you know if they go through an improvement stage, if this is what this would be called? Usually he is in tears, talks about death and sad each and every day, and the tremors are always present, but now……..totally different

    • Megan says:

      Thanks Lesley and Kate for listening, and Terry, all I know is that these kinds of diseases are full of surprises, and even the best doctors don’t really understand what’s possible or what’ll transpire. So if you can roll with whatever comes and try to keep your mind open and expectations low, that’s my best advice. Take care and my best to you and your brother.

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