Your Grief Weeds and Wildflowers


Your Grief Weeds and Wildflowers

During the month of March, we challenged you to take photos of grief weeds and wildflowers. I think our exact words were….

“Reminders of your loved one and your grief grow all around you.  Some of these reminders are like pretty wildflowers, bringing you closer to your loved one or providing you with a sense of joy, gratitude, or optimism.  Other reminders are more like weeds, causing you to feel sorrow, stuck, out of control.  This month we want you to share your grief weeds and wildflowers and we want to challenge you to share as many as you find.”

We received a ton of great photos in our Grief Weeds and Wildflowers gallery, on Facebook, and tagged on Instagram with the hashtags #griefweeds and #griefwildflowers.  I encourage you to check out submissions in all of these places.  To get you started, we’ve shared a handful of submissions below.

Shared on Instagram:

by @cecifrost

When I see the ocean it’s bittersweet. I feel refreshed by the crisp air coming from the west, I feel small while looking at a body of water that reaches farther than I can comprehend, and I feel home because of the many memories from childhood to teen years that include my mom. I guess the beach feels like a familiar hug. ❤ Is there a place or a thing like that for you? #griefwildflowers

by @thejoyfuljewelrybox

I’ve spent the past couple of days writing my story for an upcoming project that I am part of {which I’ll share more about later}. As you can imagine, it’s been an emotional time trying to capture my experience that can never fully be put into words and tell it in a way that will be helpful to others.

We are taught to keep the messy under wraps and act like nothing is wrong so it’s hard not to feel like I should stuff my words back in. But cliche as it might be, I keep reminding myself that if my story touches even just one person, then it was worth sharing.

So today I am showing up to shine a light on grief and loss and embracing the fact that my mess just might be helpful to someone else. Even though it’s scary as hell, it also brings me joy to break the silence in honor of my mom. #griefwildflowers

by @bmorehon

Today I was in a coffee shop next to a table with a father and teenage daughter, sitting in silence. I was overcome with an urge to say,“Ahhhh talk to each other, you have no idea how long you have or don’t have”.

I restrained that urge (both to avoid seeming like a crazy person and because I reminded myself that sometimes sitting in silence can be absolutely wonderful). But of course it had me reflecting on something so many express to us and that I have known all to well myself: all those moments taken for granted, invitations declined because we were too busy, words we wish we had said or hadn’t said. Most of us have them, and part of grief is learning to live with them, remembering we did the best we could with what we had and knew at the time. #griefweeds

To see more, head over to Instagram and search the hastags #griefweeds or #griefwildflowers

Shared on Facebook:

by Wendy Simpson

Knowing the sun will come out in the midst of my grief… reminding me who cares for me. #griefwildflowers

by Delia Ophira Shiffy

In 1996 my brother co-starred with Ryan Gosling in YTV Goosebumps in the episode ‘Say Cheese and Die’. This was before Ryan became famous. They filmed in the distillery district and I believe it was this building.

My brother was known to friends as “the goosebumps kid“. Two weeks ago I went to Toronto Light Fest, and even though I was by myself, I wanted to take a stand alone shot of this angel art installation against the building with the strobe light shooting to heaven. It felt comforting and, for a moment, I felt watched over.

Lately I feel tangled because it’s been hard getting stable work since 2014 when my dad and brother passed away. So now, while I’m in school, I’m trying to find myself again. I miss the old me and I don’t feel at ease because of the rollercoaster of financial burden. I get angry sometimes that they left me behind with no answers, and with the feeling that I’m losing faith . My dad and brother were taken too soon, but never forgotten. I call this piece “Where I Once Stood” #griefwildflower #griefweed

Shared in the March Gallery:

(If we’ve credited your entry as ‘Anonymous’ and you would like to be credited by your name, please email us at whatsyourgrief@gmail.com)

‘Driving Through the Weeds’ by Anonymous

Very rarely do I find myself driving on a highway with no traffic. On this particularly gray day the road ahead of me was empty. As I looked ahead and realized how alone I was and how colorless the world looked I felt the familiar ache start in my chest, the lump grow in my throat and tears form in my eyes. This empty stretch of highway, this colorless day represented how the death of my son has changed my world. How empty, alone, lonely and colorless my life feels without him. The weeds had taken hold.

Floating Weeds and Wildflowers by Anonymous

Participating in an annual floating memorial with my grief community was overwhelmingly painful. As I watched my son’s face float by attached to big paper boats I held my breath so my screams would stay in my throat. The roots of this weed went deep into my soul. I wanted to yank them out and run. What was suppose to be a loving, fun way to remember loved ones felt like an ocean of thorny weeds. I’m hoping one day this annual activity will grow into a lovely wildflower but for now it’s rooted as a weed.

‘Devil’s Den, Gettysburg’ by Anonymous

Below Little Round Top, in Gettysburg, is a stream-bed that ran with the blood of the soldiers who died there, a part of the battleground called “Devil’s Den.” This past fall my daughter and I visited Gettysburg, our first trip together without my husband, her father, who died April 13, 2016. This spot was poignant; it was so beautiful with flowers and butterflies, but also the site of so much grief for so many people. And in the background was Little Round Top–a place I remember visiting with my husband when I was pregnant with our daughter. So beautiful, so much grief, in this one spot.

‘Astilbe’ by Anonymous

I had to have a bridal bouquet of astilbe flowers after I saw them online. It was a special order, even some of the florists hadn’t heard of this flower. I got so many compliments and inquiries about that flower. My mother, on the other hand, was not impressed with the astilbe flowers. “Looks like weeds”, she had said. I can hear her saying it and it makes my heart laugh a tiny bit. My sweet mother who gave me everything including all the love of the whole world and that beautiful wedding. She never looked more radiant as she did at my wedding, so I gaze on these photos so often now. Her, me, the weeds. ~withandwithoutblog

To see more, head over to the March Collection Photo Gallery

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