My sister went through a tragic loss one month and two days ago. The month has gone by in a blur. It somehow simultaneously feels like it has always been this way, and that it just happened yesterday. If you’re wondering what happened, her twenty-five-year-old son died. In fact, he died unexpectedly on Mother’s Day. My beautiful nephew, her beloved son, woke up feeling ill and went back to sleep. He never woke up.
I still can’t get my head around it. How can someone so full of life be here one minute and gone the next? They became worried when he didn’t turn up to Mother’s Day lunch. It was just the worst thing in the world, and it hasn’t gotten any better a month on… not that I would expect it to.
As soon as it happened she asked us not to buy her any pretty dwarf roses or any flowers at all, for that matter. As much as she loves flowers normally, she didn’t want people to spend money on them. Instead, she asked anyone who wanted to buy flowers to donate the money they would have spent to charity. Even in the absolute darkest moment of her life, she was still thinking about other people. She, her son and her family did not deserve this.
As her sister, I took a bit of liberty with the rule. I decided to buy her something that she could grow and look after over the long term. There were climbing roses for sale at my local farmers market the day after my nephew died. I felt like it was a sign. My sister can plant the climbing roses near a fence in her yard and look after them. She can channel all her sadness into looking after these flowers, which will grow beautiful and strong just like her son. Every time a new rose blossoms it’ll be her son saying hello and letting her know that he’s okay.