Gardening – The Best Way to Spend Time with Your Lost Love

Jan and I were different in so many ways. Most of our likes and dislikes were totally opposite and I always maintained that this was why we were so close. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? But I think our disagreements created a positive energy in our marriage that just resulted in raising the level of our love and excitement for each other. But we did have one love in common – the love of gardening. In the spring we would both work from day to night in various parts of the yard only getting together every so often to admire each other’s work. The results were always spectacular! Since losing Jan my own gardening has become both a tremendously lonely experience and one that brings me constantly closer to her. The first summer after losing her I worked harder than I ever did to create a garden that was good enough to dedicate to her. The problem was that there was nobody there to see it. Gardening provides so many metaphors for the grieving process. Only gardeners really understand the amount of planning, tending, preparation, digging, deadheading, and other work that goes into creating a garden. The same amount of this hard work goes into the grieving process.


The cycle of perennial gardening is the perfect example of life itself. You plant it, it grows, you nourish and feed it, it flourishes, and then it fades, and finally dies away. But then it’s reborn again the next season. I think of Jan as being reborn and reunited with me with each plant that I nurture each year. Using the gardening as a metaphor in that way provides me with tremendous comfort. Perhaps it’s good that I garden alone now because most people would probably think I’m crazy when I talk to my plants as if they were my best friend

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Comment by Barbara Rieger on September 21, 2016 at 10:14pm
Lindsay, the above message from me is in a message I sent to you. I hope you find it. I responded when I received notice that you posted.
Comment by Barbara Rieger on September 21, 2016 at 9:55pm

Hi Lindsay,

I left a sentence for you on Latest Conversations. In case you don't see it I wrote: Your post on the latest conversations peaked my interest.

Your post is absolutely lovely. I admire the love you and Jan continue to have since forever. If and when you respond I will tell you more as to why I'm responding to your beautiful post.

Please accept my sincere condolences on the loss of your Jan in the garden you both loved so much working beside each other.

I am a member of loss of a child, loss of parents, and loss of a sibling. It was 5 years after the loss of my only child Joe that I learned my first husband and my son Joe's biological father passed. I've been remarried for many years since Joe was 4 1/2 years old. My  husband wanted to adopt Joe when he decided we should be a package deal. My husband feels the loss of his son as he has indeed been his father since even before he adopted Joe.


Barbara Rieger

Comment by Harold McKinstry on September 21, 2016 at 6:55pm

We had a Butterfly Garden, my Wife got sick and couldn't do much in the Garden. I was working and doing extra things around the house, the Garden got neglected. After she passed away I decided to quit working, had lots of time on my hands. Decided to dedicate the Garden to Diane, once I decided what to do it became an obsession. I worked on it every day for two weeks straight, my back wasn't real happy with me, but it turned out Beautiful. I thinned out some plants, planted new ones, got some concrete Angels and Plaques with sayings about loss of Diane. I outlines it with stones, made my own stepping stones of her favorite things, Angels and Butterflies. We had an Arbor that fell apart, she always said it would look better in the back entrance to the Garden, so I built one and she was right it did look better in the back. The Garden has never done as well,there was a Butterfly Bush she was going to get rid off it has taken off like crazy. Every day there is at least two Monarch Butterflies, bunch of Bee's and even Hummingbird. I feel Peace when I'm working in the Garden and close to Diane. Not looking forward to the Winter months when there is nothing to do in the Garden. I have a lot of pictures of the flowers and the Butterflies seem to pose for me. Even in the Winter I can sit in the Family Room and look out on the Garden, it has a beauty of it's own of things to come.     

Comment by David, BERNIE's dad on September 21, 2016 at 5:01pm

My son Bernie and I had some good times gardening.

I heartily recommend it for remembering those who have died.

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