Autumn and Grief

autumn-leafEdging up on the one-year anniversary of my mom’s death, I had an uneasy feeling.  There’s something about autumn and grief: too closely aligned for a smooth sail through.  The first turning leaves and yesterday’s rain proved me right.  With every gust and falling leaf, I wanted to say, “Don’t go.  Too soon.” 

Leo Buscaglia makes me feel a little better about fall and grief.  In his children’s book for all ages, “The Fall of Freddie the Leaf,” he sees death through the eyes of Freddie, a leaf who sees his friends fall from the tree daily, and his wise friend Daniel, who assures him that the “season of death” is just as natural as Spring and Summer.

Still, I wish my mom had chosen a different time. Spring maybe when bulbs were just popping up or a sweltering summer day when kids were whooping and running through sprinklers.  Winter might have worked.  “Hang in,” she would have been saying. “Spring’s just around the corner.” 

Reluctantly, though, I get it.  A gardener, in tune with the seasons, she probably preferred fall. “Death is a part of life,” she used to say.  What better time to let go than with the leaves?

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