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Celebrating Love and Legacy - The Tradition of Roses

Grieving the loss of a loved one is a profound and deeply personal journey, one that we each navigate in our own unique way. It's a journey filled with many emotions and memories, often accompanied by a yearning to keep the connection alive, to honour and celebrate their profound impact on our lives. This shared desire for connection led me to a tradition that has since become a beacon of light in moments of sorrow, especially when I was commemorating my grandmother. The journey of grief is a complex one, filled with sadness, yearning, heartache, and so many more, and it is through this journey that we can find solace and healing.

My grandmother was an extraordinary woman who provided constant comfort in my life. Grandparents hold a unique and irreplaceable place in our hearts, and their wisdom and love shape our family stories, influencing us in countless ways. The bond shared with a grandparent is a treasure; losing them can leave a void filled with longing and memories. The bond I shared with my grandmother often involved playing games like crokinole and cards or embarking on culinary adventures. Each baking and subsequent eating session, along with our shared recipes and a wild game of old maid, served as a delightful reminder of our connection. This bond is something I continue to cherish and honour through the tradition of playing games, baking and sharing recipes.

It was my grandmother's 80th birthday, and I was searching for the perfect gift. But what do you give someone who has already lived a lifetime, whose presence alone feels like a gift? Flowers came into my mind, and I decided to buy her a bouquet of salmon pink roses, which would grow to symbolize our love. The joy it brought her was immense as if those delicate petals carried within them the entirety of my affection and admiration for her. Those roses became more than just a gift; they symbolized our bond and the love we shared.

When my grandmother passed away many years later, she left behind a legacy of love and resilience that continues to inspire me. In her memory, I made a promise to continue buying roses every year on her birthday. This act, though seemingly small, holds immense significance for me. It is a way to remember and celebrate her life, her teachings, and the love we shared. The tradition of buying roses, a symbol of our bond, became a source of comfort and a beacon of hope in my journey of grief, showing me that even in the darkest times, there is light and healing to be found in meaningful traditions.

Salmon pink roses became our silent connection, speaking volumes in their simplicity. Each petal held the essence of our bond, the warmth of her embrace. The colour salmon pink, a blend of red and white, symbolized the love and purity of our relationship. They were a reminder that even in her absence, her love continued to bloom eternal. This symbolism, the blending of red and white, two colours that represent love and purity, perfectly encapsulated the essence of our relationship, making the roses even more meaningful to me.

Losing my grandmother left an emptiness in my heart that seemed impossible to fill. The waves of grief were relentless, crashing over me with a force that threatened to pull me under. But amidst the darkness, there was a glimmer of light - the tradition of buying roses on her birthday. Each year, as I select the perfect roses and place them in a vase, I feel a sense of peace and connection. It became my lifeline, a tangible connection to her spirit that continues guiding me through the darkest nights. Buying and arranging the roses, the scent and beauty they bring into my home, and the memories they evoke all helped me in ways I did not realize would happen when choosing some roses to celebrate my grandma's birthday many years ago.

If you're struggling to cope with the loss of a loved one, especially a grandparent, know that you're not alone. It's important to reach out for support during this challenging time. There are many organizations and online forums that offer grief support groups, like the one I run monthly, in person, in London, Ontario, where you can connect with others who understand what you're going through. Reaching for professional support is also helpful, and I would be honoured to walk with you on this journey of grief. And remember to explore the resources available on my website, where you'll find articles, podcasts, and other tools to support you on your journey toward healing. You are not alone in this, and there are many avenues of support and guidance available to you.

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