And every day you cry over the deaths of the flowers. Why are they dying? I don’t want them to die. Can we have the exact same flowers for next spring and summer?
I say, Oh, I know, it is sad. But this is the cycle of the seasons, the wheel of the year. It will get colder now, everything will rest to get ready for spring. The leaves go back into the earth, to help replenish nutrients. And some flowers do come back, year after year.
Your sister accepts these small deaths, she tries to explain to you. Still, your mourn for all the colourful little souls, for those things you attach life and meaning to.
And we are in a season of questions.
Do you miss your Grandma Annie? Were you sad when she died? Is our Nana dying?
Why is Great Nana so old? What day will she die? Will you watch her die?
I don’t want to die.
And the gift in this is my own healing. Death has troubled me greatly, and as I try to impart to you what I realise I believe, I find a sort of quiet peace even as I muddle my way through these sometimes painful discussions.
Because the truth is, life is full of seasons. How much you have both changed in four years. How much I have changed in 35. Sometimes we weep, sometimes we laugh, always we grow – even when it hurts, even when it seems unfathomable that we will come out the other side. You haven’t known that sort of pain, and I hope you remain in this world of possibilities, of theoretical deaths, for as long as possible.
The old leaves have to fall, I say, to make room for the new. Each generation nourishes the one to follow. And in this season of deeper questions, powerful discussions of conception and birth and death, I feel ancestors stretching behind me, hopefully nodding in approval.
And looking at the two of you, I finally see the generations ahead.