The Anniversary

April 23rd, 2012

Photos by Camille

A close up of the feathers of the day.

Grief has its own timetable.  The day before the anniversary presented with hours of dull and heavy slow motion. I found it difficult to think clearly or take action.  An interesting study in mindfulness which I observed from a distance.  Not anxious or depressed, but a with a hint of immobilization. I lacked the ability to worry about things that I couldn’t control, as I’m inclined to do on an ordinary day. Now there’s a concept that I would like to take with me into every moment of my life. Yoga has taught me that a single pose does not last forever, so sink into it, explore it. The heaviness with a life of its own left as suddenly as it had arrived, in the evening, before dark.

Camille and The SC spent Friday, April 20th, together.  We buried some of Nelson’s ashes in the rose garden, which is behind the blue wooden fence in the first photo and shown in past posts HERE and HERE.  This had been his request. To commemorate the day, I wore a vintage pale blue embroidered silk kimono which usually hangs on a purple fabric covered hanger on the closet door of my bedroom. The vintage fuchsia feather headpiece spoke to me from its perch in the hat room and flew to my head announcing it was the only hat in the room appropriate for the day.  I was intrigued by the third photo above; the image reveals my hair moving suddenly from red to fuchsia (how quickly things change), underneath the mini chandelier which hangs off a tree branch above my head.  The tree decor becomes an accidental extension of my headwear as it miraculously defies gravity.

As the day unfolded, we traveled to a number of personal historical sites, scattering a few ashes to the wind along the way and covering the full range of emotions in the process.  The bar where we met which is no longer a bar. The places where we lived, worked and played.  We moved through the city for hours on our tour of remembrance.  The SC had a story to tell at each location; family lore to pass on to our daughter.

Another passage has been completed as I enter the beginning of the second year and reflect upon the significance of the past, the reality of the present and the allure of the future.

25 Responses to “The Anniversary”

  1. Willa

    Judith, thank you for sharing your rutual of remembrance and the feelings that accompanied the anniversary day. It takes courage to articulate these things, and you have demonstrated, time and again, both an adaucious pluck and an uncommon resolve in your posts in the year and a half that I have followed them. You are a strong and impressive woman, and you are a survivor. I admire you in many ways. Not onlly are you a wise crone, but you are indeed a stylish one, which leads me to declare your kimono and headpiece are the perfect pieces for marking this day and the garden rutual. The kimono’s bird is full of life, and the fuchsia feathers are a lovely complement to the robe and your hair. — All indications are that you still have many insights to pass along to your daughter, your friends and community, and your devoted readers. Peace be with you.

  2. Pam@over50feeling40

    The legacy you and Nelson have left for your daughter is powerful…true love stories are unfortunately rare these days. The journey you took her on will stay in her heart her entire life. You are an amazing women, Judith!

  3. WendyB

    I thought you’d gone pink in the hair like Zandra Rhodes! 😀

  4. jeanne

    you stun me with incredible way of processing it all and writing it down.
    I thank you so much!

    Lots of love sent your way!

  5. Desiree

    I’m stunned it’s been a year already Judith. I do remember having stumbled upon your beautiful blog while Nelson was having treatment … near the end. I remember the lilacs were flowering. I’m so touched by the way you describe your feelings and how fully experiencing your yoga postures has helped you to explore your feelings of grief and your movement through life. I’m so glad you chose the absolutely stunning feather head piece and kimono to show us. You’re like a phoenix being re-born. Thank you for all your kind words Judith, I think of you often and marvel at your phenomenal strength and tenacity. Molti baci, Desiree xoxoxo

  6. Corinne

    No words can ever express the many shapes of grief. Each one is special to that moment and to that person. Your experience has been so well documented here. Anniversary dates are probably more of a challenge for all of us. I am still at the phase of remembering weekly dates and events that changed my life. I hope that will soon run its course.

    Such a wonderful experience to share with your daughter. Creating memories with her that includes your history and your lives together. Take care. As this second year evolves day by day, your insights into this grief process is comforting to us all.

  7. Patti @ NotDeadYet Style

    You are so beautiful in that robe and hat. I love that you can share your memories with Camille, and she will carry them on as well. My thoughts are with you in these last few days, and I thank you for sharing *your* thoughts with us.

  8. Jean

    As I opened up this post, as soon as I saw your beautiful kimono, my mind screamed “The Phoenix, the Phoenix!!” Although you didn’t mention it, that’s what I saw, rising from the ashes.

    You are That, he is That, we are That, together. To me this post reflects your intuitive Crone, in all it’s power and beauty.

    With love and gratitude,


  9. Terri

    The kimono is such a gorgeous color and the embroidery is intricate in the ways our lives become over the course of a long married life. It seems that you and Camille found a wonderful way to commemorate N. I paused as I read because DH and I celebrate 16 years together this year. And in this culture where we live, many of the places that were significant to us even that recently are now gone.

  10. Veshoevius

    What a beautiful kimino and such a tender ritual. And how lovely to share these memories in this way with your daughter.

  11. Melanie

    I read your post and then had to leave to think about it. I’m back again. First, the beauty of these photos seems fragile and precious. I don’t know if you noticed but in the first photo too, the statuette, you, and the chandelier all line up, so unplanned, so much a moment in time – which is such a lovely visual reflection of how you poetically described the emotional transitions of this anniversary. The solid fence and building are on the left, you are in the middle, and the flowers are on the right. Even your hair colour, red on the left and fuchsia feathers on the right with the flowers. How does this magic happen?

  12. carolyn

    well done my friend


    Nelso, like us, will be so happy to see you in that wonderful blue.
    I cannot believe that the people we love so much gor away from our side for ever.
    The photos are so wonderful, such a good job of Camille.
    Much love and admiration, my dear JUdith.

  14. L Armond

    It is glorious.

  15. RobinDenning

    The feather hat and the blue silk kimono are astonishing – I studied the photos for several minutes.
    I don’t know what I enjoyed more, the photos or your writing. Well, I don’t need to choose, do I?
    You bring beauty to the world.

  16. Tamera Beardsley

    The depth and beauty of your blog is always a constant. Thank you for sharing your soul. Again, I am so grateful to have found your blog! Peace be with you.

  17. ariane

    Hi Judith,

    Beautiful pics! and beautiful writing – I took several bouddhist workshops when i was in a difficult period of my life – I retained one important thing – nothing stays the same, all is in constant movement, what is now does not exist anymore the next second…and i learned as well not to worry when you do not have the control, live the present and deal with what will happen – there is a solution to everything – and i strongly believe as well that you can change your life – you are the maker of your life –
    Mr.D and I are working slowly towards a big, big project!

    Love your kimono such nice colors!

    Ariane xxxx

  18. rose

    You have faced the worst times imaginable, and yet you are still true to yourself, and show such bravery. Hats off to you, dear girl.

    Much love from England,

  19. Sheila

    You look lovely in this, Judith – I particularly find the swoosh of fuscia feathers so fetching in your red hair.

    I am touched by your ritual to honour your love; so important in grieving to have those slow times of remembrance.

    Sending good vibes to you, Judith.

  20. Susan Tiner

    Your writing always moves me, often to tears. You look very beautiful Judith. I am sending hugs and warm thoughts.

  21. Lonnie

    You are so beautiful, so beautiful. You love brightly. You love deeply. You are so beautiful.

  22. Shelley

    This is a very moving post, and I really didn’t know what to add, as the first comment by Willa pretty much says it perfectly. I was thinking about you during this time, and knew you would find a meaningful way to mark the anniversary. You are lovely, inside and out, and I’m sending you a warm hug.

  23. megan, the frugalista diaries

    those feathers, amazing.

  24. Nicole

    Beautiful and touching piece. I feel very moved as it made me reflect on my own grief I’ve faced from cancer and infertility and the healing process. Sending you good vibes today.

  25. Krista

    You are proof we are stronger than we know. I can’t comprehend this grief and the thought of it cripples me. Yet you not only survive, you thrive. This kimono has to be the prettiest one ever made, the colors I’m loving. Your playful hot pink feathers are my favorite part of this visual gesture of love and adoration, undying.

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