There's rosemary, that's for remembrance… fennel, lemon balm, mint - a symbol of the pot that she always kept filled and from which she abundantly fed me… buddleia and echinacea, for the butterflies and bees, for she is their sister, at one with Nature.
My Mother was a weakly child - indeed at her birth, the second twin to emerge, she was 'covered over', given up for dead, until the midwife saw movement under the coverlet and heard the faint signs of breathing. That was just the start of a life of poverty and struggle for my beloved Welsh Mam; of much unhappiness, above which she rose with the grace of an angel. Her survival mechanism was simple: she loved everyone - humans as best she could, animals unconditionally. A legacy that she passed on to me, though I live it very poorly in comparison to the open heart with which she engaged with Life.
2 years old, Mam on the right, her twin sister 'Floss' on the left
To be honest, I am surprised by the depth of the grief that I have felt today, on what would have been her 100th Birthday. I think I have processed it, put it all behind me, 'dealt with it' - and then - on a glorious autumn day, the sun shines, I pick flowers from the herb garden to place on her grave, and grief rises in my throat and leaks out through my eyes. Grief - the price you pay for love, never completely goes away.
Along the lane to the graveyard in Highclere Park
Alongside the graveyard - the Chapel in the Park
Entrance to the graveyard
The steep slope leading down to her interment, under the trees
I've been up to the graveyard in Highclere Park this morning, to put some flowers on her grave, but in truth, she is not really there for me. Though her mortal remains lie in the most idyllic spot, in the end it is just a stone over some ashes of bone.
Autumn sunlight on the old graves