peonies full bloom white

May eighth, you come without notice. After three years, you would think I would be mindful of your coming and yet you come and you take. A week ago, I greeted May, all bustle and business until it stopped me and put me in my place- the clock is ticking. You will soon be here again. I do not look forward to your visits or your interruptions, but death does that all the time, doesn’t he?

Dad, you left without notice. After three years, you would think I would be seamless and utterly stitched back together, and yet your anniversary comes and it steals joy away, even if just a little bit, even if just for a day (Write it!). The clock is ticking- how did I never hear its music?

A week ago, I bought myself flowers- blowsy peonies all flush in their fuchsia gall, almost garish in their enthusiasm. Those pom poms perked up a section of the kitchen with their cheers and thrill to be alive. Little did it seem fitting that they too might play the role of teacher. And yet, their cheer changed…

peonies falling apart

peonies petals falling

peonies another pale perspective

peonies full bloom white

peonies pink tinge




– how the color fades so quickly – how the bloom falls from the stem or how it fights to hold on until it withers in place – how little I understood then about the nature of love and about the truth of life – you, peonies caught me off guard but ready to be reminded of how fleeting the beauty of life is – and how the end is the beginning. Life and death as book ends for a love that will not fade or fall apart.


  1. I love this piece. Peonies are my favorite flower, and they are so gorgeous, messy, and more fragile than they appear… Sort of like life. Sending you so much love on this difficult day

    1. Thanks Sabrina. I found myself kind of stunned by their bright pink beauty and how quickly it faded off the bloom. It inspired me to tell the story differently about grief and loss and coping and healing and being okay until for a moment or a day you’re not. I am so very hopeful when it comes to thinking about my Dad now. Yet, I would venture to say that for anyone who’s lost someone they love, they would just like a little bit more of them – to hear their voice singing in a strong Bass or calling out their nickname one more time. That can be where it gets dicey. I appreciate your love and send you mine as you’re going through your own valley.

  2. Crazy how dramatic their change! Grief and loss is such a comparatively shocking, awkward thing to see and experience. The waves. The stages. The fading and draining of life, in some instances. Peace be with you.

    1. Thanks Amanda. It really is / was dramatic. That’s how quickly things can turn… for the better or the worse. Best to celebrate now and love on the people today perhaps even in light of that tomorrow far off. His death has shown me another way to love. But I still miss him. And that’s okay.

    1. Thanks Olga. I’m listening to opera. I baked brownies and am burning my yahrzeit candle. Somehow I think he would be all in favor. His former chocolate drawer tells me so.

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