After my second child was born, my neighbor asked if he could plant a pear tree in my yard to mate with his pear tree. It was perfect because I was struggling with what to do with my son’s placenta, and it just clicked, we needed to bury it. His tree bloomed so quickly, and beautifully. So quick it was actually growing pears at two years old. My neighbor joked and called it “placenta power”.
When my third baby was born, I knew I wanted to plant a new tree and bury her placenta under it too. I was planning on hiring someone to do it, since I have the opposite of a green thumb, but everything changed when my mom died two months after my daughter was born. When I got my mom’s ashes, I knew that I needed to bury some of her ashes with the placenta under the tree. But I needed to do it myself.
There was something about the magic of the placenta, maybe it would provide some peace with the pain.
I would plant it myself. I would find a way. I took a day digging the hole and crying. Letting my grief guide me through the digging, releasing everything I was holding inside me through the shovel.
When the tree arrived it was beautiful and full of lavender purple flowers. The perfect tiny little tree. I went and got the placenta from the freezer and put it in the hole first. I dropped to the ground crying.
I wasn’t ready, but no one is ever prepared for loss, and letting go.
I took a deep breath and scattered my mom’s ashes on top of my daughter’s placenta. So they could become one. Life and death together in one place. I placed the tree’s roots in just the right place so they would also connect to the placenta. My oldest daughter came outside and helped me place the dirt back into the ground. When we were finally done I was so proud, my mom would have been proud too…I did it. All I could do now was hope it would properly bloom.
Months went by, almost two years, and it didn’t look like it was going to bloom. I was devastated. That feeling coincided with all the feelings of missing my mom, and not feeling her around me anymore. I desperately searched for a connection to her. Every day I’d look out at that tree, hoping to see something change, but it never happened. That is, until today.
I decided to go outside and do some weeding, something my mom really enjoyed doing at my house. There was a moment when I unintentionally looked over at the tiny little tree I planted, and there they were. A few perfect purple flowers, finally blooming.
Tears came down my face, finally, I felt her with me again. It was like the world was showing me it will be okay. I’ll be okay. Time may not always heal the wounds, but we all will bloom again when we are ready.
This post originally appeared on Birth Boobs and Babies. It has been reprinted with permission.
Britney Longarzo is the mama of 3 kiddos, a birth doula, and can usually be found wrapped in a cozy robe (even in the summer). Britney writes about all things #momlife on her blog, Birth Boobs and Babies. She has also been featured on Her View From Home, Scary Mommy and Pregnant Chicken. You can follow her on Facebook and on her website Birth, Boobs and Babies.