"We leave seeds behind when we leave our lifetime for good
- what are you leaving behind for others to remember?"
- Lori Freed

"You know what love is? Love is the truth.
I have said for decades I am the walking truth.
I realize now I am also saying I am the walking love. Everyone is. Even you. If you allow yourself to walk in your real Truth."
-Lori Freed

"Did you know You are Love? Did you forget?
I’m just stopping by to remind you."
- Lori Freed

“Fear is the absence of love. If you live from love - fear cannot lead your life.
Your heart cannot hold fear where there is love. It just can’t. Only the mind can.“
-Lori Freed

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”
― Lao Tzu

"I am Impelled by love. I am rooted in it -
and I will grow it like a tree and its leaves;
like a flower and it’s petals. Should my leaves
and petals fall off into their season of mourning,
- I will grow them again when I rise again as the root of love."
-Lori Freed

"If not now, when? If not you...then who? Be a living miracle of love."

"I am love and I have been in existence ever since forever.
And I will be with you faithfully into wherever hereafter..."
-Lori Freed

"Love is a decision. Not an emotion.”
― Lao Tzu

"Your perception is your reality- what are you perceiving? Whatever it is -
it will be your feeling you carry around. Choose to perceive Love and feel it. You will be so much more at peace."
-Lori Freed

"Love does not exist to be the exception in our lives- it was created to be the rule."
- Lori Freed

“If you are judging someone you’re not loving that someone.”
-Lori Freed

"Confidence and love alone cast out fear."
- Ernest Holmes

"I have said for years that the most valuable asset
in life is not money, it’s time.
I stand corrected. The most valuable asset -
more that money and more than time is LOVE."
-Lori Freed

"Feed your heart with love. Not your mind.
Your mind always wants more. It is insatiable
- can never get enough to validate its identity.
Heart never needs validation, it always knows the truth."
-Lori Freed
‘To be Love is to be a true Lover.’
-Lori Freed
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know"
-Jimi Hendrix
“May we face our lives with grace in these times.”
-1995 Dannion Brinkley
"Tell me the story about how the sun loved
the moon so much,
He died every night to let her breathe".
"Let's make everyday be about love."
- Terry Prince

"The mysterious energy of Love is the active principle of unity. Everything loves, and
everything responds to love."
-Ernest Holmes

“Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.”
— Oscar Wilde

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
― Lao Tzu

“Love is an action, never simply a feeling.”
— Sir Bell Hooks

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.”
– Mark Twain

"Love will find a perfect way."
- Ernest Holmes

“As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”
– John Green

“Loved you yesterday, love you still, always have, always will.”
– Elaine Davis

“I saw that you were perfect, and so I loved you. Then I saw that you were not perfect and I loved you even more.”
– Angelita Lim

“I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out.”
– Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“Thinking of you keeps me awake. Dreaming of you keeps me asleep. Being with you keeps me alive.”
– Unknown

“I need you like a heart needs a beat.”
– Unknown

“When I say I love you more, I don’t mean I love you more than you love me. I mean I love you more than the bad days ahead of us, I love you more than any fight we will ever have. I love you more than the distance between us, I love you more than any obstacle that could try and come between us. I love you the most.”
– Unknown

”I fell in love with her courage, her sincerity, and her flaming self respect. And it’s these things I’d believe in, even if the whole world indulged in wild suspicions that she wasn’t all she should be. I love her and it is the beginning of everything.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald

“I swear I couldn’t love you more than I do right now, and yet I know I will tomorrow.”
– Leo Christopher

“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”
– A. A. Milne

“A man is already halfway in love with any woman who listens to him.”
– Brendan Francis

”I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.”
– Pablo Neruda

”Women are meant to be loved, not to be understood.”
– Oscar Wilde

“You make me want to be a better man.”
– Melvin Udall

“There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.”
– Sarah Dessen

“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”
– Robert A. Heinlein

“Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.”
– Anais Nin

“He is not a lover who does not love forever.”
– Euripides

“To love is to burn, to be on fire.”
– Jane Austen

“Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.”
– James Baldwin

“In the end we discover that to love and let go can be the same thing.”
– Jack Kornfield

“Pleasure of love lasts but a moment. Pain of love lasts a lifetime.”
– Bette Davis

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
– C.S. Lewis

“Love is an untamed force. When we try to control it, it destroys us. When we try to imprison it, it enslaves us. When we try to understand it, it leaves us feeling lost and confused.”
– Paulo Coelho

“Love is so short, forgetting is so long.”
– Pablo Neruda

“Love is a thing that is full of cares and fears.”
– Ovid

“Love is not love until love’s vulnerable.”
– Theodore Roethke

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
– Dr. Seuss

“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”
– Pablo Neruda

“Love is like the wind, you can’t see it but you can feel it.”
– Nicholas Sparks

“Love is the magician that pulls man out of his own hat.”
– Ben Hecht

“The best love is the kind that awakens the soul; that makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. That’s what I hope to give you forever.”
– Noah from The Notebook

“I would rather spend one lifetime with you, than face all the ages of this world alone.”
– J.R.R. Tolkien

“To be your friend was all I ever wanted; to be your lover was all I ever dreamed.”
– Valerie Lombardo

”My wish is that you may be loved to the point of madness.”
– André Breton

”A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.”
– Kurt Vonnegut

”Romance is the glamour which turns the dust of everyday life into a golden haze.”
– Elinor Glyn

”Love is always patient and kind. It is never jealous. Love is never boastful or conceited. It is never rude or selfish. It does not take offense and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins, but delights in the truth. It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.”
– 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

“Love is the strange bewilderment which overtakes one person on account of another person.”
– James Thurber

“One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love.”
– Sophocles

“Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. Love me and I may be forced to love you.”
– William Arthur Ward

“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.”
– Andre Gide

“This has been my life; I found it worth living.”
– Bertrand Russell

“We must be our own before we can be another’s.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
– Confucius

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.”
– Rumi

“Only true love can fuel the hard work that awaits you.”
– Tom Freston

“Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well.”
– Vincent van Gogh

“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there’s love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”
– Ella Fitzgerald

“Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.”
– Henry David Thoreau

“Do what you love, and you will find the way to get it out to the world.”
– Judy Collins

“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
– Buddha

“Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin, as self-neglecting.”
– William Shakespeare

“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”
– Marilyn Monroe

“I have decided to stick to love; hate is too great a burden to bear.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is to love and be loved in return.”
– Natalie Cole

“I hope you know that every time I tell you to get home safe, stay warm, have a good day, or sleep well what I am really saying is I love you. I love you so damn much that it is starting to steal other words’ meanings. ”
– Open-365

“The greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being.”
– Dalai Lama

“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”
– William Shakespeare

“You call it madness, but I call it love.”
– Don Byas

“We can only learn to love by loving.”
– Iris Murdoch

“A life lived in love will never be dull.”
– Leo Buscaglia

“Life is the flower for which love is the honey.”
– Victor Hugo

“All you need is love.”
– Paul McCartney

“True love stories never have endings.”
– Richard Bach

“Love is shown more in deeds than in words.”
– Saint Ignatius

“Love is not a volunteer thing.”
– Samuel Richardson

“Love is friendship on fire.”
– Susan Sontag

“Love is the ultimate expression of the will to live.”
– Tom Wolfe

“Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.”
– Franklin P. Jones

“The love we give away is the only love we keep.”
– Elbert Hubbard

“Tell me whom you love and I will tell you who you are.”
– Houssaye

“Trust your intuition and be guided by love.”
– Charles Eisenstein

“That’s all nonviolence is – organized love.”
– Joan Baez

“We love because it’s the only true adventure.”
– Nikki Giovanni

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching, Love like you’ll never be hurt, Sing like there’s nobody listening, And live like it’s heaven on earth.”
– William W. Purkey

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.

“Age does not protect you from love, but love to some extent protects you from age.”
– Jeanne Moreau

“Love is never lost. If not reciprocated, it will flow back and soften and purify the heart.”
– Washington Irving

“Life is the first gift, love is the second, and understanding the third.”
– Marge Piercy

“You never lose by loving. You always lose by holding back.”
– Barbara De Angelis

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.”
– Elizabeth Gilbert

”I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long, I will stay with you. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than depression and I am braver than loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.”
– Elizabeth Gilbert

“Love is the emblem of eternity; it confounds all notion of time; effaces all memory of a beginning, all fear of an end.”
– Madame de Stael

“Love is an emotion experienced by the many and enjoyed by the few.”
– George Jean Nathan

“Love is more than a noun – it is a verb; it is more than a feeling – it is caring, sharing, helping, sacrificing.”
– William Arthur Ward

“Love is a choice you make from moment to moment.”
– Barbara De Angelis

“We need not think alike to love alike.”
– Francis David

“Love is a great master. It teaches us to be what we never were.”
– Moliere

“Love is the expansion of two natures in such fashion that each include the other, each is enriched by the other.”
– Felix Adler

“Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction.”
– Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profundity. Kindness in giving creates love.”
– Lao Tzu

“When our community is in a state of peace, it can share that peace with neighboring communities, and so on. When we feel love and kindness towards others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.”
– Dalai Lama

“Love is sharing your popcorn.”
– Charles Schultz

“Love is being stupid together.”
– Paul Valery

“If love is the answer, could you rephrase the question?”
– Lily Tomlin

“Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.”
– Albert Einstein

“Love is like pi – natural, irrational, and very important.”
– Lisa Hoffman

“We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love—true love.”
– Robert Fulghum

“Love is something sent from heaven to worry the hell out of you.”
– Dolly Parton

previous arrow
next arrow
Slider

TLG’S CREATION

PLANTING MY ROSE 

It is With a deep bow of love and gratitude for my stillborn son, Elijah Iam Godfrey, that The Loving Garden was created. His journey into this world was not meant to be and his diagnosis of Trisomy 13, a genetic disorder that is not compatible with life was laid upon my heart 5 months into my pregnancy. 

Against all advice, judgement and opinions from those who bore the label family and friends, I carried on and carried my child in my body and in my heart until God chose to take him home. I would not make any other choice offers but to carry my son Home. In the 4 months of this Truth- I wrote frantically hundreds of pages, I broke down more times that I can count, I mourned in silence, as a traveler – I continued on and I traveled through many states and showed Elijah the world from within, documenting our travels as my belly grew with every passing day, I read to him, talked for hours with him and sang and danced with him until my body frame could not hold the weight standing up. So I sang from the $40 lazy boy armchair I bought where I slept most nights with pillows tucked all around me. It was his chair, Elijah’s chair. That I still sit in today. 

In the still nights of silence, The Loving Garden bloomed in my heart, perhaps from a dream, and one morning I awoke and began to write about the garden, sketch the vision, flowchart and architect, writes its purpose and knew I was determined to trust this impending loss and grief had greater purpose. It had to! 

I had to grow love forward from the growing love within me and give to those who need it as much as I needed it and it was withheld in a fractured childhood. But I held steadfast from a young age that love must exist beyond those walls. And said over and over, There is ‘more’. I knew it and sought it out in adulthood. 

I worked fast to create The Loving Garden as I wanted it to be part of Elijah’s memorial announcement. While impending motherhood should be about planning baby showers and buying newborn outfits, mine was juggling and struggling to raise a 9 year old daughter as a single mother while planning a funeral for my son still in utero. I look back and perhaps focusing on this charity gave it all a bigger purpose as to why my son would die. As the days went by filled with documenting hundreds of hours of journaling and writing letters to Elijah and doing videos and non stop photos of ‘us’ together to fit in as many memories as I could knowing any day the memories would cease with his heart. 

I loved to feel him move inside me, an elbow, a foot poking my humongous belly that put me in a wheelchair because he could not absorb the amniotic fluid. I did whatever needed to keep him with me just one more minute.

The grief moments were beyond any words I could share. I grieved my son while his heart beat inside me. Until one morning It didn’t. God took him Home on 11/20/2011 while I slept.  3 weeks before my due date. 

Elijah came silently into this world on 11/21/2011. It was only me and God in the hospital room when Elijah was delivered for all who had been present and wiping my tears had stepped out when I asked for a moment alone before birthing him. And it was in that moment of silence and my eyes closed in prayer to help me ensure in this final moment, is when I delivered him. I was not alone. My loves above and God were with me and welcomed my child Home. (As I write this 9 years and 2 months later, I am crying. To share with the Gardeners here the Truth of the true depth of my love and my grief is a moment in time long waiting and a conviction of my faith and trust that the journey with my son had greater purpose beyond the pain and suffering. The tears now are a mixture of a heavy heart and a soul that smiles.)

On That day when I awoke to a heavy belly and a knowing in the depth of my soul that my son left this world, I knew one day I would bloom what he left behind, a LOVE so limitless, so deep and unconditional, and so massive in its purpose that it humbled me to my knees. 

And through my journey with my baby son Elijah, I experienced what unconditional love really was and it took me on a journey through the years since, and thousands of written pages since, how to unconditionally love myself.

Every grief tear shed like raindrops or torrential downpours, I know channel for the greater good, the greater love, and these tears are what water the flowers of love to bloom in this very garden. Flowers of Love to share and give to others in need to know they too are loved and worthy of love and supported so they can love themselves too. And perhaps one day they will be the very ones to rise another up to bloom in love and plant their own seeds.

This Garden is limitless and eternal because Love is.

Thank You for Loving. You are Loved.

With Blooming Love,

Lori Freed, Founding Gardener

The Loving Garden 

LOVE BLOOMS on Valentine’s Day!

The Gates to the Loving Garden are now open!


St. Croix, USVI, Feb 14, 2021: The seed of a Love Legacy idea planted almost 10 years ago to help others, all in the name of love, finally comes to life. It’s time to uplift ourselves, our country, our world with Love! Following the turbulent and painful 2020, the vision to spread the powerful message of love is the beginning of a new hope and healing. What better than the day of love, Valentine's Day, to open the gates of http://www.thelovinggarden.com/ - a charity for all. Most recently TLG has added elements specific to the loss of loved ones from Covid-19.

Anyone who has lost a loved one(s) can plant a flower seed in the worldwide virtual garden to honor them, for any donation amount. Or just plant a flower seed of love at no cost in these challenging times and anchor love in their own lives. Donations to plant a flower seed of love will ‘bloom’ to help and support ‘Flowers of Love Recipients’ in the numerous sectors listed on the website.


Read more


Ms. Freed calls this process the Cycle of Love where “Our Love Blooms On...”. She quotes the legendary music group U2 lyrics – “After the Flood all the Colors Came Out, It’s a Beautiful Day…”  And that flood are called tears…let’s make something beautiful out of them. 


“I have walked, crawled and fallen many times on the road of deep, painful storylines all of us face at one time or another in our lifetimes.” says [Lori Freed], Founder, The Loving Garden Inc. who is an End of Life guide and hospice volunteer.  “It’s time, more than ever to take the shattered heart feelings we have all felt and repair them and the fastest way to do that is to LOVE.”


When my mother passed away from Covid-19,  I used my tears of grief for a greater purpose and power and they help build The Loving Garden for all - in honor of Love. The very love we feel we lost now lives on, or ‘blooms on’ as I call it…”. 


The Loving Garden is a charitable website first and foremost, however it is also a portal of love with offerings extended to site visitors such as support resources, positive affirmations, your own personal garden page, community connection forums and much more blooming continuously.  All portal of love offerings are free for anybody to use any time they need. 


Please visit http://www.thelovinggarden.com/ and honor those you love while helping others in need of love and assistance. Including yourself. 


Bloom Love On...  ###

I will never forget

This moment staying in a tent on top of a mountain in Malibu amongst the ashes from my friends property burnt to the ground from the wildfires in California. I was up there with her dragging all the paperwork of 2020 around with me between my life and my mothers. One of the packages I had been carrying around for awhile I finally opened just to lighten my load, my heaviness of the compounding grief. Nothing good was in so many documents and stacks of bills and mail left ignored in my tears.

And I opened the big package only to discover my soul purpose was waiting for me to unwrap the box, to open it and let it breathe. When I did, I set it’s contents free. The Loving Garden approved and official binder was waiting impatiently in the dark box to get into the sunlight to be nurtured and bloom. With grief tears turning to elated tears and a saving grace like no other. I forced myself to rise from the ashes of my life like the ashes on the burnt ground I was sitting upon. I had to in order to rise and bloom the loving garden from the very same feelings so many others are lost in. If I didn’t get up I couldn’t bloom love for others. It had to start with me before I could ever give it to others. From the depths of nothingness where I found everything…Self-love.

Read more

So I rose in the love that I AM. I did it for myself so I could do it for all. Show them the way back to their truth of who they are – LOVE. I found my way back, crawling through and rising from the ashes, but I did it. And you can too. Come bloom with me…

Love starts with our truth

The truth that we loved

The truth we feel loss 

The truth that we grieve and honor those feelings 

The truth is that we have permission and are safe to love

Safe to grief. The deeper the love, the deeper the grief. It is our own birthright to feel and know

Love and it is our hearts test of strength and courage to know and feel grief as well. 

Read more

Love and grief do not know age, race, religion, color, creed, philosophy, geographical locations or gender. 

There are no boundaries. 

We are love. For how could we give love or grieve love otherwise? The only difference between love and grief is that love is limitless. Grief will forever have its place at the table but over time, the grief may RSVP less and less.

However, I know I always have a seat available for it at my table should it decide to come by, knock me off my own chair like a blindsiding Mac truck and drag me into a darkened room for a day or a week crumbled into nothingness.

And I learned to allow it. To have mercy on myself when grief shows up unannounced and decides to take over. And as one grief comes to pass and reprieve me over the passage of time, another arrives to remind me how delicate and precious love is and how blessed I am to have ever felt it.

Moving On

(Written to my son Elijah – August 2011 – 6 months pregnant)

I took a break over the weekend. I allowed myself not to think about you. What is to come, the pages of to-do’s needing doing, the whirlwind of my mind and heart I gave a rest to this past weekend and I just allowed myself to be. Take Faith to get new gym shoes, her passport renewal, took her to the movies and saw Lion King, which I love as much as she does. The music is some of my favorites. I did think of you in the movie. The song, “Circle of Life,” made me think of you. I decided that the, “Circle of Life” will be your song. My song to you, among many. That one says it all. You were with us, this weekend, but I didn’t allow tears this weekend. I didn’t allow my head or my heart to go to the place that makes me catch my breath, well my eyes with water, and have moans escape my mouth from the bottom of my soul. I slept and watched football a lot. I just decided to ‘be’ not do.

Read more

Today I know I have to ‘do’ – I already went to get the tb test at the clinic that was scheduled. I sat in the waiting room reading the amazing book I found at that antique store on that recent road trip across the desert states. The one by Gibran, “voice of the master.” I wrote in my journal the masterful eloquence of how he related music to the soul. The metaphor of the flowers and wind and destiny. It felt as if I was reading some of my own poetry just mine being more amateur, but the messages the same. Another person, like Rilke whom I understand and who understands me, just decades apart. I wish there was someone here now who understands the depth of the tears behind my eyes.

The announcement of Elijah’s Truth and Impending Passing

(Written in Summer 2011 – a few months before Elijah passed & was born.)

It is with a heavy and humbling heart that I write and share with you the following.

In April of this year, I was surprised and blessed to find out I would be having another baby. It was a miracle on many levels and once my shock wore off, I embraced the news with a newfound love and passion for life.

Unfortunately, the gift of my baby news has turned to heartbreak and anguish as I have learned that my baby, a boy, I have named Elijah Iam, has been diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder that is not compatible with life and his time here on earth will be very brief, if he takes a breath at all.

As a mother, I am beyond words of devastation. As a believer in high purpose and source, I had chosen to continue carrying my son through the pregnancy-in hopes of a miracle, and also because I know in my soul he was meant to be, for however brief his appearance here-there is purpose and reason for his life.

Read more

It has been a long journey and the awareness of knowing Elijah’s diagnosis for the last few months has tested every level of my being and capacity of love and courage beyond measure. Through my tears, I struggle daily to come to terms with the overwhelming reality of giving birth over to imminent death. But I also know through this tsunami – I am finding the strength to face the next day, hence my decision to share the news-for once I did, I know it would be the finale of any denial I have remaining.

I share this news with you today because the time is getting near for Elijah being born into and inevitably leaving this world to go back Home. I ask for your support during this time and also to keep me, Faith and my son in your prayers. Any support or helping hand would be so appreciated as we could use it be it meals, or helping with Faith and her needs. I am in a state physically and emotionally that is very fragile and grief is a reality.

When Elijah comes to pass, he will be honored with a service and an invitation will be extended should you want to be part of his brief, yet profound journey.

Thank you for your compassion of this sensitive event in our lives. I know it is hard for others to grasp the magnitude of death, especially a child’s. But I would greatly appreciate your staying in contact and know it helps me to share and speak of my son than to not hear from people.

From the bottom of my breaking heart, I share this journey with you and hope this awakening of realizing the preciousness of our lives and those in it is but fleeting . Do not waste a moment of making every moment a quality moment that doesn’t leave your heart absent in the participation of any thought, feeling or action. I hope sharing the truth of my son Elijah’s life, pays forward to help others recognize the blessing and humbling gift of our next breath.

Love,
Lori 

(Written to members of ‘family’ – none of them came to my door – no one came to help my 9 year old daughter.  They told me to get rid of Elijah. -this lack of love added to the grief upon my impending grief – I know true Love will show up on my doorstep – and it did – friends and strangers and neighbors appeared with Love. The greatest Love the appeared was my son Elijah himself.  I chose Him.)

Nobody is paying attention

I was called into the clinic room for the test by a nurse who was pregnant. I would say 7 mo- carrying well and healthy. She was non descript, nice enough. And she proceeded to insert the needle for the tb test in my arm and say that they will read the results on Wednesday during my high risk appointment. As we were finishing up she asked me how my pregnancy is going, is all good? Etc. etc. I just looked up at her from my seat and said ‘I presume you have not read my chart’. She said no she had not, (I am not surprised) I said ‘Yeah, that is what I thought’, see you Wednesday.’ And I stood and walked out.

One more time UCLA does not get it right. One more time I am a number instead of a person. They can stick a needle in your arm and have no idea who you are, what you are going through or take the time to read a chart to know the person they will be sticking. Is it lack of time? Or caring? Or both? How long does it take to read a current status on someone before you put a needle in their arm or ask them how their pregnancy is going without bothering to look at one thing written first? Why even bother to spend hours giving this kind of information and going through the stories and grief if nobody is paying attention to what is written down.

Read more

UCLA is just the perfect example of too many cooks in the kitchen, nobody reading the instruction manual on how to take care of a delicate soufflé and they just keep opening the oven looking at it and slamming the door shut again. Each time the soufflé drops a little more until it is just expelled of any courage to rise because how many eyes and hands have been on it and looking at it but have no idea who has done it before them or what needs to be done next or know the story of their baking needs or time or gentle reassurance it will not fall. They could not see I was falling, much farther down than the bottom of an oven. And could not take the time to care to read my son who was ‘baking’ inside me was falling too.

Elijah was turning 1.

I had so much anxiety about Elijah’s 1 year anniversary. I started to regress in grief about a month before. I know it has to do with getting through survival mode and all the changes. All the responsibilities had kept me distracted for so many months. Now that the fog is lifting, the pain of reality is worse. Every time I thought about his 1 year my heart started to palpitate. It was so surreal to even think it has been a year since I held him in my arms and had him by my side. I felt like I had lost time somewhere.

My first inclination of his one year was for me to run. I knew I could not outrun the truth of his passing or of my unresolved grief. I don’t know how I handled it all when the time came, but I did my best one day at a time though I wish I could get off the roller coaster.

The only difference between love and grief is that love is limitless.

GRIEF WILL FOREVER HAVE ITS PLACE AT THE TABLE, BUT OVER TIME, GRIEF MAY RSVP LESS AND LESS.

However, I know, I always have a seat available for it at my table, should it choose to come by, and knock me off my chair, like a blindsided Mac truck, and drag me into a dark room for a day or a week, crumbling into nothingness. And yes, I have now learned to allow it. To have mercy on thyself, when grief shows up unannounced, and decides to take over. And, as one grief comes to pass and reprieve me over time, another arrives to remind me how delicate and precious love is. Amidst everything, I consider myself blessed to have witnessed it.

In allowing the grief to be present, I honor the very love that created it. I am swallowed in the emotion of grief, in that darkness, I know, my soul is wrapped in the blanket of the love I cherish. I know my loved ones, for whom I grieve, are loving me right back. Holding me as tight as I did hold them in my arms, in my heart, in my womb, and in my thoughts.

Read more

Love is eternal, as we all are. Until the day comes, when I am reunited with my son Elijah, my dance partner, my mother, my absent father, my music harmony grandmother, my blessed guide grandfather, and so many others who are dear to my soul, I plant seeds of that very love in The Loving Garden. In doing so, I am constantly reminded of the love that lives on through me, and them. In honor of them, and for all others, who feel the same kind of love that has been absent all the while across my childhood, and through my growing years.