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finding beauty & style in life—not just in a closet

Posts tagged death

Gary Bunt

“Daffodils”

“The Righteous”

“Daffodils” (detail)

“The Poppy Field”

Today I said goodbye to a very dear friend and neighbour, Mr. Rodriguez.

At his funeral, I learned that his story is a precious one.

In 1957 he immigrated to Canada from Portugal with his wife, Lucinda, two small children and $500 in his pocket.

Although he didn’t speak English, it wasn’t long before he started his own company, Royal Cleaning Services. His hard work paid off, he sold it and opened Antonio’s Fish Market in downtown Toronto. After that, his love of gardening led him to a position as head gardener at Edwards Gardens. His final job was Supervisor of Maintenance with the City of Toronto.

I also learned that his motto in life was to go slowly and do it correctly. I guess that’s what helped him with his uncanny ability to fix things without any instructions or guides.

But something that I’ve seen and known about him for years is his deep love for his family, especially his wife. It has always stood out to me and that, I will never forget.

Two years ago she passed away after a long battle with dementia. With the help of his children, I watched him patiently care for her at home right up until the end. After her death, he created a heart-shaped flower bed in her memory just outside his front door. Watching him tend to it was one of the most tender and touching things I’ve ever seen.

I will also never forget his steady presence in my daily life. For the last five years or so he has always been there. Quietly observing the going on of our little street from his porch or from inside his garage. Like a faithful friend, I could always depend on him to have time for me, to greet me with a smile, wave or warm hello. He was never too busy. I miss him. I miss our daily interactions very much.

So you can understand why I’ve chosen the work of self-taught British artist, Gary Bunt as an expression of my feelings. I find that many of his paintings beautifully depict the comfort and friendship that comes from the presence of a quiet, solitary figure – something that I have come to know, cherish and am now missing terribly with the death of my dear friend and neighbour, Mr. Rodriguez.

— J.

#loss
#friendship

Images: portlandgallery.comportlandgallery.com; portlandgallery.com

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…and the leaves fell
from the trees
without regret…

Autumn and her falling leaves have become such a poignant “visual” reminder to me…
a reminder that my life on this earth, as I now know it, will one day come to an end
and I too will have to physically let go of all that I’ve held on to and been attached to.

And what will this look like for me?

Will it be an easy and peaceful release like it is for the leaves? Or will I tighten my grip and hold on with all intensity because I know I’m not ready to let go?

Currently, I’m watching the latter being played out before me, in the life of another, and I now know with certainty that I never want to end my life in such a way.

So what do I need to do to be like the leaves?

I must learn to focus on what matters, forgive and let go of what doesn’t and live life without regrets.

Bronnie Ware an Australian nurse who has spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives has put her observations down in a book titled The Top Five Regrets of the Dying – “An inspiring memoir that teaches us to apply the lessons learned by those nearing their death to our own life. Bronnie’s book shows us that it is possible, if you make conscious choices, to die with peace of mind.”

…and like the leaves
fall from the trees
without regret…

— J.

Happy Thanksgiving Day wishes to all…
“Thankfulness creates gratitude which generates contentment that causes peace.”
Todd Stocker

 

#quote
#life reflection
#Thanksgiving

Image: Unknown

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“Some things just fill your heart without trying.” — Unknown

I miss my little dog.

I miss his quiet presence
gentle disposition
and steady friendship.

I miss his peaceful spirit
and undconditional love.

I miss my lil’ boy P so much.

— J.

#quote
#loss
Image: Pinterest

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2017-jan-15-natalia-drepina-#1Working daily in the messy compost pile of my life.
Digging deep and turning it over.
Searching through the festering, decaying soil
for signs of life, death and resurrection.
Discovering that there in my dirt
lies new life.
— J.

#self-reflection

2017-jan-15-natalia-drepina-%22hushed-herbs%22
photos by Natalia Drepina

Black-Shoe 2
Images: nataliadrepina.deviantart.comnataliadrepina.deviantart.com