You know the funny thing about grief is that it's never over. It's a state of mind, a way of living, following a drastic event that screams "this is the end". But it's not the end. Well, yes, of course, it's the end for somebody. The one you put in the ground or burn. But for you, a whole new world is just about to begin.
Over the past years, I have harbored an increasing level of anger towards my deceased husband. Living in his home country near his family has aggravated it. I never felt fully at home, and always felt like the stranger or foreigner (whereas the kids were never strangers, even though my late husband's home country was a foreign place for them). Don't get me wrong, my in-laws are nice people, we don't have fights and all is polite and correct.
Some time ago I started to listen again to old songs. Rose Tattoo by Dropkick Murphy came on. It hit me that only a song from a past life can hit you. An idea germinated in my head (or heart), and slowly took shape. I was resisting it, purging it, testing it. But it kept growing like one of those pesky annoying weeds in your garden:
A rose tattoo to remember my husband and the life we lived. Not all was pleasant like life is. But not all was unpleasant like life is. An attempt to put the (rightful) anger to the side. Now I got a rose tattoo on my back. Designed by my oldest daughter. Her handwriting on me. Her name means rose, adding a layer of meaning invisible to all but me. He chose her name, asking me if I'm ok with the name.