Why Behind the Willow Trees

I decided to call my writing behind the Willow Trees because when we were in the hospital room, our room had a label of a small post-it sized picture of a willow tree. This was supposed to signify to not only nurses and doctors, but the custodians, food prep and other staff that although this room is normally a labor and delivery happy room, today it is not. There will be no crying baby when you enter this room. You will instead be seeing crying family members making memories of their too short time together all as a family.

I am sure for many of the staff they would take a deep breath try their best to just get in get what they had to do for their job in our room and leave as quickly as possible. To try to not linger thinking about what this day was like for the family on the other side. I know from personal experience with so many of the staff who have stayed in contact with me that they were personally touched by what they found from our family on the other side of this door. They helped us bathe him, they cried with us mourning our tragedy. They prepared memories of and whatever they could find to give us. I have a feeling their special love is why I now have 4 extra-large water bottles, uncountable number of breastfeeding support items and all the extra tissues they could scrounge together.

I wanted to let others see a deeper look into our family on the other side of the Willow Tree. That when you open this door this is the family you will find, we are broken and hurt but we are growing through this. Willow trees are capable of bending to outrageous poses without snapping and one of its most valuable traits is in its flexibility. The message of the willow tree is to adjust with life rather than fighting it, surrendering to the process. It reminds us to surrender to our innermost selves and gain a deeper understanding of our subconscious. It is a tree that can survive in challenging conditions. It’s symbolic meaning is that even through great loss we have the ability to grow and potential for something new. The image of the willow tree is our path to stability, hope and healing.

The tree is also symbolic as we have it placed on Logan’s headstone. In the book the giving tree the tree gave the boy everything she had so that the boy would be happy. The tree loved him more than she loved herself. She sacrificed her own self for the boys happiness. This is the story of parenting. That you wish you could give everything to watch your child thrive and be happy. Just as in the book your relationship and needs of your child will change, but you continue to do what you can. We will adjust as the tree and grow around our pain. We have continued potential for greatness and a deeper love through this pain. As the book says, “and the tree was happy.”

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