Loss and Self-Determination

I found this in the park today. I felt it was a suitable thing to reflect a whole heap of things* I’m feeling at the moment.

It made me wonder who had left this here and what they were thinking. Is this bench of particular significance to another person’s love and loss? Are they aware that the flowers themselves now lie damaged and dying? The foil around the stem indicates that they hoped for some sort of permanence for the flowers, but flowers themselves are transitory moments of beauty which are destined for destruction in the great cycle of nature.

I am assuming that the choices this person made are a reflection of some deep-seated memory which they are addressing. The symbolic gesture itself only holds meaning for them and for nobody else – well nobody else in the park with me at the moment anyway. The flowers include me as a witness to this symbolism but I cannot show compassion for their meaning because that aspect is hidden from me.

This then leads me to the question as to why they chose to carry out this gesture in a public place? Why does anybody do this kind of thing? Am I missing something here? Yes. I am. They are doing this because they want to. They are doing this not because they want an affirmation from anybody else. They are doing this because they know that by doing something it will help them come to terms with their loss better than doing nothing. This act of self-determination, a selfish actualization, in turn creates a feeling of internal compassion and of remembering.

It’s a shame that the symbol of their loss in turn becomes a loss and that any meaning is lost in itself.


*Yeah… things… I’m full of good words today. I must’ve swallowed a thesaurus or something to come up with that sentence. I’d stop reading now. Clearly I’m not going to win any literary prizes with where this blog entry is going.


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