Now that we are well into October I have reached a different stage in my grieving process. Just as the year is coming to a close, my mother’s life has come to a close. What strikes me more than anything is the finality, the completeness, of death. I realize now that once done, nothing can be added to a life. So I ask myself – is a life whole in itself, or is it like a single piece of a thousand piece puzzle? I have always seen life’s meaning in its potential, but where can I find the meaning when possibilities are done? What is the essence of my mother’s life now? Does it lie in the narrative, the story that has become part of our memories? Does it find new life in her descendants, in its continuation in ourselves? Just as the movement of butterflies’ wings, did the small events of one life cause endless ripples in the pond of the universe? Does a life have its meaning in the sum of emotions, positive and negative? Was my mother’s life sad, joyful? Definitely there was some deep sadness – she lost a fiancee, and later a child. I don’t know as much about my mother’s moments of joy, I can only guess. I know that she found great happiness in nature. She loved her home on the Third Line, surrounded by trees. Here she worked in her garden. Here she could cross-country ski in the winters, hike with her grandchildren in other seasons. I am sure all of these things gave her much joy. I don’t know the answers to any of these questions. But I am certain that each of our lives has a special place in the whole jig-saw puzzle of existence.