There’s a feeling of sadness when you look at something and know it’s time has come and gone. I sat in my car after a visit to the hospital to see my grandfather and cried. There is something relaxing about crying, the way sadness and anger have an escape route and contentment has an entrance, even if for a little bit.
As I walked back to my apartment, I saw a dandelion tilted over. Its petals allowing gravity to take over, pulling them toward the ground, where they would eventually call home. The stigma was a darker color than usual. A bug landed on it for a split second before it realized that the flower no longer had pollen.
When I was a child, I was taught that when a flower died, it was right to throw it away. Looking at the dandelion, I knew it wasn’t true. Dandelions live for a couple of days before they disperse their seeds. For a flower, that’s almost a lifetime.
Like a human, a flower lives a lifetime. Tears rolling down my face, I watched the flower, knowing that, just like my grandfather, time was moving in slow motion toward the finish line. For a second, I cried for the flower. I cried for my grandfather. And then I knew. Sadness was universal, whether it was over a dying dandelion or a dying family member.