How did gardening help Yiyun Li cope with the loss of her son?

Pros of gardening as a coping mechanism for Yiyun Li:
1. Gardening provides a therapeutic and soothing activity.
2. It allows Yiyun Li to connect with nature and find solace in its beauty. 3. It offers a sense of control and purpose, helping her navigate through grief.
4. Gardening helps create a physical and mental space for reflection and healing. 5. Yiyun Li can honor the memory of her son by tending to the plants he loved.

Cons of gardening as a coping mechanism for Yiyun Li:
1. It may remind her of the loss and intensify the pain at times.
2. Gardening requires physical exertion, which could be challenging during periods of grief.
3. It might take time and effort to see tangible results, leading to frustration or impatience.
4. Yiyun Li’s emotional state may affect her ability to care for the plants properly.
5. Engaging in gardening may limit her opportunities to explore other coping strategies or seek support from others.


In her poignant reflection, Yiyun Li explores the healing power of planting flowers as a means to navigate the profound grief of losing her son. Drawing inspiration from the botanical writings of Katharine S. White and Elizabeth Lawrence, Li finds solace and connection in the art of horticulture.