I recently posted a picture of this lovely floral arrangement created by friend in honor of family member who has recently died. I thought they were so very pretty and I knew they were taken from his garden. It was my fortune to be able to bring them home to enjoy their beauty. The post sparked a brief commenting conversation as follows:
MH: So glad you can enjoy the flowers afterwards. I hate seeing them just die alone in church during the week after. The one positive thing about funerals is the nicest people go to funerals. Family, friends, neighbors! All there for one reason.....to say goodbye to someone they cared about.
DC: I still have the plant from my nephew's funeral. It was a potted lily, not a bouquet. Yesterday my neighbor put out two bouquets of flowers with a sign that said "Free". What a great idea. How thoughtful.
MH: I prefer giving a plant, it is a living reminder someone can keep and grow for years! A small tree would be nice if you know there is a place for it, even in a near by park or the cemetery near the grave!
It struck me how we use flowers to express what is in our hearts, but our minds cannot find the words to speak. And, yes, it is nice that when the flowers sent are not left behind to wilt and fade, but go home as a small measure of comfort reminding those in grief that life, as we know it, will go on; just not the same as before. Never the same.
White roses evoke reverence, humility, innocence, and youthfulness. --Teleflora.com
There seemed to be many white roses at the service, perhaps because the one who passed was young and actually very humble. Our reverence of his passing seemed to restore his innocence, and remind me of how I feel like mine has been lost at times. There is hope to return to that time when life was full of possibilities and it might just be realized “on the other side” as whatever comes after death is often described
I suppose that flowers, when they’re through blooming, have some sort of awareness of some purpose having been served. Flowers didn’t ask to be flowers and I didn’t ask to be me. ---Kurt Vonnegut
Vonnegut's words resonate with me on a very spiritual level. Flowers are truly a symbol of being for the sake of being. Whether they have this awareness, it is difficult to prove by analytical study. But I do agree that flowers didn’t ask to be flowers just as I didn’t ask to me. But I do have some awareness that I do have a purpose and although I sometimes forget that I do, my purpose leads me even when I am not mindful of it.
Finally, I found some words from Oscar Wilde. This about sums up what life is all about in many ways. We do forget this most of the time. There is so much that is ugly in the world: people who are cruel, ignorant and base, desecrated earth, polluted seas, smogged air that we breathe. But there are still flowers in the world. And they are the language of love and sympathy and joy. “A flower blossoms for its own joy,” said Wilde. So I’ll close with this from the1956 autobiography, The Walter Hagen Story by golfer Walter Hagen.
You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry.
And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.