If you’ve read my recent post, Circle of Stones, you’ll know that my elderly neighbor died (no, I won’t use the euphemism) after having suffered at least two strokes, years ago. This brings to mind, the senseless act of giving flowers to the dead. Yes, I said it, senseless…
Each year, on my birthday, I send flowers to my Mother. I do this as a thank you, for my life. She can enjoy them fully, with all appropriate senses, because she’s still breathing. The flowers get delivered on or near my birthday and the message is clear – if it were not for you, Mother, I would not be. I’m happy being here. What better day to send flowers? I can’t think of one.
Giving flowers to the dead, for the dead, or in remembrance of the dead, is a colossal waste of money and displacement of emotion. I understand why people do it and conformity rules the day. My Mother has repeatedly stated that she does NOT want flowers when she’s dead. No one can rule from the grave (sorry about the cliché) but in this case, I must comply. I can take a hint.
My neighbor might have enjoyed the end of her life a bit more, if she had received the flowers, had visits from some of the parade of people who came after her death, had her circle of stones planted regularly, weeded and tended, as it is now, windows cleaned and threadbare burlap curtains replaced while she was breathing and still had her eyes open. Why do people do these good things AFTER death? No one could think that she’s looking down (assuming there is an up, for the purpose of illustration) with a smile and exclaiming – “Thank you, someone finally took care of this mess…?”
I understand that human beings have a drive to do something. I’m reminded of the envelope that gets passed around to all employees, at a place of business, for the co-worker whose relative died of cancer or some other lingering illness. I’m sure a kind word, a home cooked meal, an offer of a short walk, or even a bouquet of flowers, could be more meaningful than an envelope with cash in it. Cold hard cash for the cold hard dead. (sic)
Why these same somethings aren’t done when people we love, care about or think about are here on earth, in the flesh? What is everyone waiting for? In lieu of flowers… Send flowers to your loved ones now! For anyone wishing to send me a kind word or a tender token, my heart is open, grateful. And, for anyone wishing to send flowers to me, while I’m still breathing, I’ll gladly send you my address.