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Here’s what happens so often. A person becomes an adult, marries, has children, grows ill or old, and dies. Then the family of the deceased comes together to grieve, and to then plan the funeral. The flower shop gets notified to send flowers, and they all attend the service where the bouquets are usually on display. Afterwards, they often follow the casket to the burial site and watch attentively as the flowers they ordered are placed on the grave. Then the family slowly and mournfully walks away, to grieve and attempt to somehow get on with their lives again. Putting the pieces back together somehow, so they can begin living day to day. But without the one they lost.

A life over, body buried, love expressed by the beautiful bouquets of flowers that were laid on the fresh grave. This is a repeated heart-wrenching scenario in this country when we lose a loved one. Flowers ordered and placed on the grave. And honestly, because it has happened with such regular frequency throughout time, it is accepted as the normal way to honor those we lose to death.

But I would love to see a different scenario. One that isn’t dependent just upon flowers placed on a lonely grave to express our love and grief for the person we lost. We need to acknowledge something…our loved one who died can’t see those flowers! They are incapable of inhaling the gorgeous scent, nor are they able to feel the heartbreaking sadness in our spirit as we gaze down at the flowers placed on their grave. They have no way of looking into our eyes and seeing the love that those flowers represent. It is too late to tell them, to hug them, to express our love and appreciation for what they have meant to us.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Don’t wait and send beautiful flowers to be placed on the grave. Send the flowers now, while they can still see the vibrant colors, while they can bury their nose in them to catch the fragrance. Go to their side and whisper ‘I love you so much,” while they are still living and can smile into your eyes, hug you tightly and say, “I love you too.”

We are missing out on a chance to possibly mend a splintered relationship, or express our deep tender feelings, or to show our appreciation for a life that intersected with ours - by waiting to simply send flowers that get placed on a silent grave.

I’m not saying to quit sending flowers to honor the loss of someone you loved and respected - not at all. But I am saying this. Give verbal flowers and warm hugs now, while that individual is still breathing, alert and alive. While they can hear and feel your love surrounding them.

We are missing out on so much, by just sending flowers to be placed on a grave.

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