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Send the Flowers | Alzheimer’s in the First Person | Barbara Taylor Vaughan

I have been thinking a lot about death and funerals today. Missy’s best friend’s father died, and also her first boss at her first real job after college. I listened to her order flowers for each of them, and talk to their family members on the phone last night and today. She is going to both visitations and funerals in the next couple of days.

I thought about all the funerals I have been to in my life. A lot of people now put in the paper that they request no flowers, a donation to their favorite organization. I still always send flowers…I cant help it, I just know that all of the funerals I have ever been too, or involved with, that we always went around looking at the flowers, “Oh yes, those are from so and so, aren’t they beautiful?”, or, “Look at those roses, they are from so and so…oh how the deceased loved roses.” I always think too, walking into a funeral home and seeing the flowers just makes me smile. It’s kinda like…once you are in a room full of beautiful flowers…celebrating a life, anyway. I just like flowers.

My father died on Christmas Eve, and way back then the funeral was held the day after Christmas. My father was my hero, and it was a terrible winter when he died, lots of snow, and I remember being at the funeral home and thinking, “He won’t have any flowers, because people won’t see his death notice because of the holiday. The florists were closed for the Christmas holidays…” I was so happy as I sat in the funeral home before visitation and the flowers started arriving, one florist said he was called at home to please come in to make arrangements for [my father]. Another florist told me he drove back from another city to make all the arrangements. I was thrilled to go and read all the cards on the flowers. I remember crying as I read the cards, and my mother hugging me.

So just to let you know, if you put in the paper not to send flowers…sorry, I can not grant you your wish, it’s just still one thing that I want to do for you and your family…flowers, and a card…and oh, how I love gardenias.

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