I remember how I agonized over choosing the flowers for my father’s funeral.
Dad died a few weeks before we held his mass of Christian burial. Unlike my mother’s service, which was held a few days after her death, his was later. Because of this, keeping busy with my fresh grief was therapeutic for me, hence the task of ordering funeral flowers early.
I spent an hour at the florist. That’s fifty-five minutes more than my father would have taken when he’d bought flowers. These weren’t just any flowers, though. They were for my father.
Dad mentioned he wanted a simple funeral. “Nothing fancy, please.” Was I breaking the rules, I thought, standing in the walk-in cooler, shivering and surveying the cuttings. I thought about our wedding day when he and my mom decorated the church with hundreds of long-stemmed white roses. I had told them I didn’t want anything “fancy” either but was grateful for the beauty that day.
Even though he couldn’t tell me whether he liked the golden roses, purple stock, and white fuji spider moms I’d picked, they were stunning.
I brought some arrangements home afterward and donated or gave away the rest. Each stalk rested in water with a lovely shade, texture, and shape.
My father was like those stalks. He held us together and learned to cultivate a unique relationship with his children. Besides his love for me, he inspired courage, determination, generosity, and strength. I was grateful for all of that.
Deciding on the flowers for my father seemed like an impossible task that day. In hindsight, it probably didn’t matter what I chose, but finding the right bloom became my mission. I wanted to honour him, even in the smallest of ways, and perfectly.
Remembering you today, Dad, with all my love.
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