“What is it like being old, Mum?”
“I still see through the same set of eyes.”
That was a comment in a eulogy at the funeral we attended today. We seem to be making a habit of these in the last month or so. On this occasion, it was to remember a lovely lady, and I use the word ‘lady’ advisedly. She had led a life of ninety years filled with kindness and care. The mother of one of Mark’s oldest friends, she had been a particularly strong influence in his teen years so we were really pleased when the family accepted our offer to do the flowers for the coffin. It is not that we have any floral art inclinations – though Mark can cobble together a bouquet with some simple flair when need be. It is more a case that to celebrate a life – and a keen gardening and flowery life at that – with seasonal blooms that have been picked for remembrance is much more personal than going for a standard florist’s package.
I always find the death notices that say “no flowers please” a little sad although I can understand the sentiment. I like the notices that say “garden flowers preferred”. In other words, do not spend money on buying flowers that I cannot see but pick some flowers from the garden and remember.
It was an honour and a pleasure to remember today with flowers that she would have loved.
The casket flowers were a simple bouquet of one of Mark’s seedling magnolias and pink and white camellias. I didn’t want to lift them off the tray to photograph them lest I bruise them. If you ever need to do something similar, Mark picked the flowers yesterday afternoon and put them up to their necks in water overnight to ensure they would hold without flopping.
The mourners’ flowers – to place upon the coffin – were galanthus, Narcissus bulbocodium citrinus, Camellia Fairy Blush, Daphne bholua and an early scilla. After I arrayed these, I thought I had made them look altogether too much like a smorgasbord but I didn’t want to bruise them by handling them into a more artfully casual array. It didn’t really matter because what was most important is that I know that this lovely person, now deceased, would have appreciated every flower.