Thursday, April 19, 2012

No flowers, please.

I think sending flowers for a funeral is a dumb idea. If you didn't send flowers when they were alive, why are you doing it now?  I can hear the skeptics saying, "But the flowers are for the living."

Really? You are sending something that will wither and die in a few days to someone who has just lost someone. Is that supposed to cheer them up?

I believe in our shallow parts, we think the number of bouquets of flowers that show up at the funeral home represents how important or beloved or connected our loved one was. Maybe we need that physical reminder because our grieving minds cannot hear the word of sympathy and love that are being spoken.

I'm not saying don't send something, but think about sending a plant instead. When my dad passed away 18 years ago (yesterday), several friends sent plants instead of flowers. Each of us kids took one or two home. When you walk through the front door of my sister Sue's house, you'll see a very healthy, 18-year-old spider plant hanging in the entry way. My plant was a peace plant that lasted about five years. (People with ADD are generally not good with plants or candles - tend to forget about them)

It's also important to remember that a $100 funeral bouquet in the big city (Minneapolis/St. Paul) turns into a very large funeral bouquet when ordered from a small town florist (Albert Lea). When my dad passed away in 1994, I was working for Fairview Health System in the Cities and my brother Dennis was working for SciMed (Now Boston Scientific). Both of our employers sent flowers for Dad's funeral in Albert Lea. You couldn't miss them at Bonnerup's (the funeral home), they were huge.

Now that I've convinced you that shouldn't send flowers when I die (I won't send flowers to your funeral if you won't send them to mine...), I just want to leave you with one more instruction. (at least for now, I'm not planning on dying anytime soon, so the list might expand) Please, please, please do not use my 1979 high school graduation picture for the obit. I don't want people to think I died with Farrah hair.

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