05 September 2007

Flowers and Memories

This morning, for some reason, I forsook my normal Guardian and bought The Times. On the platform, waiting for my coffee to cool, my train to arrive and my blackberry to synch, I read the births, engagements, marriages and deaths.

Normally when I do that there it is, smack in the middle: a name I know (the name that - presumably had already caught my subconscious eye and prompted my conscious read). This morning, however, I didn't know anyone.

But, even so, one of the sparse, 9point, close-spaced unknowns brought a lump to my throat (I have become so much more readily moved in my middle-age): an old man who died, aged 97, just 19 days after his wife.

But why don't people, any more, want flowers at funerals? What could be better than a simple gift of flowers: beautiful yet ephemeral, costly but without value? Instead we are asked, tackily, to give money to sad donkeys, or some such, to be totalled up and reckoned in a table of relative (and relatives') grief.

When I die I hope presents, donations and flowers are simply not mentioned, and that people will perhaps just come. Just come. And, if they come, their flowers, should they think to bring any, should be made so very welcome, but they bring no cash in their pockets to be offered up by direction, for a gift solicited is no gift at all.

I hope they play songs by Eddi Reader...

... and even read extracts from my blog :-)


Anonymous said...

"Flowers are happy things"
P.G. Wodehouse

I, Like The View said...

my mother didn't want flowers at her funeral, apparently she wanted "donations" instead

it broke my heart

she loved flowers

so I bought them instead, once a week for months and months

even now if I have a vase full of flowers (rarely, it has to be said) I think of her, and I think of a younger me carrying home a huge bunch of flowers that I could barely afford to buy, cradling them in my arms as I would have cradled her if only someone had told me that she was going to die

when I die I want masses and masses and masses and masses of flowers

Anonymous said...


I hope you get them!