Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Flower

Well I'm no florist (not yet at least), but I've always had an infinity for flowers. Perhaps it was because without fail I would get at least one bouquet a year. My mom would always bring me a beautiful bouquet of flowers when I performed. Thanks, mom. So some years I got several bouquets depending on how many performances I was involved in. My mom also filled our yard with flowers and even took us on hikes where we saw the wild flowers blooming. So it's no wonder that I just love them. I even took a "floral design" class when I was in college.

When we met with the mortuary, one of the services they provide is the ability to order a casket arrangement. I was allowed to flip through a book to decide what I wanted. The funeral director was really nice, but I wanted to be able to sit down and talk with the actual florist about what I wanted. So I decided to forgo their service and find my own florist.

I didn't really know where to find a florist. We're new in town and I didn't know the reputations of any of the florists. I didn't know who to ask, but I knew the owners of our previous home had a wedding business and must be slightly acquainted with the industry. She didn't really have a good recommendation for funeral flowers but suggested I try to find one in Spanish Fork (the city just north of us and a little bit bigger too). I hadn't thought of that.

So after doing some online searches for some reviews I found a shop that had a positive review for funeral flowers. Perfect. My mom and I went to go make the order. But we couldn't find it. There was no sign with the name of the florist we were looking for anywhere! But there was another one. So with little time to fuss about finding the shop we were looking for, we went inside.

I knew right away that it was the perfect place. The shop was so cute and decorated totally chic. I knew whoever was in charge would do the perfect job for Luke's flowers.

It might seem weird that I was so particular about the flowers for his casket, but it's the only thing I get to do for him. I don't have years of birthday cakes to plan or first day-of-school outfits to pick out -just these flowers. So I wanted them to be just right. I wanted them to be cheerful. I wanted them to be boyish (as boyish as flowers can be). And I wanted them to be delicate.

Trevor's siblings and their spouses sent us a lovely arrangement that contained a blue(ish) flower, delphinium. Perfect. Just what I needed to tell the florist I wanted in Luke's arrangement.

The blue, yellow, and white arrangement on the left is from our siblings.

The flowers that Elaine, at Main Street Floral, arranged were perfect. They were everything I wanted them to be.

Thanks, Elaine. 

It was surreal to carry the arrangement down the isle of the chapel as Trevor followed behind me carrying Luke in the casket. Me? Carrying flowers down the isle? And not a baby? Yes, that was my reality and it was so strange. But I carried Luke's flowers with care and placed them tenderly on top of his casket.

After we met at the cemetery to pray and dedicate the burial site, it was time to go. The last thing I did was step forward a pull one smiling, little, yellow flower from the arrangement to take with me. As I did it, it almost seemed scripted. Like something you'd see in a scene in a movie. But I didn't do it for show. That's what my heart wanted -to be able to take just a little something with me. I guess as a token of remembrance. Or perhaps because I wasn't ready or able to have given birth to my son and leave empty handed. So I took my single yellow flower and took it home with me.

It rested first on our bed. And then on our dresser. It was there for a day or two. I wanted to press it before it began wilting. My mom let me borrow her flower press and I carefully put the flower in the press. I didn't know where to sit it for the recommended 4 to 6 week drying time. I realized the nursery was a room that it would be out of the way and not bothered, so I carefully laid it in the crib. When most mom's are putting their newborns in their cribs I'm placing a flower in mine. The thoughts and reality of it all seemed, yet again, so surreal.

After 6 weeks is when you have your first postpartum check-up and you're supposedly "recovered" from childbirth. Healing, I am. But I don't know that I'll ever be "recovered." I will always be a little different, a little changed, and a little lonely. I've looked forward to the 6 week mark when I could take my flower out of the press. I couldn't wait to see it's yellow petals and black center smile at me. But even more anxiously I can't wait to look into my son's eyes and see him smile back at me.

One day, I'll get to see that too.

Picture Sources:


  1. What a lovely thing to have to remember him by. As if you could forget, but naturally it's beautiful to have something tangible to remember him by. I'm so grateful to know that you will be able to look in your son's eyes, and happy that you have that knowledge, too. How can people bear these kinds of sorrows without knowing that? Again, I send you a big virtual hug. Didn't you love Pres. Uchtdorf's address for the r.s. broadcast? His message was meaningful for me, but I particularly thought of you when I heard it.

  2. @ Rachael, Thanks for the hug! :-) I did love President Uchtdorf's talk. So good. I know it meant so much to me and other women I know that are trying to have an earthly family with children! Perhaps I'll write more on my response to his talk another day.

  3. That was beautiful Shelly thanks for sharing that. You are in my prayers.

  4. Shelley, that was beautiful. Thank you. =) It seems that in this time of heartache when I want so badly to give some bit of comfort and love to you, you are always giving me so much more. I love you so much, and you are in my thoughts and prayers constantly. Your flower turned out beautiful, and it looks like the funeral was lovely.

  5. Niki and Jenni thanks for the prayers! We truly feel sustained by the love and prayers of our friends and family!