February 29

Don't send me flowers
when I die--give them to
me now so we can appreciate
their beauty together!

C. Leslie Charles


Today's Meditation:

It's simply astonishing how much time and effort we spend on funerals--ceremonies that exist to show our deference for people who are already dead, and who can't know or appreciate that we're honoring them.  What's that all about?  I know that much of what we do during funerals is to bring comfort to the survivors, but the bottom line is that it's the life of the person who has died that brings us together.

Personally, I want no funeral.  I'll be dead, so I won't be able to enjoy it.  I'd prefer to do what Morrie Schwartz did when he was dying from ALS--have a funeral before he died so that he could actually hear the kind and loving things that people had to say about him.  I'd prefer that people spend money on flowers for me while I'm still here to be amazed by their graceful beauty.  And I don't want anyone to shed tears--I'll be moving on to something new and different, and I would much rather that people feel celebratory because they knew me than sad because they lost me.

It is important to grieve loss, of course.  It's a natural human emotion to do so.  But the grief doesn't have to be tied to things like buying flowers too late or wishing that we had told the person certain things while he or she was still alive.

Do you know anyone who could use some flowers?  Do you know a person who could use some kind words of affection, someone who has affected you in positive ways, but whom you've never told?  Instead of giving things like this posthumously, you can actually share the flowers or the words with them.  And both of you will be richer for the experience. 

Questions to consider:

Why do we so often wait until someone is dead before we speak aloud the thoughts we have of them?

What would it feel like to share some flowers with a person who's special to you, for no real reason other than he or she is special to you? 

How would you feel if someone told you how special you are to them without having waited until you die to do so? 

For further thought:

Though they are lovely, their scent heavenly,
splendid in all their bouquet;
Don't bring me flowers after I'm gone -
show me you love me today.

What good will they do caressing a stone,
though pretty, their meaning I'll miss;
Express to me now you're thankful I'm here,
give me a hug or a kiss.

My age has crept up have wrinkles aplenty,
my good years behind me, at best;
but wisdom and spirit I'm happy to share,
indulge now - before I'm at rest.

Lori Williams


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