I’ve written about it before in a post. But, I didn’t spend much time expounding. That was when I thought the niggling feeling would just fade. Hopefully, writing about it will be a balm to this place inside me that has been scratched and clawed until it is red and raw and so very bloody. One of the reasons I have put off dealing with this feeling is because of its innocuous nature. How evil, undermining and mocking could artificial flowers really be?? And I know, yes, I sound a little bit crazy. All of this torment is over beautiful, perfect, plastic, artificial flowers? Not all artificial flowers produce this kind of dramatic response from me. Precisely, the artificial flowers that sit on top of my daughter’s headstone marker.
Believe it or not, sometimes I would not go to Grace’s grave site simply because I could not endure the very beautiful, artificial flowers. And her flowers were gorgeous. They looked like something she would have picked out for the prom or her room. The last ones I chose were purple and zebra stripped lilies with small white and yellow accent blooms. It was a gorgeous arrangement in the store. But the moment I placed them on her tombstone, I despised them. Some days, when I mustered the courage to face them, I would sit, outwardly quiet, on the grass beside her grave and mutilate the beautiful, perfect flowers…one by one…all the while inwardly loathing and screaming at the absurdity of it all. It seems most unreasonable to me, that at this time anything perfect or beautiful should be sitting with me beside Grace’s grave!
I finally acknowledged my unreasonable thoughts about the flowers and shared my torment with my closest of friends and one of my dear, sweet companions took the artificial, butchered but still beautiful flowers away. No one has told me who relieved me of my miserable foes, but I am grateful.
Now when I go, there are usually dead, ugly flowers. The real ones don’t last very long. But somehow the withered, faded flowers are more bearable to me than fake, beautiful ones. I do not concern myself with what others may think about her flower vase being filled with deteriorated, old flowers between my visits. What I see when I visit now feels true to me, feels right. I am reminded each time that beauty fades, that we are but a vapor here; that I am to be thankful for true life, even when it hurts so deeply. I am sure, with the passing of time and perspective that comes only from inner healing, I will change my mind and go back to artificial flowers. Maybe not, I do not know for sure. But what I do know is the itching and wiggling under my skin has stopped. I parted ways with the artificial flowers and I am better for it.