It is not uncommon to see, as one travels, monuments of crosses and flowers where loved ones have met their death. They stand as a solemn reminder to slow down, stay wary, and buckle up. Perhaps placed there in hopes the dead were still near. They are displays of love lost, shackled memories, grief.
With all due respect to the dead and their grieving, when I am gone, please lay no flowers where I die. I don’t want silk or plastic flowers, or cut flowers that die and only remind you that I, too, am dead. Place flowers where I lived. Scatter seeds along the bike trail, at the dog park. Plant a perennial in your garden to remind you and make you smile. Plant a tree that will outlive us all!
Throw seeds out a window and let them grow like Jack’s mother with their beanstalk in the clouds. Instead of memorial pamphlets that get saved in a box or recycled at the curb, pass out seed packets. Let the world grow after I cease to do so.
Please don’t remember the date of my death. Remember the days I lived. Remember the date I came into this world as a screaming, writhing newborn, desperate to clench life in my tiny fists. Remember the things that brought meaning to me — laughter, beauty, kindness.
See me in the tiny things around you. I’ll not be in the place that I died — the hospital bed, the roadside — I’ll be there inside you. In the things that make you smile — a laughing baby, a bumblebee , the sun on your face.
And you’ll find me in your darkest hour. When you need comfort, solitude, a hug, wait for me quietly. I’ll be there as sure as those who left before me are there when I need them.
When you find these places, scatter seeds. Plant them in remembrance, in honor, in joy, but never in sadness.
Peace . . .