No one likes to talk about death, it is still a topic that makes people very, twitchy..... When it comes time to order flowers for someone who is grieving, or to honour someone who has died...people get a little nervous. What do we write on the card? What should the flowers look like? How much should I spend? Should it go to the funeral home or to their residence? It's complicated, it's loaded with insecurity, and the fear and overwhelming feeling of not wanting to make someone feel worse than they already do. Last week on a beautiful Sunday morning I was alone in the studio making a casket spray (a large fresh arrangement that sits on top of a coffin). Only half the lights were on in the studio, I had music going and the perfect and i mean PERFECT cup of coffee by my side. The family told us their loved one was passionate about gardening. This was all I needed to know, so I got to work hacking up our Algerian ivy plants, used some blue thistle, mini sunflowers, sharp orange roses and coaxed them all into a proper tribute for a person who deserved the best my hands could come up with. It was magic. It felt so good to put my heart into the design. The finished product glowed. It had depth and movement and fresh, bright flowers. I feel that when I'm doing flowers for a funeral, memorial, or to comfort someone who has experienced a loss, I am walking on sacred ground. I use the flowers to express empathy. Real empathy. Not sympathy, because that suggests pity or separation from the loss. Empathy expresses unity, because we are all going to be in the same situation someday (or most likely already have been.) Grief is as much a part of out lives as love, joy and happiness. "Funeral flowers" have been dreadful in the past and given a bad name by lazy florist. Visions of nasty carnations and gladiola triangle tributes that would do nothing but piss off any self respecting spirit, and totally depress the hell out of anyone forced to stare at it for hours on end during a visitation. For me, this is the time to use the most beautiful blooms. The most uplifting, and colourful gifts that mother earth can offer....flowers at the time of loss should be as fantastic and electric as the person they are honouring.