“With Deepest Sympathy”

How many times have I written that phrase on an enclosure card for one of my floral clients over the past sixteen months since opening Art In Bloom?

Designing custom floral arrangements for funerals and memorials is an important facet of the floral business. My intention is always to make the process easy for clients who are experiencing grief and dealing with loss, allowing them to express themselves through the vehicle of flowers. I ask questions and listen closely as I take an order so that I might create something special, a unique design that will not only be representative of the person who has passed, but also signify the relationship that the sender of the flowers had with that person.

Suddenly and without warning, I have found myself in the situation of the person who is grieving. As I mourn the loss of a dear friend who passed away much too soon, I have a tremendous need to, “do something.” I want to commemorate this friend who was quick to smile, who always exuded positive energy and who seemed so appreciative of her life, her family and friends and her job. Khemporn Chantabul was such a quiet presence in downtown Brighton. For the past ten years she touched many lives while using her craft as a seamstress at Tailoring Unlimited on Main St. Khem’s skill and expertise extended far beyond the needle and thread. As a mutual customer so adeptly phrased it, “Khem always had a smile and a compliment that left me beaming as I left the store.” I miss her. I pull into the back parking lot that our cars shared six days a week and my heart sinks when the reality sets in, again, that she is really gone. What can I do to ease this sense of loss?

“With Deepest Sympathy.” When I think back to all the floral arrangements that I have designed to express sympathy for others, I am drawn to the one common thread. Flowers are a visual expression of love, sympathy and respect. This time, as I design flowers for my friend, I am acutely aware of the delicacy and scent of each bloom. I create to ease my own grief but I also do so as a way of lending support to Khem’s family and maybe, if only briefly, to share the burden of their grief.

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