Memento mom-ri

There are
certain advantages
to having
a young son
in the mortuary business

such as when
he tells you
that you really
ought to set up
a “pre-need”
and pay for
your funeral
in advance

or
when he texts you
a picture
of a rose-gold casket
because he thinks
you will love it
(okay, it IS beautiful
—still…)

but most of all
when he brings you flowers
while you’re living

because he
remembers Mother’s Day
and he works
right next door
to a killer florist.

*******


with thanks to Two Writing Teachers community for Tuesday Slice of Life sharing

12 thoughts on “Memento mom-ri

  1. That title is beyond clever, Fran. And your verses so elegantly represent the interrelation of life and death. Underlying the reminder of our ultimate fate (of which your son must have particular insight) is the affirmation of life–personified by your son, to whom you gave life. He celebrates and honors you–and the flowers signify on multiple levels. The words “killer florist” add a playful and meaningful piece of revelation at the end. Happy Mother’s Day!

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    • My boy (age 24) is one of the kindest people I’ve ever known. I find his advice in these funerary regards to be most practical yet also amusing… then again, I enjoy dark humor and he is a riot sometimes. He knows this florist it the best, and the flowers are just breathtaking… truly a killer florist; I couldn’t resist it there at the end. Thank you for your words and wishes!

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  2. Fran, my title today was MOMents…we share a wavelength from time to time and as long as I’m thinking in the same direction as you, I feel honored and rest assured that things must be right with the world. The flowers are beautiful! What a blessing to have a son next door to a killer florist. The roses and hydrangeas match so that your really are the focal flower in this lavender mix! Yes, I also need to set up a prepay plan but it all just seems so final….love this post!

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    • The boy has recommended the pre-pay, which I find both practical and morbidly amusing… I haven’t actually done it yet. This florist does amazing things with color and arranging; such distinctive style. My boy – the same one with the beautiful voice and music – has an incredibly beautiful heart and I treasure this most of all. And: I am always delighted and awed by our being on the same wavelength, too – thank you for these sweet and beautiful words about it being a reassurance of all being right with the world. There’s such a sense of belonging in it, somehow.

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  3. One of the items on my to-do list is to find my copy of “I’m Dead, Now What?” and fill it in. My dad and his wife attended an adult ed class at their local university that guided them through creating a notebook with all the necessary end-of-life paperwork; copies were made for me and my brother, everything spelled out in black and white. It is a gift to take that decision making burden off other’s shoulders…now about those flowers–yes, a wonderful perk! My views on the funeral business became much less morbid and more practical after reading Caitlin Doughty’s first book, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (she’s a cremation specialist).

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    • I agree about the reading – especially Doughty – taking the morbidity away. I watched my son prepare processed remains in the crematory; there’s such a sacredness to it. What a great idea re: a course for the preparation of the final paperwork – that takes so much off a family. So now I have to look at that form-! Thanks, Chris, for your valuable insights, as always.

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  4. Fran,
    Those flowers are gorgeous. It certainly is better to receive flowers while living! Like Kim, I think the thought of a prepaid funeral does remind one of one’s mortality. I’m not having a funeral and won’t need a casket. For years my husband and I have talked about donating ourselves to the body farm, but more likely we’ll be cremated. I imagine it’s possible to prepay a cremation, too. Maybe I should look into that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve learned a good bit about funerary practices since the boy went in this line of work. He operates the crematory and I watched him process remains one day – all very neat and sacred. I’ve been reading a lot as well – the body farm, sky burials, green burials, all fascinating with their own unique merits. I honestly haven’t decided what I want. I guess the important thing is that the boy knows, when I do.

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  5. Your poem clearly reflects the love of your boy and the recommendations that we often give family, even if somewhat morbid. My mom always tells me how important it is to prepay funeral expenses and reminds me often of how easy my sister and I will have it when she passes.🙄
    Anyways, I also wrote about mom life today. Seems a common thread and overarching narrative to many posts today.

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