Why do we put flowers on gravestones?
I hadn’t really thought of it before, but what a juxtaposition. It’s a beautiful image. Something alive and beautiful adorning something that represents death and loss. Is it for balance that we do that as creatures? A dampening of the hard and terrible and tragic? A reminder that light and sun still exist and perhaps there are better days ahead?
The problem is that those little bouquets and bits of beauty don’t last long. I walk by a wilted or brown flower bunch hanging limply from a gravestone every so often and feel it deeply. Loss is a tough color to paint over.
But our capacity to look for good; to temper hard with beauty; is deep and corporate and powerful. We keep doing it.
I want to be more willing to put flowers on my gravestones.