Flowers For The Living

Every time my late Grandma was given a bouquet without fail she would say “flowers for the living”. Of course, what she was reminding us in her gentle way is that you can’t smell them once you’re gone and be sure to give them to your loved ones whilst you still can.

I recalled her words whilst taking a quiet stroll around Efford Cemetery in Plymouth where on the notice board the following was posted.IMG_0774 I didn’t think that this boded well for the deer, which no doubt would have been grazing there long before the land became the big cemetery it is today. I’ve always enjoyed a leisurely walk around the old graveyard steeped in history and a haven to many wildlife, appreciating a moment of reflection in this unquiet world in which we live.

As I wandered around I noticed workmen had left bags of cement on top of memorials,cemetery 007 there were various old tombstones in disrepair and evidence of fly tipping in the oldest part of the cemetery. It would also seem that because many people don’t want to walk further than they absolutely need to some were rather disgracefully reversing cars across burial plots in an endeavour to turn around. It occurred to me that the two legged visitors were probably responsible for more damage that a few deer would ever be.

If I could ask my Grandma, who is a resident of this particular cemetery, what her thoughts were regarding the wildlife guests I’m sure I know what her answer would be.


13 thoughts on “Flowers For The Living

  1. I’m with you totally Tink…one of my favorite places to stroll (even when I was in London) are old cemeteries where my mind engages ghosts in conversation as my eyes take in a beauty others may not see; plots where Mother Nature has taken the area back to her breast are some of the most beautiful. The evidence man leaves behind, whether in haste or just plain rudeness and inconsideration, are always the saddest to see. As for Grandma’s advice…I think she was right about the flowers for the living and believe she’d be the first to offer up what her special plot of ground could offer to a four legged forager…and perhaps a sharp word of two to the two-legged ones?

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  2. I love old cemeteries; my friend Barbs noticed a grave from one of the soliders from Rourkes Ridge (from the film Zulu; I didn’t know either) in our local graveyard. And I loved what you said, I rather think a dawn session with all of nature in attendance from someone with an excellent aptitude for photography would make an interesting subject


  3. Cemetaries are a profound reminder that life is brief and must be enjoyed for the time we have. You know I have to add a quote on this one! ““Love life. Engage in it. Give it all you’ve got. Love it with a passion because life truly does give back, many times over, what you put into it.” Maya Angelou

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  4. Another loving, kind tribute. Your family truly is special from the way you tell it. How wonderful it would be to visit them (your grandmother, too!)
    Wishing you and yours a very wonderful new year to come!

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  5. Your Grandmother and mine said the same when receiving flowers. My grandmother liked receiving plants more and my heart mother inherited this preference from her. What a disgrace there are those who would drive through and over, they should be stomped upon twice for good measure.

    I love old cemeteries, for the history but also for their peacefulness and so often their beauty. I have wandered many, all over Europe, Asia and of course the infant US where there are some that are quite funny in the West.

    Happy New Year Dallas, may it be Jubilant and Joyous.


    • Happiest of New Years to you too. I love that our old folk have passed on some fine advice to us over the years and when people give me flowers (which isn’t often) I find myself thinking the same thing. I do like the old cemeteries the best as I feel that they have stories to tell. Imagine the photo opportunities at dawn with all the wildlife.


  6. Oh dear… pun intended. I’ve mentioned before the deer eat everything in sight in our backyard much to my father’s despair. They are very hard to get rid of but I’ve been told you can plant some plants in places they like to congregate that they don’t like to eat to discourage them from roaming in areas they are not welcome in.


  7. My only concern would be depending what flowers/plants were being left or planted that the deer might come to some harm,I hope they find a solution that respects both the living and the deceased, one of my granddads was a landscape gardener so he would have been mortified by the deer the other would have started talking about venison pie, I say talking because he would never have had the heart to actually do it himself lol


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