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Satin Ribbons and Flowers

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

The oak casket was surrounded by flowers of yellow, gold, red and orange. Enormous copper-colored mums took up floor space and autumn floral arrangements graced the tables while planters of greens and vines trailed between them. The whole room had been transformed into an indoor garden bursting with fall color. Afternoon sun filtered through the lace covered windows casting a golden glow throughout.


The last arrangement, the casket spray, was placed on top of the golden oak. I began to silently read the sentiment ribbons; my last check to verify the accuracy of what I had ordered. “Wife, Mom, Grandma, Daughter, Sister, Aunt”…….my breath caught in my throat. The magnitude of this single death was right before me, written in gold script across six satin ribbons. Grief for this woman would be endured by her husband, her children, her mother, her siblings and her nieces and nephews. Ten individual people, who because of this woman, united as one, a family.


“In a grieving family, suffering happens at the individual and collective levels. Every person is grieving and acting out that grief in his or her own way, and each person is enacting that grief in relationship to others.” (p 24 Grieving Is Loving, Dr. Joann Cacciatore)



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