Bob walked slowly over to the magnolia tree. He stood a while and looked up at the creamy white and dying brown flowers. With tears in his eyes, he walked slowly back and turned to me, saying that his wife of 67 years would have taken a cutting. His eyes wrinkled up and he laughed.
Joining his daughter, they walked back to the car stopping at another magnolia tree where the flowers where just budding. She leaned in and snapped off a new bud to take home, telling me the story of how her mum, at a family picnic in a park, had instructed everyone to take cuttings of the hibiscus plants to take home for her to grow. This was the story of Ria’s life.
I selected the following poem for the funeral ceremony at the chapel which the family appreciated.
The rays of light filtered through
The sentinels of trees this morning.
I sat in the garden and contemplated.
The serenity and beauty
Of my feelings and surroundings
Completely captivated me.
I thought of you.
I discovered you tucked away
In the shadows of the trees.
Then, rediscovered you
In the smiles of the flowers
As the sun penetrated their petals
In the rhythm of the leaves
Falling in the garden
In the freedom of the birds
As they fly searching as you do.
I’m very happy to have found you,
Now you will never leave me
For I will always find you in the beauty of life.
The family chose this reading for the short service by the graveside.
If you stop and rest a moment
You will feel the part of me
That is in the flowers, the grass, the leaves
When you hear the birds sing you will hear my call.
The breeze blowing through the trees is my breath
The early morning light is my light
The sky, moon, sun and stars are a part of me
A part of me is in you.