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Symbols (Friday Fictioneers)

August 3, 2017


“Why do they do it?”

I shrug. “It’s symbolic.”

“But, I mean, the flowers die after you chop them off. What does that symbolize. That we all die? What about when we gave them to Aunt Janet for her baby.”


“They make me sneeze.”

I snorted. His little nose turned red, his eyes watered and we placed bets on how many sneezes he’d make. It was hilarious.

“So why—“

“Jackie, I don’t know, aright? When they open the door just stay quiet.”

My collar’s too tight. I pull but it doesn’t loosen.

“I miss Granny.”

“Me too, Jack.”


This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

Go here for more terrific 100 stories

Word Count: 100



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From → Prompt

  1. That’s a well constructed little slice of life. It captures the ambiguity of funerals where we cared for the deceased, but aren’t devastated by their absence.

    • Thank you Penny. Yes I think only once slice is shown in the movies and tv and its interesting to see the differences.

  2. Dear Laurie,

    I attended a funeral of a much loved elderly lady this past week. The flowers were gorgeous. Wouldn’t it have been better to give her the flowers while she lived? Lovely story.



    • Oh how sad but yes she might have appreciated them more than now. But it sounds like she will be missed. Those flowers are for those left behind… hopefully they bring comfort

  3. I find it really difficult to attend funerals of distant relatives, family friends etc I worry about a sudden slipped smile, an extra word, appropriateness of facial expression and thankfully it’s not an established practise to bring flowers or wreaths to funeralsin my tradition .
    You have written it so well, Laurie.

    • Thank you Moon. Yes such a weird time. Feeling like everyone is watching you looking for fault. Did you care enough? Are you happy they’re dead? Are you a good daughter? Ugh

  4. Dale permalink

    I truly wonder when this giving of stinky flowers started regarding funerals… Poor kid. I feel his pain.

    • Yes exactly. Especially being dragged to a funeral of someone you never met or only me once. And they’ll be heaps of flowers… those sneezes!!

  5. Great story. Can’t help but think how kids will cope when grandparents pass away. All part of life. And he’s right – why flowers?

    • I have always wondered that myself. Flowers are such an odd choice in my mind. Seems sad and temporary. I thinks its weird for kids. Death is such a hard thing to understand

      • Nowadays we have funeral homes and embalming. I wonder if flowers, like the wearing of perfume, didn’t originate with trying to mask the unpleasant odors of sweaty people in close proximity and a dead body.

      • Aha… well that would certainly make sense…

  6. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover permalink

    I loved this dialogue. It was a very normal everyday conversation at a very stressful time.

  7. Very well written— children dealing in their own way with the confusion of death and funerals.

    • Thank you Christine. Yes i think it doesnt make a lot of sense to them

      • Actually it may make more sense — in one way — to them than to us. They see the death of creatures and accept that it happens, where we adults so often want to figure it out. Why did this person have to die? Why now? How will the family cope? We enter into a lot more drama, where the children just say, “Oh, she/he died.”

      • Really good point, Christine

      • Gone and out of sight. No longer exist. Yeah, I know adult consequential thinking takes us through a mental quagmire

  8. We all miss Granny! Well done.

  9. Completely realistic. Great dialogue.

  10. This spot on dialogue led us to a very interesting question about how our culture handles death.

  11. Great dialogue and good questions. Why flowers at funerals? I guess it’s because we give flowers when we honour someone. Most people love flowers because they’re beautiful. A funeral is always also honouring the life of the deceased, or should be, in my view, even if it often turns into some kind of competition, but what doesn’t? At my dad’s funeral two small kids started laughing during the service and I loved it. I thought it closed the circle nicely. At my mum’s funeral we had the chapel decorated with fall leaves and lots of autumn flowers amidst stones and candles on the floor. She would have loved it, her garden was her life, and all the guests loved it, too. I guess it’s how you go about it that makes the meaning.

    • Oh how lovely. What a touching memory to share. Those little kids hey? Bring a smile to your face everytime. And I love the autumn leaves. What an emotional feeling.

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