I miss being around people. I’m the type of personality that genuinely loves every human being on this planet. I’ve always felt like I was put on this earth to help others. And I take no more greater pleasure in my life than helping those who are in need. Whether it be emotionally, physically or supportively. I am what you call an empath. I can feel the hurt others are going through and it can strongly effect me in a profound way. Even when I was a child, I was told a had an “Old soul”. I sometimes ponder if that played a major contributor to my mental illness.
If someone I knew was down or sad, I would take out all my dolls and stuffed animals, go into my mother’s big closet, assemble a big semi-circle with myself in the middle and try to reenact ways to solve that persons problem. When I felt I got it just right, the act of me being able to fix that problem, I would then replay the best outcome and scenario on how to help them and go up to that person to see If I could. Or even if I couldn’t help them….if it was a stranger or someone I saw on the television, I would pretend I could have went back in time and said and did the right thing, to help them feel better. I wanted everyone to smile and to feel true love inside of their hearts. It’s probably because I was always so sad myself, deep down inside. I never wanted anyone to feel the way as I did as a child.
I had a wonderful family growing up. So, it’s not like I was unfortunate to not have stability in my life or as if I wasn’t loved to some degree. I count myself very blessed. It was just a feeling that I always carried with me. My teachers would recognize my isolation and sadness. My mother would tell me they would have conferences just to make sure everything was okay at home. I am so thankful for my loving mother and father. I sometimes feel as if I don’t deserve them. Like I’ve let them down in life and that they’ve had to carry the weight of me throughout their own lives. Living independently is a struggle. I’m scared to be alone.
Before my fall. Before I allowed this depression to consume me. I owned a small business with my father. A flower shop. I am apparently not the best business woman, per say LOL. I always found it so difficult taking other peoples money for exchanged goods. I always wanted to give. I had the pleasure of working with families who had lost their loved ones. Funeral consultations. When it came to sitting down with the families who had lost their loved ones, either being children, spouse, friend, family, you name it, I always had to hear their story. I had to let them know that I cared. That this complete stranger that they were talking to…. this person they were allowing to put together a beautiful bouquet in memory of their cherished loved one(s) they have so dearly lost, genuinely cared and wanted to make to their final goodbyes as special as can be. You can look into a persons eyes and see in that moment the release that it can give from vocalizing the life and the stories of that individual they lost. A tribute in ways. Being able to hold their hand, let them cry, and hug them, was something I will always cherish. And never forget.
I’ve seen suicides, car accidents, murders, children, babies, and it pretty soon got to the point where, I could no longer deliver casket sprays in person if the service was for a child or someone so very young. My father took over the task of delivering and placing the floral pieces in the funeral homes after awhile.
It all started when I had a childs funeral to do once. I think she was around 11 or 12. She had drowned in the river one weekend, while on an outing with her family. The family had an open casket. I wasn’t aware of the open casket at the time. This order was placed through one of the funeral homes that used us as their florist. Sometimes the grief can can’t allow loved ones to think clearly, so they will just look at our book at that funeral home, look around their budget at a picture to bury their loved ones with and then move on to the next process on which they need to do to make funeral arrangements. Trust me. Burying a loved one is an arduous task with many responsibilities. Especially while you are coping or in the grieving process. Back to what I was saying. As I was walking down the aisle towards her casket, I noticed the lid was up. I started to panic. I said to myself, “Oh no. They are having a viewing. Just keep your head down and to the right side of the chapel. Place the spray and go get the other pieces.” As I set it down, curiosity got the best of me. Now at this time, there is no one in the chapel with me. We try to deliver the arrangements prior and way ahead of time before services start. I wasn’t prepared. I looked for only a second, but it seemed like eternity. Here laid one of Gods precious little angels. A life that was taken way to soon. But she didn’t look like a child. At first glance, she appeared to look like an older lady. Her coloration was dark and she appeared bloated. I gasped and hurried to look away.
I went back to the van to get the other pieces. I was running a tad bit late this day on orders. The community came together and we had a lot of arrangements to make. One was a standing spray of an open heart of which her best friend had ordered with her mom. They came into my flower shop together. I remember specifically of the friend wanting a black ribbon that simply said, “My Best Friend”. The black was to represent her sadness. Returning to the funeral home later, to set her standing spray piece by others, I saw many white poster boards on wooden stands. They had cut out pictures of this little girl and what appeared to be her friends. Some even had candy glued to them. I think to represent her favorite sweets they may have enjoyed together. My heart started to pound out of my chest. Realizing just how many people she had left behind and had loved her tremendously. Especially classmates. In the blink of an eye, death can change everything.
When I went back to the van, I just put my head down and started to cry. I couldn’t do this anymore. My heart can’t take it. I know death is a part of life, but….this poor girls mother…..her father….. siblings. How are they to cope? How will they now live the rest of their lives, not having her around anymore? Their future? The scars they now have to live with? I grieved. I not only grieved for this little girl, but for all the hearts she has touched in their lives. Including mine now.
The breaking point was, when I got in a last minute order to deliver. It was a plant. The family viewing had just began. I quietly walked down the side of the chapel to set the plant down, then respectfully turned to exit. I wasn’t prepared for what I saw and heard. Writing about this now is still brings me to tears. The mother had thrown herself across the casket, bawling uncontrollably. She was wailing and screaming. Her husband was beside her, trying his very best to hold her as the tears were coming out of his eyes too. She was rocking the casket screaming, “Why! Why God!? Why!? Take me! Not my baby! Why!?” She was enraged. Heartbroken. Trying to grieve and wanting to die herself. The last few quiet steps I had to take to leave the chapel, become rushing footsteps. I had to get out. I couldn’t bare this emotion I was witnessing. You never want to see a parent lose their child. You never want to have to experience something so tragic.
That was one of the many times that left an emotional scar on my soul and left the factor of myself being unable to deliver pieces to young children. Especially those who died tragically. I felt that mothers pain as if it were my own. I felt it so clearly. Her aura just radiated so much pain. For miles and miles. You couldn’t help but feel that black veil of pure, raw emotion. Until this day, I pray for her in my heart. And her family. I pray God gives her peace, acceptance and love throughout the rest of the days in her life.
To be honest, I’m quite surprised to have opened up about that part of my life. I no longer have that little flower shop of 10 years. After losing such a deep part of my life, it triggered my depression to swing out of control. When you suffer from mental illness, you learn to recognize your triggers and on how to deal with them. But this trigger was like a loaded gun. And it went beyond my control. My memories of it haunt me. Because for once in my life I felt as if I belonged. That I had an actual purpose in my life. I got to help many, many people in varies parts of life. It gave me the chance to show love to complete strangers and to express that they are never alone. Every life touches one another. We are all connected someway, somehow. We all have meaning. I wanted others to see and recognize that they have self worth and love from someone they never knew existed or cared for them.
I want my story to touch you. I want you to know that I thank you for reading this. That even though I have no clue who you are, or know what part of the world you live in, that my heart and soul cares for you. Always remember that you are loved. In more ways then you can even fathom.
Until next time, my friend.