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This was sent to us by a beautiful member of our Helpful Love community who bravely and openly shared her story with us.
The truth about receiving flowers…Fumbling around the kitchen I ransacked my cupboards for anything that resembled a vase. I brought out jugs, large cups, jars, and even went door knocking to my neighbours in search vases I could borrow. I was receiving delivery after delivery of beautiful, fresh smelling flowers. I received over 10 bunches in fact that were sent with messages of love and kind words. I was so grateful for each one.
Although the truth is I felt guilty receiving them, as the reality was the money they spent on them was wasted. I wasn’t home to enjoy them and they ended up causing me more hassle than I had time for. See, I was spending each day at the hospital with a critically ill loved one. The house was so hot during the day that I would come home to find them wilting away and therefore dropping their petals everywhere. This would mean I would spend precious time cleaning up the mess while also stressing about how I could get to chores screaming at me to be done. Mowing the lawn, cleaning the house, food shopping, cooking, tending to pets… it was all becoming so overwhelming that emotionally it was all becoming too much. There were friends and family that wanted to help… but didn’t know how.
This scenario isn’t rare or unusual, it’s more common than you may think. The struggle of trying to do it all when dealing with a challenging situation can take its toll not only physically but mentally on a person.
Think about the last time you sent flowers to someone to let someone know you were thinking of them. Was it because they were grieving, helping a critically ill loved one, were they sick, were they injured, had they just had surgery or delivered a new baby? There are so many situations where we as friends, family or as community need to come together to reach out and help those we care about.
I share my experience not to sound ungrateful for what I received, but to help others by suggesting we change what we do to something more practical like mowing a lawn, delivering a meal or doing a load of laundry. It’s a simple concept but I can say the feeling of being helped has left me feeling immense gratitude that has lasted well beyond the flowers that ended up in my bin.
It can mean the difference between coping and falling apart in an exhausted emotional wreck.
Next time you go straight for the gift of flowers, please put yourself in their shoes and think is this right gesture, or is this an opportunity to do something more helpful?