Herbal and Floral Wreath
(Photo taken on January 10, 2012.)
This was a wreath that I requested be made for my Dad's visitations, prayer service, and funeral mass. I did some research in 2011 about different herbs, flowers, and plants and their significance or symbolism.
When I presented the special request with all the different components, I wasn't sure a florist could incorporate all the elements...nor what the final piece would turn out like.
I was so happy when it was delivered. The florist said they went to five different vendors and his neighbor's oak tree to get every element I had hoped for in the arrangement.
The elements and how they relatee to my Dad are:
- Juniper – Don admired St. Francis’ beliefs and writing; and juniper is said to have been a favorite of St. Francis and also traditionally is a plant of sanctuary.
- Douglas fir – Don enjoyed nature, camping, and the outdoors; and the fragrance from the fir is a reminder of being up north in the BWCA – a favorite place of his to visit during the 1960s and 1970s.
The final vacation that Don took was in September 2010 with Dorothy, Ann, Sophia, and Olivia to Grand Marais. They visited one of the places Don enjoyed the most: the Gunflint Trail and Lake Saganaga.
We hiked on trails, dipped our hands in the lake, fed some ducks, and had a picnic by the shore of Lake Saganaga. Don was able to remember routes he canoed and portages he walked on when he looked at a map of the area.
- Boxwood – This plant’s name – sempervirens – means everlasting life. Don’s strong Catholic faith and belief that Jesus was his savior, means Don will have everlasting life with God as well as all his loved ones who have died before him and who will join him in the future.
- Lavender – Not only is lavender associated with virtue; it is a plant whose fragrance is calming. Don was a virtuous person who sought what was good and chose to act in a good way. Lavender also represents memories and peace.
- Sage – This herb represents immortality. Don’s spirit lives on indefinitely through those whose lives he impacted. These individuals, in turn, share Don’s spirit with others when they act in a way that reflects how Don positively affected them.
- Thyme – Is a symbol of loyalty. Don was a constant and loyal husband to Dorothy; and provided support to her for over 47 years.
- Basil – This herb represents both protection and love. As a devoted husband and father, Don provided both these things to his family.
- Birch – This tree is a symbol of rebirth and renewal. Don believed that once a person dies, they become renewed and restored in Heaven.
- Ivy – Like birch, ivy represents rebirth.
- Oak – This tree symbolizes strength, renewal of the soul, and the healing of wounds. As we continue our lives without Don’s physical presence in this world, we hope and pray that in the days ahead, we become stronger and the sadness that we feel now will be healed.
- Rosemary – This herb represents friendship and happiness. Don was friends with many people and brought happiness to others throughout his life.
- Roses – These flowers represent love and protection. Don enjoyed growing roses in his front yard. Their scent and beauty brought him great joy. During different times during the summer, he would cut a single rose, and present it to Dorothy. They would put the rose on the table in the dinette where they could both enjoy the flower…and be reminded of the love they shared with one another.