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"When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure."

My grandfather loved marigolds. The walkway leading up to his house was lined with marigolds on both sides and every week, I would sit outside pulling the weeds from his beautiful marigold beds. Inside there would be a crisp $2.00 bill waiting for me. To this day I still have four of those bills.

My grandfather passed away when I was 10 years old. By this time I was no stranger to funerals but I remember being there, admiring the shiny coffin, and wondering why there were no marigolds. All of these flowers but none of his absolute favourite, the flower that most reminded me of him and his whimsical yard with the walkway lined with marigolds.

Now as an adult and a florist, I understand not every flower is available year round and even more so that funerals are quite often planned with very little time to spare. A date may be set for not even a week away and depending on the time of year, I may not be able to get my hands on those marigolds in time.

When it comes time to plan your final goodbyes, consider what little touches that you can incorporate. For example, I once created a standing funeral spray with a baseball glove and ball within the flowers. The ball had the gentleman's name and dates on it. Another example was a vased arrangement for a pianist. This one was tough as I only had 24 hours but we were able to include a silhouette of a piano on the vase, as well as black and white ribbons symbolizing the keys. Think about favourite flowers, colours, places, hobbies, family members, pets or career. If there's a way to incorporate it, I will work with you to do so because these flowers will be the last gift that you give your loved one.

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