Lilies Take Me Back to When My Mom Was Dying

My husband and I were shopping at the grocery store yesterday.

They had tons of Easter flowers. There were tulips, hyacinths, and lilies. As soon as I saw the lilies, I knew I had to say something.

“If you’re going to buy me flowers for Easter, please don’t get me lilies.”

I love lilies. I always have. They are joyful and beautiful and they remind me of new life.

But unfortunately, they also remind me of my mom dying.

This time last year, as my mom was lying in a hospital bed in her living room, dying, I brought her a beautiful bouquet of fresh white lilies. You could smell them as soon as you entered the room.

That’s the problem though.

As soon as I smell the scent of lilies now, all I can think about is my mom dying. All I can picture is her lying in that bed, wasting away.

I am immediately transported to that room in that inexplicable space in time, where everything both stood still and flashed by at the same time.

It’s crazy how death consumes the things that once brought you such joy. How things you once loved now trigger pain and sadness. How a particular sight, taste, or smell has the ability to catapult you back in time.

But then again, that’s grief.

Maybe someday I will be able to enjoy lilies again, but today is not that day.

For now, I’ll settle for tulips instead.

Lilies take me back to when my mom was dying.

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