Last night I lost a friend to complications from breast cancer. She was a loyal friend, a Mormon historian, and an avid gardener. She and I met in an LDS writer’s group a few years ago. We shared a lot, including some deep thoughts about living with a disability and cancer. She wrote me about two weeks ago to tell me that she was ready to die now, a big change from her feelings when she was first diagnosed with terminal cancer.
I won’t get to attend her funeral. I know none of her family members. These roses are for her.
A neighbor just rang the bell. When I answered it I saw a huge bundle of rosemary in his arms. He explained that he he had more clippings than he could use, and thought I would enjoy some.
Rosemary, the herb of love and remembrance, is steeped in thousands of years of myth and tradition, known to have been used for magic, healing, and seasoning since the beginnings of recorded history.
The herb was originally carried to funerals simply as a protector against infection. It soon became customary, however, for mourners to drop sprigs of it onto the coffin as a promise that they would not forget the deceased.
pray, love, remember.”