I had the honor of designing the casket spray for my mother's funeral this June. It was the hardest piece of work I've ever done for obvious reasons, but also because my mom was an expert floral designer herself. She loved to incorporate personal elements into her funerary designs. Her work was always of the highest quality and her funeral designs in particular were created with a generous and caring heart as a way to minister to the needs of those who had lost a loved one. When it was my turn to design for my mom's funeral, I was overcome with feelings of sadness and loss but also intimidation. Since there was no help for it, I had to force myself to simply start working. I tried to create with flowers my mom loved--snapdragons, gladiolas, hydrangea, and roses. In addition to being a talented floral designer, she was a master gardener. Even after battling lung cancer for three years, her garden was beautiful and yielded some meaningful touches--like the asparagus fern and clematis that I used throughout her casket spray. I also loved that I was able to incorporate some pale blue iris found at the local flower mart. Iris is such an iconic flower in South Louisiana found in many of our native wetlands and representing the fleur-de-lis and Holy Trinity. In Greek, Iris means "rainbow" and "messenger" and is the name for the goddess of sea and sky who is the messenger of the gods. I hope the message I communicated with mom's flowers was one of gratitude, love, and appreciation for the mother I had lost, as well as a feeling of peace and calm that comes from knowing she is now in her heavenly home--free of all pain and suffering.