LIVING WELL

On Sending Flowers

A year and a half ago, a business I started completely fell apart. My business partner wanted an amount of money that cleared out multiple checking accounts, leaving my husband and I in extreme financial strain. This isn’t a story you post on Instagram or wail about on Facebook. It’s one of those experiences you carry around like a secret, unsure who to tell, if anyone.

My girlfriend Brittany had stopped by the studio the week the business unraveled. I shared some pieces of the fall out with her, almost matter of fact because the shock still stung. She and I weren’t best friends, in fact I’d say we’re much closer now than we were then. But later that week, she sent me flowers.

In the studio, Brittany hadn’t said much. Surely, the narrative sounded a little crazy and I, a little crazier. Again, who shares that kind of stuff? But those flowers made me feel heard – someone saw the situation I was in and did something without asking. She didn’t walk away but text later, ‘Let me know if you need anything!’ putting the responsibility on me to know what I needed and make time to share it with her later. Certainly, if I had known what I needed I might have said it, but it wouldn’t have been flowers.

But flowers are exactly what I needed. More specifically, I needed someone to say, “I heard you and that sucks and I’m so sorry it happened.” Amazingly, flowers do just that.

So on this Valentine’s day – full of gift boxes and floral arrangements and sales which can feel oh so Hallmark-y – remember the friend who last confessed that she had a miscarriage. Or a painful fight with her husband. Or something exciting, too – she’s loving the new guy she started dating or she’s getting to take the trip of her dreams this year. Send flowers to say I’m just so happy for you.