We got flowers today, this morning, the doorbell thing rang. Down, four flights down, was a man with a package. I went to get it.

And it wasn’t until I got the box, and I signed the paper, and I wished the man a good weekend, and I turned back up the stairs that it hit me. I don’t want to be getting flowers, I don’t want to be marking the anniversary of my daughter’s stillbirth, I don’t want to be getting sympathy, I don’t want to be doing this again. I don’t want flowers and I don’t want my life to be like this.

By the second landing, I was tearing up. At the third, I was in full gasping heaving tears. Burning, surprising.

They’re lovely, of course, and a very very kind gesture from a person who should not be spending money on international flower deliveries. And it means a lot that someone, at least one person, went out of her way to send us something. It would have felt a little more lonely without it. But damn, I don’t want flowers.

So many times this year I’ve thought I would surprise Melka with flowers… everyone here in the low lands picks them up, carries them on their bikes, (along with 2.5 children, mobile phones, and a sandwich). But bringing home flowers always felt unromantic… like bringing home a botanical reminder of loneliness and death. Say it with flowers.