top of page



The flowers

The flowers in peoples' rooms became literal and metaphorical companions; some died before their owners, some later.

Helena days 3, 7 and 12

"A restfulness arises from contemplating a quiet white rose until the rose expands into the whiteness of sleep"

Truman Capote | From White Rose | Dogs Bark

Rose’s delirium

Rose’s delirium had deepened. She wasn’t in the room with me anymore, she was in another place, a place I couldn’t go to or share with her.

She’d wrapped her blanket into a frenetic ball on her chest. It reminded me of a rose – but this was not an hallucination, it existed outside her mind, it was real and intense, and shared the room with a vase of dying roses that were shriveled, and just as chaotic as the folds in her blanket.

Rose’s blanket and her dying flowers sat in disquieting juxtaposition to each other.

She had painted a surreal image for me. I wondered what image her mind was painting for her, would think it was real? If she came back, would she remember?

Shirley days 5, 6 and 7

Flowers are given at both ends of life and at most significant events in between. They are our life and death companions.

Sitting at bedsides they are a potent visual reminder of the process of change that dying is. Sometimes they die before, and sometimes after the person has gone from the room.

Some are left for staff, or left for staff to throw out, or they are taken home to end their lives with family, to ‘die at home’.

bottom of page