The Smell of Flowers

They (they being scientists and psychologist) say that smell has one of the biggest impacts on memory. For me, this is especially true for the smell of flowers, and not so great memories.

At my boyfriend’s house, his parents always have fresh flowers in the house, and usually have whatever flower is in season. I prefer the spring because they have tulips, but that is neither here nor there.

Over the weekend, I got to his house and was walking up the stairs and stopped in my tracks and go, “What is that smell!?” I had an immediate flash back to Jennifer’s wake, and was overwhelmed by the smell of one particular flower; lilies.

 I can’t even begin to tell you how much this smell makes me sick. They are beautiful flowers, and I used to like the smell of them, but now, they actually make me sick to my stomach.

At Jennifer’s wake, there were so many flowers, it looked like a botanical garden. I specifically remember a yellow and white lily arrangement near the front of the room (next to where you kneel to pray), that were extra fragrant. Plus, after the funeral, we brought many of the flowers home, and they smelled up the house. To this day, even the slightest scent of lilies brings me back to Nif’s funeral, and all the emotions associated with it.

I understand the original use of fragrant flowers at wakes and funerals, but in modern times, there is no longer a need for them. I prefer flowers that have a light to no smell at all. That way, they are beautiful to look at, and don’t bring me back to a sad time.

I also don’t like the smell of Chanel CHANCE anymore. Well, I like the smell, but again, it brings me back to a sad place.

One smell that has a positive memory for me, that reminds me of Jen, is freshly tarred or paved drive ways and roads. This may seen absurd, but Jen and I would always relate this smell to family vacations down at Seaside Heights, NJ, because they were always re-tarring the roofs or the parking lots. Ever since, when we would drive by a construction zone or new driveway, we would say it smelled like Seaside Heights.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rachel Johnson
    Nov 14, 2012 @ 10:06:32

    Hot asphalt reminds me of him because he worked in construction. His ashes (the half we didn’t bury) are scattered in Lavallette, and it is the only place I am at peace because I feel him with me. I actually threw a fit when coming home last year and ended up going back down because I couldn’t bear to be “away” from him.

    I love you, Jacq. ❤


  2. Christine
    Nov 14, 2012 @ 17:16:00

    Jacqueline, I just happened to come across your blog when trying to find a picture of our sacred Quill and how to wear it to a funeral. I am an Alpha Xi from Missouri and we just lost our sister, at 35 years of age, to Colon Cancer. I cannot express to you the emotions/gratitude/love I have felt for my sisters in the last week and the support for our sisters Twin, whom is also an Alpha Xi. Reading your story from last year regarding your sister, brought me to tears. I am so sorry and cannot imagine the pain you felt. Eventhough I have never met you, it is amazing how the sisterhood of Alpha Xi is so similar no matter where you are from. We graduated in 2000 and in the matter of hours, there was a private message on facebook of 130+ women offering our love, prayers, support, meal plans our dear sisters. TFJ


    • Jacqueline DeVito
      Nov 14, 2012 @ 18:24:42

      Hi Christine. I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s overwhelming the support I’ve gotten from Sisters after the passing of my sister Jennifer, and I’m glad you (and the rest of chapter) have an amazing support system.

      I just checked my Bonds of Sisterhood, but I think you wear your Quill with the Delta covered with black tape.

      TFJ during this difficult time. Xi love


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