Do not keep the fountains of your love and tenderness sealed up until your friends are dead, but fill their lives with sweetness now—speak approving and cheering words while their ears can hear, and while their hearts can be thrilled and made happier by them. The kind things you will say after they are gone, say before they go. The flowers you mean to send for their coffins bestow now, and so brighten and sweeten their earthly homes before they leave them. If my friends have sweet perfumes and sympathy and affection, which they intend to bestow on my dead body, I would rather they would give them during my weary and troubled hours; that I may be refreshed and cheered while I need them. I would rather have a plain coffin without a flower, and a funeral without an eulogy, than a life without the sweetness of love and sympathy. Let us learn to anoint our friends beforehand for their burial; post-mortem kindness does not cheer the burdened spirit. Flowers upon the coffin shed no fragrance backward over the weary way by which loved ones have traveled.
- End -