Editor’s note: The family of Karen Wrentzel shared this handwritten, undated note, which was found among her belongings after her death.
For my death:
Please, no flowers!
To those who would send flowers, don’t.
Instead, please plant trees. Oak, maple, birch, willow and ash are some of my favorites, as well as berry bushes, lilac bushes, or any perennials. But it is against my wishes to have any flowers cut for my death. No one puts flowers on a flower’s grave! No, flowers die and spread new life through their decay.
I would love for each person who loved me to plant a tree and tend it and love it, and for whomever loved me most to plant a pine or oak with my ashes, in a place I love, with a small [plaque] preventing it from being cut down.
As a service:
Outside, [wherever] my tree is to be planted, I would like those who care to, who believe, to light a candle in thoughts of me, and pray that my soul has no trouble getting where it is supposed to go.