Column: A Look At Bermuda, Death And Flowers

March 18, 2016

[Written by Shari-Lynn Pringle]

The last two weeks have been tough for many. Some of us learned of the death of people that we called family and/or friend. For me, there were 4 people. In some cases, we were shocked because we just didn’t know what burden the now deceased was carrying. And for others, we knew but we just hadn’t reached out to say one last hello before the inevitable good-bye.

In one particular case, it mirrored the passing of another dear friend. I fondly remembered our last WhatsApp messages to each other. “How are you doing?” “Oh I’m fine, just taking some time for myself.” “Oh..okay. Are you sure you’re okay?” “Yeah.” “Well we miss you.” “I’ll be back soon” … yet I knew things weren’t right.

And the week of his death, I kept saying to myself, reach out to him and say “Hey.” But I didn’t. And now all that I have – as with my other friend – is memories and a snapshot of our last conversations when they both told me that they were okay, and they were not.

Bermuda, Death And Flowers Bermuda March 17 2016 (1)

How many times have you heard it?

“We are only given today and never promised tomorrow. So make sure you tell the people who are special in your life that you love them.” [unknown]

How often do you do it? Why do so many struggle over those three little words “I love you” anyway? Okay so maybe it isn’t always love. But when you think of all those that meant so much to you, what was the last thing you said to them? Or did with them? Was it kind and reflective of how you felt about them?

On top of family and friends dying – many too damn soon – Bermuda is facing so many issues at one time that you can almost feel the tension in the air. Something has to give and since we are not in hurricane season, we can’t depend on a Category 4 hurricane to make everyone sit up and pay attention to what is important: Bermuda.

When everything seems to be closing in on me, I don my walking gear and set out with no real goal in mind. Feeling particularly weighed down by death and disappointment, I wandered out on an exceptionally beautiful day.

Bermuda, Death And Flowers Bermuda March 17 2016 (2)

“As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round.” [Ben Hogan]

Bermuda is so beautiful! I noticed every flower on this day and at one point during my 5 mile walk in Smiths Parish, my nose was nostril deep into a rose. I am of the firm belief that things so pretty should have an equally beautiful smell. Not so. But roses never fail to disappoint. You can understand why people come here and don’t want to leave unless in a casket or urn. Unlike the rose however, Bermuda – despite her beauty – stinks right now.

How can anyone expect you to live on an island that is only 22 square miles long, with no real industry, and expect you to not react to a Bill that will threaten your future and that of future generations? How do you try to stack the deck without considering Bermudians first? And how do open up a Human Right to a referendum and consider writing discrimination into the very Act designed to protect you from discrimination? How do you allow a once marginalized group to marginalize others? The politicians and some in the religious community in Bermuda have gone full fullish!

Bermuda, Death And Flowers Bermuda March 17 2016 (3)

Tim McGraw’s Nothin’ To Die For says it so clearly “The graveyards full of folks that didn’t have time to die.” Don’t be one of those people. Don’t live without taking time to be kind in your deeds and words and don’t die with unfinished business, unspoken forgiveness and a head full of hopes and dreams never attempted. And for God’s sake, stop using your privilege like a battering ram, causing people to live and die without achieving a modicum of happiness because you are clutching your bible, pearls and balls thinking the world will end if you just let consenting adults be.

Live. Laugh. Love. And dammit, smell the flowers while you can, people!

Dedicated to Jasz. A hui hou. Until we meet again.


Shari-Lynn Pringle is a fearless and avid walker who loves to rediscover Bermuda one step at a time. She loves her parish and is a member of the Smiths Parish Council. She is available to take humans on walks as a service whether for fitness or discovery in Smith’s or any part of the island. Contact

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Category: All, Environment, News

Comments (3)

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  1. G Be ready!! says:

    Thanks Shari for a great reminder!!
    Continue to spread your joy!! Be blessed!!

  2. speak my mind says:

    What a nice article. It was enjoyable to read, thanks for putting life back in perspective. I will continue to smell the flowers.

  3. Pastor Syl says:

    Lovely, thoughtful article, and so on point! Plus even lovelier flowers! Real eye candy! What a feast!