NBC 4 New York
The tragedy in Newtown has touched people across the world: one florist says his phone has been ringing off the hook with people wanting to express their sympathies. With a heavy heart, Bob Sabia prepares each bouquet and whispers a prayer. Marc Santia reports.
For more than half a century, Irene's Flower Shop has been comforting the community of Newtown, Conn. through times of grief, but this is different.
Owner Bob Sabia and his team have been struggling through tears to create arrangements for the 26 victims of Friday's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
"We hug each other here and we cry," Sabia said. "It's our family out there too."
The store has donated many of its arrangements, as well as filled orders from people around the world wanting to express their pain and offer condolences for the town.
"To be honest with you, it's work that we do but I would never want to do it again," Sabia said.
The florists seek to personalize their presentations for each victim. In one funeral arrangement, Sabia and his team incorporated a child's baseball bat and glove; in another, sunflowers symbolized a family's beloved little boy.
For some arrangements, the florists had to wait on special deliveries. With so many funerals and so much grief, there is now a shortage of flowers in the area.
Sabia and his team hope their creations may bring some level of comfort that might one day blossom into healing.
"It makes you feel a little better too," Sabia said. "It makes me feel better knowing that I did something for them."