The following text is nearly as surreal to type as it surely is for many to wrap their heads around, or hearts for that matter: much-loved songwriter, animal lover, celebrated music producer and renowned in-the-round organizer Lorna Flowers has passed away. Several who had just spent time with her at first thought this must be some sort of joke.
According to the small amount of information available, something went terribly wrong on Wednesday while she was in the hospital for a relatively simple stay and her body it seems was too weak to recover. But really in the grand scheme of things this information is insignificant. After all, life is not about what takes it. And music was her life despite a long daily cancer fight (about which she to say the least put on a brave face).
Lorna could be seen and heard so often in the local songwriting community that she might as well have been part of Nashville's skyline. Oddly enough, the sweet spirit of hers which graced Music City so prevalently actually arrived due to England's courtesy. But this would come as quite a surprise to anyone deciding to form an assessment of Flowers based on her musical tastes and her chosen words rather than her accent.
It's a typical rule of sorts that journalists avoid the temptation of first person so I pray no one throws the book at me for slipping into it as a glimpse into such a view now seems so needed. I honestly never got to actively know Lorna closely or on an overly personal basis; however, that doesn't keep me from knowing her spirit. It appears pretty clear to anyone who listened. She had a very giving heart and she put it to good use with the many songwriter shows she poured herself into to both tirelessly organize and enthusiastically join in on. I'm the kind of person who is always sure to not be sure anyone will recognize me. So, it's truly special when someone I have any kind of respect for shows some in return. We assuredly exchanged enough smiles with each other through the years at shows aplenty – and a special smile is something with which she was always definitely ready. In spite of everything, she carried with her a glass half-full. Recent excited posts on Facebook find Lorna happily celebrating everything from being recently signed to a publishing deal to so-called “psychosocial issues” of being a musician and living in Nashville. One of her very last updates reads “Feeling good!”
To some this may sound silly, but there's a TV show which holds a very special place in the heart of yours truly and a few select lines of dialogue from one of its very last moments (when two principal characters are reflecting on life) seems it just may speak volumes in this moment too:
“Believe in yourselves. Dream. Try. Do good.”
“Don't you mean 'Do well?'”
“No. I mean – 'Do good.”
I came across a comment from one of Lorna's closest friends which said something about how Lorna once told her she didn't want to just be known as “that woman with the songwriter shows.” Well-mission accomplished. Only even if it weren't, she left a lasting legacy no matter whose songs she managed to speak through. Because she put enough of herself in to help get their word out.
What writing room remains hopefully will at least serve as space to share at least a collected sampling of the hundreds of thoughts openly shared throughout social media from songwriters, friends, and others moved by Lorna. FYI, there was a special musical remembrance/celebration of life ceremony and gathering of sorts which took place at The Commodore Grille early Thursday night and which many may have missed out on. There thankfully is some talk of more. The funeral is set for Friday, March 7th at 10 a.m., and will take place at the Congregation Sherith Israel Cemetery, 2111 15th Ave North.
Granted, it isn't always possible but please remember and take to heart the old cliché and try to live everyday of this dance of life as if it were your last. Prayers go out to anyone affected by this loss.
“I was deeply moved by the get together tonight at the Commodore Grille remembering Lorna Flowers. What an impact she had on this little songwriting community. I hate that it takes a death to remind us how fragile and precious life is. Very nice to see some familiar faces tonight. If you get a random message from me in the next few days it's not fake. It means I love you. God speed Lorna you made a difference.” -Travis Meadows
“To a fellow warrior... looking forward to seeing you again Lorna Flowers, I know I will. Rest in peace. -Rich Karg
“Waking up to the news of Lorna Flowers' passing on my news feed finds me rather dumbfounded. She's been so supportive of my journey over the years as well as SO many other artists & writers in this town. She never stopped chasing her dream, with her entire heart. Let that be something we all continue to admire about our dear friend & live for ourselves everyday we have here.” -Rachel Williams
“Reading everyone's posts about Lorna.... I think she'd feel so honored to know how much she was loved by everyone..... We're all gonna miss her. She was one of the good ones!” -Vickie Raye (Peterman)
“Sad to say our friend Lorna Flowers passed away last night. She was a TRUE inspiration and friend that will be missed every day. LOVED Lorna...so many memories of that wonderful woman, loved her spirit, she loved to connect people together. She loved our community and was loved by everyone. Let's take time to remember those good times and know she loved all of us. We are blessed to have known that sweet woman that made a difference in our lives.” -Doak Turner
“Last evening we lost our friend—our hero—Lorna Flowers. She left the way she lived; surrounded by loving friends. Her family has now been notified and per her wishes, she will be buried in her beloved Nashville tomorrow, Friday March 7th. As for her Nashville family, plans are in the works for a fitting memorial and tribute, and info will be posted as those plans progress. Right now we celebrate an end to her years of pain and illness, though she will be terribly missed. Hers was a rare and wonderful light, and it carries on in the lives of everyone she touched. She often spoke of her angels; last night they carried her home. As her friend and publisher, I want to thank all of you for the outpouring of love and concern on her behalf. I believed in her and was so proud that she had accepted our offer of a staff publishing position. She was a vital part of our team, totally irreplaceable and she will be missed very much.” -Robyn Taylor-Drake
“Sitting in studio in CA in shock. Got a text from a friend about Lorna's passing, and was hoping it was an awful misunderstanding. Did a gig with her last week, and she looked so good. She was SO happy about her new deal with and excited for the future. I always hugged her and told her I love her, but I sure wish that night that I'd hugged her a little longer, a little tighter. In a town full of Dreamers who are often struggling to keep their egos and insecurities in check, Lorna was a cheerleader, connector, motivator, and equal opportunity Giver of Love and Light. I'm so sad she's gone, and so incredibly grateful that a soul that gorgeous and evolved showed up in Twangtown, and changed us all for the better. Her passing leaves a big ole empty hole in every heart she's touched. I want to extend my thoughts and sympathy to Lorna's family and friends in England. I didn't get the honor of meeting you, but want to THANK YOU for sharing your Angel with us. I know she missed her home and loved ones, but in her short years here, she became like family to us, and was absolutely treasured. Thank you, Lorna Flowers, for living, creating, and loving with such grace. I'll miss you, darlin'. See you on the other side of the river.” -Lisa Carver
**Author's note: please note that only some of the blue words in articles are inserted into text by the author, many might be auto-inserted by the host system and are often best left alone. For help, please hover over the text in question with your cursor to preview whether or not it leads to another site.
© COPYRIGHT STATEMENT: Unless stated otherwise, this article is the original work of Melissa Coker (NOT a press release). Under no circumstance may this article be broadcast, copied, published, rewritten or used without crediting the author. Please DO link to this article, however! And for more Nashville music news, click the "Subscribe" link to the side of this story (under author name) to get notifications in your inbox.