Butterfly Roses by Audra Draper, MS A rose is a paradox, a dichotomy. The rose flower is very beautiful, but you reach for it at peril of the thorns. Roses traditionally celebrate our most joyful events, births, weddings, anniversaries. But roses also dignify our most solemn events, deaths, funerals, memorials. Roses symbolize love and even suggest marriage. Roses also symbolize perfection and reward the highest performances. And yet, roses also symbolize and express apology and even sorrow.