Sending flowers to a funeral is one of the first things we think of as a way of expressing sympathy and condolences after the passing of a friend or loved one. But have you ever wondered why? With such beauty and cheer, flowers can seem paradoxical at a time of grief. Interestingly, they are one of the most common ways to show respect during a funeral or celebration of life event.
Originally, the fragrance of flowers was used to mask the smell of a deceased and decaying body. (Ewwww, we know!). As embalming became part of funeral preparation, the odor issue went away but the tradition of flowers continued.
What Flowers Should I Send to a Funeral?
Traditionally, the closer relationship the sender of the flowers has with the deceased, the closer the flowers are placed next to the casket. This is why the immediate family usually provides the casket flowers which is a large spray of flowers covering the casket also known as a casket saddle. The size of the spray can depend on whether the funeral includes an open or closed casket.
Standing sprays or wreath arrangements are positioned on easels immediately next to the casket and are traditionally sent by extended family members. Family members and friends can also send sympathy bouquets or plants that can then be taken home by the bereaved family members. A living green plant may live for many years and is a longer-term way of honoring the lost loved one.
The most common flowers used in funeral arrangements are lilies, roses, gladiolus, chrysanthemums, and carnations. White flowers are a symbol of sympathy and purity. Red and pink flowers symbolize love and appreciation while yellow flowers represent friendship. Regardless of the type or color of the flowers, their purpose is to show respect and to remain as neutral as possible, so they don’t take the attention away from the funeral service.
Can I Send Flowers if the Family Asks for Charity Donation? (Yes!)
It’s common for obituaries to have an “in lieu of flowers” statement providing a charity that the deceased or bereaved request for memorials to be sent. While donating to a charity is a sensitive way of honoring a death, it’s never inappropriate to send flowers.
Flowers add warmth and beauty to the funeral service and studies show that flowers can help people with the grieving process. In a study, bereaved were asked what funeral rituals helped with them deal with their grief. Receiving sympathy cards and flowers were the top two things that helped them handle their grief with receiving food and charity donation notices coming in a close second.
Can I Still Send Flowers After a Funeral?
The timeline for funerals can proceed quickly and you can easily miss the chance to send flowers. With COVID-19 restrictions, funeral arrangements may not be announced publicly or may be postponed for months. This doesn’t mean you’ve missed your opportunity to show your support. It’s very common to send sympathy flowers to a family member’s home following their loss or after the funeral service has occurred. A week or even a month after the funeral is still appropriate and the recipient will welcome the thoughtfulness.
It’s also common for companies or business colleagues to have flowers delivered to the office of the family member. When ordering flowers to be sent to a business office ask your florist to choose a vase or basket that can be used later or easily transported home.
Avoid “add-ons” for sympathy flowers like balloons or stuffed bears. Make sure the card is specific with who sent the arrangement. Use first and last names or how you know the recipient to avoid confusion. Instead of saying, “Love, John and Jane,” say, “Love, John Jones and Jane Smith from XYZ company.” A death and funeral can be chaotic for those involved and the cards often end up in pile with the recipient trying to figure out how to send thank you notes.
Petals and Pinot
Want to show your sympathy following the death of a friend or loved one – or to show concern for a friend who is grieving? Death and funerals are difficult times for others to put their thoughts into words. A thoughtful flower arrangement or plant provides the perfect sentiment of sympathy when words don’t seem like enough. Let Petals and Pinot help you show your expression of sympathy with a bouquet, casket spray or luscious green plant. Contact us so that we can design and deliver your arrangement with meaning and care.