Flowers can be sent to the home of the bereaved or the funeral home to:
• Show’ sympathy, flowers can say more than words in a difficult time, especially when you are finding it hard to say goodbye or are unsure how you are feeling.
• Offer comfort in the form of memories of the loved one (if using their favourite flower or an arrangement of flowers to form a design that is applicable to them), these memories may be happy and allow you to smile, even laugh when you think about your loved ones life and what they were like.
• Give the eyes something to look at – funerals can be uncomfortable and you may be unsure where to look.
• Offer some form of happiness and life on a sorrowful day full of death, which may bring smiles and
• Show your support to the bereaved family, and remind them that they are in your thoughts. The family will appreciate having love and support throughout this difficult time.
When you send flowers remember to attach a card to them with your name, and perhaps a short message, so the family knows who to thank after the funeral. Consider getting other friends and family to donate so that you can buy a bigger and better floral arrangement that will really stand out. Speak to the family first, they may already have enough flowers already and may prefer to have the money to pay towards the funeral costs, or a donation to a charity of the deceased choice. After the funeral, if the family cannot house or does not want all the flowers, consider collecting them and donating them to a nursing home, hospital or even a church.
What flowers you should use, and how you should have them arranged:
Be personal and tailor the flowers to symbolise the personality and interests of the deceased. The flowers should be creative, yet sympathetic, gentle and soothing while also expressive and reflective of the relationship between the deceased and the sender of the flowers. Whatever flowers you choose to send, make sure that they show your true feelings, the family will appreciate the thought that you have put into the selection.
If you are a close family member, or a very close friend of the deceased you should have a pillow or a casket spray made up to put on or next to the casket. For other family and friends arrangements such as baskets, bouquets or single flowers and flowers on stands are appropriate as a gift.
There are some typical funeral flowers, such as roses, chrysanthemums and red carnations, and also flowers that bring a feeling hope, in particular spring flowers, but you can use pretty much any flowers in your arrangement or spread as pretty much all flowers are suitable for a funeral. If you know the deceased favourite flowers and colours, use these in the arrangements. It is common for people to avoid using vibrant colours as they feel it would be considered inappropriate, but funerals are both a way of saying goodbye and celebrating the deceased life and because of this using bright and vivid colours are very appropriate. Consider the colours of the flowers you are choosing and what kind of relationship is symbolised by that colour, e.g. white flowers represent loss and sorrow, red flowers indicate passion and love, orange flowers symbolise respect and admiration.
Always remember to think about the religion of the deceased as this may affect what kind of flower arrangements are allowed in the funeral. For example, a crucifix or a cross isn’t always allowed and Buddhist churches usually prefer white flowers only.