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The hurt and pain of losing a loved one often has friends and family of the bereaved not knowing how to act or what to say; sometimes even being present doesn’t seem to help – as sensitive as you try to be, you may say the wrong thing, and nothing seems to help ease the suffering of the bereaved. Even the truest and most supportive friend may find themselves in this position. Most peoples around the world use funeral flowers to express sympathy for the bereaved and for those grieving. Flowers add beauty to a service or visitation, and offer comfort, solace and a measure of peace and hope to those who were close to the deceased.
In advance of the visitation you can send flowers to the funeral home, mortuary, or place of worship; sprays, wreaths or casket sprays are appropriate here. Be sensitive to the religion of the deceased; most religions accept flowers as part of the funeral tradition, though Mormon funerals do not accept crosses. Followers of Judaism receive flowers at the home of a close family member, after the funeral, never before (since they serve as a reminder of the life recently lost.) Orthodox Jews and Muslims may not welcome flowers at all. Hindu funerals don’t include flowers (though they’re welcome as a symbol of love and concern.) Buddhists do not appreciate red flowers, but other colors are welcome. To be safe, ask a family member or person arranging the funeral what’s the most appropriate action here.
A spray, sometimes called a standing spray, is a floral arrangement that’s usually placed on an easel, and is designed in such a way as to be viewed from one side only. A wide variety of flowers is appropriate for sprays and wreaths; from light colored traditional flowers that symbolize peace (for example lilies) , to bright colors and contemporary flowers. Standing sprays often celebrate a life of accomplishment, and wreaths signify eternal life; choosing flowers and colors, perhaps arranged in a shape meaningful to the deceased, is an ideal way to give thanks for the life of the departed. Also appropriate for the funeral home or mortuary is a traditional arrangement, often in a basket or a vase. Flowers from the visitation will be transported to the memorial service or grave site, so please, please, please, ensure your arrangement arrives at the mortuary or funeral home well in advance of the service. If your arrangement won’t arrive in time for the first visitation, arrange for it to be sent directly to the memorial service.
If sending flowers for the service itself, always send them so they arrive in time, so they don’t inconvenience. These arrangements can also include the favorite flowers of the deceased, in their favorite color if available. Larger flowers are often preferred for floral arrangements at the service; these may include roses, Orientals, tulips, stock, chrysanthemums, carnations, lilies, and gladiolas. Casket sprays are traditionally provided by the closest family members.
After the service you may want to send flowers in a basket or vase, or another floral gift, to the home or office of the bereaved. A popular gift at this time is a flowering plant, which will last longer than a floral arrangement, and offer peace and solace to the bereaved for longer. A peace lily would be appropriate here as a sympathy plant. Whatever flowers you send, they’re sure to give comfort and solace, and offer emotional support to the bereaved, especially when coupled with a written message expressing your heartfelt condolences.
Our favorite online florist sells some graceful sympathy flowers, including a graceful floral tribute arrangement and a comforting peace lily in a basket. They offer same day delivery in the US and Canada.