Funerals bring with them many mixed emotions. With these mixed emotions, one can have a difficult time in picking out the proper funeral flowers. Flowers have traditionally been accepted practice as a way to expressing sympathy and showing those grieving that you care and are there for them. It is also considered a sign of affection and respect for the deceased.
When already dealing with so many mixed emotions, picking the proper funeral flowers can become overwhelming. There are so many different options. Your relationship with the deceased plays a role in choosing the proper funeral flowers and where they should be delivered. Following proper funeral etiquette, if you were not close with the deceased, but are a close friend to the survivors, sending funeral flowers to the home and/or funeral home is acceptable.
When sending funeral flowers to the funeral home, make sure they are delivered a day before the services. Always respect the personal beliefs and wishes of the family members overseeing the funeral arrangements including religious beliefs. For example, if the deceased is of an orthodox Jewish decent would find this offensive and you should send flowers to the home of their family member instead. Pay attention to religious motifs that can be on certain arrangements. If you are unsure of the religious beliefs, go with a funeral flower arrangement that holds no religious motifs.
According to rigorous research, it has been found that sympathy flowers have a bigger effect on those in mourning than just honoring the deceased. Sympathy flowers have been found to give a warm feeling to a memorial setting as well as brighten a otherwise darkened moment. They have also been found to have a huge impact on the emotional well being of those in mourning. A behavioral research study done by Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D. of Harvard University emphasizes the calming and fortifying feelings that flowers create. Study showed that flowers do have a strong positive effect on ones emotions and that people are naturally attracted to them. Previous studies have proven that flowers do have a strong effect on ones emotional well being easing depression, anxiousness, and agitation when receiving flowers. They have also shown that those who receive flowers have a higher sense of enjoyment and life satisfaction. (Rutgers, State Univ. of New Jersey; Journal of Evolutionary Psychology)
The bereavement process is a high emotional time where flowers can play a huge role in easing some of pain during this time. There is a new trend in funeral planning with the use of “in lieu of flowers” where the family will ask that instead of sending flowers, those who want to pay respect to the deceased send money to a particular charity. However, in light of the benefits flowers can bring to a memorial service, it is hard to imagine one without them. Although the sentiment is nice in being charitable, it takes away those who want to pay respect to the deceased the ability to express their sympathy in a manner that is comfortable to them. For many, flowers are customary and what is comfortable for them to express sympathy for the loss of a loved one. For those who are in the unfortunate position of planning a funeral, a better phrase to use when incorporating a charitable contribution to a particular cause are “Donations may be made to (charity)”, “The family has designated (charity) for memorial contributions”, or “The (charity) Memorial has been established for those wishing to make a contribution” so the ability for those to express sympathy do not feel as if their hands are tied. This is not being stated to diminish the deceased or family wishes, just to give alternatives so those who feel the need to send flowers can do so as well without feeling as if they are showing any disrespect.
One would automatically think that there is nothing wrong with sending sympathy flowers to anyone when a family member passes away, however, in some situations it can cause conflict in homes, making the already sensitive issue even more so.
Here are some flower etiquette questions to ask yourself before sending flowers that will help to eliminate any awkward situations.
Is your ex in a new relationship and do you get along with your ex’s new partner?
Depending on your current relationship with your ex and their new partner will determine where the sympathy flowers should be sent. If you are in good standings with your ex but not so much the new partner you can send sympathy flowers to either the home or funeral home as long as you include the new partner’s name on the gift card. If your ex is not in a new relationship, and you are in good standings, you can send sympathy flowers anywhere. If you and your ex are in ill standings, have the sympathy flowers delivered to the funeral home with the card attached not singling out anyone person, but rather “to the family of”.
Where you close to the family member that passed away? If you were close to the family member of the ex that passed away and remained that way after the split with your ex then it is appropriate to send funeral flowers to the funeral home or sympathy flowers to the home with the card addressed to the family. If you were not close to the family member but remain in good standings with the ex, you can send sympathy flowers to the home, just make sure if your ex is in a new relationship to address the new partner as well in the card.
Lastly, ask yourself if your new partner feel offended? More than likely they won’t be, but if your new partner has always been uncomfortable with your relationship with your ex, they may. If that is the case and they have strong feelings against you sending flowers to an ex at a time of loss, you probably shouldn’t send them if you value your new relationship. However, it may make an uncomfortable partner feel more comfortable by including their name on the card when sending sympathy flowers, as well as addressing the card to the family of, rather than just the ex.
Life brings on many ups and downs, with one of the most solemn times being when a loved one passes. It can appear impossible to console a person who has lost someone close to them. The biggest way people express their sympathy and regret to the existing family members is through flowers. Funeral flowers or sympathy flower arrangements can range from enormous wreath and special arrangements to vase options and plants.
A common thought amongst people, especially anyone new to sending funeral flowers, is what exactly should one send or how much should one spend on funeral flowers. There are numerous different funeral and sympathy flower arrangements available with Brant Florist. The amount you spend plays factor on what you have available and who it is you are honoring. Generally, the closer the connection to the deceased, the bigger the arrangement but again, finances can come into play. There is no real right or wrong, it is more the show of support that matters then the dollar amount spent.
There are some flower arrangements that are more traditionally associated with funeral such as:
Any of those are a tasteful way of showing your love and support and will be welcomed.
Another concern for those new to having to send funeral flowers is where to send them to – the family home or the funeral home. Depending on the arrangement you are having delivered plays a role in where to have them sent. Bouquets, vases, and plants are usually sent to the residence to be displayed throughout the home however can be sent to either location. When you are attending the funeral in person, sometimes the flowers you send make for an easy conversation starter for the family grieving such as thanking one for the lovely flowers sent. If they are at the home, the grieving family may not be aware of them yet. Standing wreaths, casket sprays, and large floral arrangements are more appropriately sent to the funeral home, especially if you are wanting them to be transported the burial.
Regardless of what funeral flowers you choose, they will be appreciated by the family in mourning and a way of showing your support in their time of loss and need.
Dear Heloise: You had a column about putting ADDRESSES ON FUNERAL FLOWERS. You were right on, and I’ll add a few hints.
My sister died, and her children had no idea who some of the people were, and neither did we siblings. People had signed only their first names to cards, with no return address of further identity. We would suggest adding a bit of a note with some extra information, such as “Jane Doe, a sorority sister from college,” etc. My mother received a card with a monetary gift signed only “Margaret.” We had no idea which Margaret, and the postmark was not helpful. We felt terrible that we could not return a thank-you. — Kathy H., Nebraska
My condolences on losing your sister. It’s a very hard time, and trying to take care of sending thank-you notes can be difficult. Readers, please sign your full name, especially if you are not a close friend or relative. — Heloise
The point made in this helpful hint in sending funeral flowers is an absolute truth. However, anytime you send flowers to someone in replace of your presence, may it be a funeral, baby shower wedding, or another event, the same information that were mentioned in the Washington Post Heloise column should be followed as well.