Sending a beautiful arrangement of fresh flowers to the funeral home is a loving and comforting way to express sympathy to a bereaved family. Your local florist will know what is appropriate to send to a funeral, so don’t hesitate to ask for suggestions.
Recently the trend to send non-floral tributes to the funeral home has become popular. This may be deemed inappropriate in some regions as a funeral should not be viewed as a “gift giving” occasion. Another popular trend is to send live green plants or artificial arrangements to the funeral home. Since these items cannot go to the cemetery after the service, before choosing a non-floral tribute, you should consider several factors.
o Is there a family member who is willing to take the item home?
o Is it cold outside so that a live green plant may freeze in transit? Remember, they have no body heat and will freeze almost instantly.
o Does the family want an item with which to “remember” the funeral?
Fresh flowers brighten an otherwise dark time in the bereaved family’s life. They show love and respect for the deceased. Flowers represent the cycle of life and death, living, growing and dying.
Arrangements for funeral tributes may be traditional in a plastic or paper mache’ container usually designed in a triangular shape. Or they may be non-traditional in a basket, easel stand or other type of container, arranged in a more contemporary fashion. Glass vases may not be appropriate as they easily break and cannot be taken to the cemetery after the funeral service. It is quite acceptable to send a vased arrangement of flowers to the family home in the week after the service.
Most any flower may be used in a funeral tribute as long lasting qualities are not a top priority when the flowers will be placed on the grave following the service.
Tell the florist about the deceased, their hobbies, occupation and interests, so a personal touch may be added to the design.
The casket spray and any flowers inside the casket are reserved for the immediate family. The spouse, parents, siblings, children and grandchildren have the privilege of honoring their loved one with floral tributes adorning the casket.
If there is no body at the funeral home, only an urn or picture, flowers may still be sent to comfort the family. The funeral director will display the tributes in an appropriate manner.
Order early so the florist has enough time to order flowers, design and deliver arrangements to the funeral home several hours before the visiting hours. The flowers should be in place when the family arrives early at the funeral home for their private time with their loved one.
To help the family in the task of sending thank you cards, ask the florist to add your name and address to the back of the sympathy card along with a brief description of your tribute. A group of people sending flowers together may sign the card: The Accounting Department at the Acme Company.
Large families may also sign their cards, The Joe Smith Family or The Smith Family: Joe & Sue, Tom & Sally, Dick & Jane & families. Always add your last name to a sympathy card to avoid confusion should the family know more than one Dick & Jane, or they simply do not recognize your name in their grief. This happens more than you might expect.