When should you send bereavement flowers? What kind of flowers should you send to express your condolences?
Should I Send Bereavement Flowers?
I get a lot of calls asking if sending bereavement flowers are a good idea. Well of course they are, but you’re asking a woman who sleeps, eats and breathes flowers. I love them- and sometimes when I’m not feeling well or my spirits are down, a beautiful bloom, more than anything, will make me feel better. Sympathy flowers don’t fix anything or bring back our loved ones, but they can send a thoughtful and heartfelt message to someone who needs it.
Many people request an arrangement that is not somber or mournful or overly sympathetic; more of a “celebration of life”. Maybe the deceased was a fun and active 85-year-old, full of spit and vinegar? Maybe the deceased had dozens of friends who have nothing but funny stories and family feasts to look back on? Customers commonly want their arrangements to reflect a bright, lively and colorful life. Tell me a little something about the message you’d like to send with your flowers, “it should be full of joy, she had a great smile” or “this is a terrible family tragedy, please send something soft, something that brings comfort.” I tend to ask a lot of questions when a customer is ordering flowers and I have been teased more than once for always “getting the scoop”. But really, every detail I can gather about the sender and or the recipient informs the flower design.
It is instinctual; humans have been ogling flowers and gifting them since the beginning of time. When we take the time to really observe a flower our first impulse is to show and share- we can’t believe it! They inspire wonder and hope, all the while offering us calm. A flower is limitless, like art or the stars or the horizon and yet its devotion to symmetry and order grounds us right where we stand. A flower or a lovingly appointed arrangement is a meaningful way to send a message when there are no words.
A couple quick notes on what not to send:
- Don’t send a huge arrangement. While we REALLY want to offer comfort, don’t send an overwhelming gesture that might serve as a glaring reminder that a loved one is gone. Or is just too big for their home! Something small and sweet can be enough.
- Many families ask “in lieu of sending flowers, please make a donation to a significant organization”. Do not ignore this request, the best way to honor someone is to honor their wishes.
- Do not be afraid to send sympathy arrangements a month or two after memorial services have been held. People who have lost someone are often immediately bombarded with friends and families wanting to show their love (which of course is wonderful). But life can become lonely a few months later when the rest of the world has “moved on”. You can let someone know that they are still in your heart and you are still carrying warm memories.
These are just a few thoughts that I have about bereavement flowers. I have more- you can call or email me if you have questions about sympathy flowers, like I said earlier, I love to talk with customers, really anyone about flowers.