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The Dos and Don'ts of Sending Flowers to a Funeral

Category: 

Lifestyle Improvement

Posted On: Jun 05, 2017

The Dos and Don'ts of Sending Flowers to a Funeral

Funeral arrangements have long been a mainstay of the entire process of grieving and mourning. Although some religions are adamantly against flowers, the most common vision of a funeral involves a casket surrounded by tasteful arrangements and acceptable accessories. Not everyone wants a bevy of flowers during a loved one's send-off, of course, but because it's such a long-standing tradition, not everyone considers that. If you're concerned about the etiquette involved in sending flowers following the death of someone you know or love, read on—the following tips should assuage your fears.

Pay Attention to the Obituary

It's long been a trend for the families of the deceased to announce it in the obituary if they don't want flowers. In lieu of flowers, they'll often ask for donations to specific organizations that were meaningful to the departed. It's bad etiquette and poor taste to willfully ignore these types of requests and have flowers delivered to the funeral home or the private home of the family. You may think that you're helping or doing something thoughtful. You are not. You do not know what the bereaved want better than they do. You do not have the right to ignore their wishes. Any time an obituary requests that no one sends flowers, you need to listen.

Include a Card

Not only do you need to include a card when you send flowers to the grieving family, but you also need to sign it using your first and last name, as well first and last names of anyone else who's sending the flowers. For example, if you and your spouse send an arrangement in response to a death, then sign the card “Jane and John Doe,” not simply “Jane and John,” as the mourners may know several Janes and Johns.

Choose the Right Arrangement

Traditional funeral arrangements come in many shapes and sizes. The idea is to fill the funeral home or viewing room with warmth, growth, and the promise of rebirth. A number of people choose to send wreaths because they are a symbol of eternal life, which can bring comfort to the bereaved. Simple arrangements, such as cut blooms and arrangements delivered in vases and other containers, are also popular. Casket sprays are typically reserved for the family to choose and organize, so avoid that type of arrangement.

Know the Customs

What are the spiritual customs of the person who died and the family attending to her or his funeral? If you're not sure beforehand, it's a good idea to find out, even if it involves discreetly asking mutual acquaintances. You see, flowers aren't customary or even allowed in some religions, while others call for specific funeral flowers. The Buddhist religion accepts yellow and white blossoms, for example, but red flowers are unacceptable.

As long as you follow these simple etiquette rules, sending flowers is fine. Do you prefer the idea of having a flower arrangement delivered or sending a donation to a worthy cause?