FOR THE BEREAVED: Why we say it with flowers

Why do people send flowers when someone dies?

Why do people send flowers when someone dies?

Traditionally, flowers have been part of the funeral service, much like cooking food for the bereaved family.

The reason people send flowers, is because it is an unspoken show of support to the family members.

It is an acknowledgement that the person who has died was important and it gives the supporters something visual for the family to see and feel comforted by.

Any type of flower is perfectly acceptable, especially if the person had a particular type that was a favorite.

Using the favorite bloom adds to the ambience of the service and is a reminder to those present.

It may be difficult to obtain certain types of blooms depending on the time of year, so an alternative may be needed.

Certain types are considered to be more “traditional” funeral flowers that can convey an unspoken sentiment.

Did you know that chrysanthemums are popular all over the world? Some believe the meaning behind this flower is truth and honesty.

The rose is chosen frequently as well. They smell familiar, which adds a calming effect and the different colours hold different meanings.

For instance, most of us think of the red rose to signify love, some say passion.

The yellow rose is a symbol of friendship and the white rose, a symbol of innocence. An alternative to the rose is the long-lasting carnations.

They come in a

variety of bright colours and the red ones convey the message of strength. Lily’s, specifically the calla lily, are considered by some to be a symbol of rebirth and resurrection and are gorgeous alone or mixed in with some roses.

This lily is also used in many wedding bouquets and symbolizes marriage and purity.

The floral arrangements can be in any style and another good choice is potted plants that will last a season and can be a lovely inclusion at graveside services.

Some may think that sending flowers is a waste of money but for others, it is a visual message to the family members: “You are not alone, we are thinking of you and your loss is important to me.”

Some families request that supporters give a donation to a charity in their loved ones name or to a charity of their choice in lieu of flowers.

Donating to a cause may not be something visual but it will be a longer lasting legacy in honour of the one who has passed.

–Barbara Bleiler is a certified funeral celebrant and advertising rep for the Grand Forks Gazette