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When “In lieu of flowers” is disregarded

You wrote “In lieu of flowers” as part of the obituary, but well-intentioned mourners still sent floral tributes to the funeral home or to your house. Why do people send funeral flowers in the first place? Usually, it is an expression of love, comfort, condolences, and sympathy for the mourners. According to a recent article I read, “(Funeral) Flowers have a spiritual significance, and have always been used to symbolize the life cycle from birth to death. They represent not only love and sympathy but also eternity and immortality. A person’s life is symbolized by the fragility of a flower, where proper conditions are necessary for them to grow and blossom.”

What can you do with these floral sympathy offerings, especially in cases of floral allergies or “floral overload”, instead of discarding them? First, document each floral sympathy offering to keep track of who gave what, to make writing the thank you cards more efficient.

A common solution is to divide the plants or floral tributes amongst the immediate family members right after the funeral service, based upon their relationship to the giver, to display in their own houses. I’ve known craft-oriented people who have then taken petals from the various flowers and dried/pressed them to create memorial framed artwork.

I’ve also seen the extra flowers (identifying cards removed) donated to the church for display on the alter (usually they are acknowledged either verbally before the sermon or as a written acknowledgement in the church bulletin). Some retirement homes and hospices love receiving flowers and plants that can brighten up the common areas, but not all have this policy.

A death doula, like me, can assist with these aspects of post-death details.

Article Source: “History of Funeral Flowers”

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