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Overview

While it’s not always easy to know what to say to a person who has lost a loved one, sending flowers is an expression of thoughtfulness that brings both comfort and beauty to a sad occasion. Flowers are typically sent to the funeral home to be displayed during services and at the funeral. Flowers are also sent to the homes of the bereaved to express condolences.

Wreaths

Wreaths are common flower arrangements appropriate for funerals. They are often set up next to the casket on easels provided by the funeral home. Wreaths stand up well alongside larger floor baskets. A banner can be placed over a wreath, sending sentiments of a relationship. For example, you might have “Uncle” or “Grandfather” inscribed on a wreath. A colorful wreath might be appropriate for a woman or someone you know appreciated color. A wreath — such as the Eternal Peace Wreath offered by ProFlowers, which consists of white flowers surrounded by greenery — is an elegant form of honor.

Fresh Cut

Fresh cut flowers are the most popular choice for sympathy bouquets. They provide soothing scents to the area and serve a purpose throughout the bereavement services. Cut flowers can be placed on the grave at the burial and are widely accepted as appropriate forms of condolence. White flowers are commonly sent as sympathy offerings because they signify purity, peace and love. Simple white blooms flatter the surroundings at any bereavement ceremony. Common white cut flowers sent as a sign of sympathy include sympathy lilies, white roses, orchids and irises.

Potted Plants

Once the service is over, potted flowering plants are often carried home by the family of the deceased and live on as a memory of the service, the lost loved one, and your consideration. Sympathy lilies are commonly used as plants for funerals. They are available in large pots that sit gracefully on the floor beside wreaths and cut flowers. The dark green highlights the white flowers. Potted orchids, white azalea bushes and gardenias are other options commonly sent in times of grieving to bring comfort to the mourners.

Considerations

Many families prefer to have donations made to a charity that helped with the final days before their loved one’s death or to an organization that provided meaningful services to the deceased. The wishes of the family should be honored when explicitly mentioned. Death notices very often ask that in lieu of flowers, a donation be sent to a specific organization. The family usually chooses the spray of flowers to be placed on top of the casket and may prefer to keep the décor simple. According to Pollen Nation, proper etiquette demands that you honor the requests of the family. Flowers can be sent to individual grieving family members at their home. A simple potted orchid or a dozen roses is a peaceful, nondescript gift that may be welcomed in the days and weeks following the trauma.