Sympathy Flowers: Etiquette and Expressions When Words Aren’t Enough

There are times in our lives when words are of little benefit. When a loved one is lost, nothing but the passage of time can ease the pain. Even still, we gather around and support those who are grieving, hoping that our mere presence can provide some measure of comfort. We remember the deceased, we cry for the loss, we laugh for the memories, and we hold the survivors just a little bit closer. We also look for meaningful ways to remind the surviving family that they are not alone, and for as long as people have collectively grieved for the fallen, they have honoured both those left behind and the deceased with flowers.

Basic Sympathy Flower Etiquette

There is a myriad of options when it comes to sympathy &funeral flowers. Generally speaking, larger bouquets, sprays, and wreaths, are purchased by immediate family members and are placed on display during the service. Standard bouquets and arrangements may be sent by anyone to the funeral home or to the home of the surviving family members. Ideally, those wishing to pay respects by sending flowers should do so as soon as receiving notice. However, a bouquet sent to the family months after a loss is generally welcomed, simply because the remembrance remains thoughtful, even after the standard mourning period has passed.

Choosing the Right Sympathy Flowers

Some traditions called for bouquets to be pieced together, one flower at a time, by those who wished to pay respects. Each flower was chosen for a reason, whether for the symbolism of the type or colour, or because of a special tie the decedent had to a flower. Nowadays, white flowers of almost any kind are traditionally given, as they typically represent peace or purity. Pastels are often used to accent these pieces, offering added warmth to the display. For those who know the family or the decedent well, colourful arrangements may also be chosen. In these cases, the bouquets are seen as a celebration of life. They also have the ability to brighten a room and make a floral gift stand out from the others that may be sent.

Selecting the Right Expressions

It’s proper to send along a card withsympathy flowers, but choosing the right words can be challenging. Be sure to include the names of everyone who took part in selecting the flowers, or simply list a group title if many people were involved. The note, itself, should be kept short. Although any heartfelt message will work, simple phrases such as those listed below are ideal:

Our thoughts are with you.
Our prayers are with you. With heartfelt condolences. With deepest sympathy.

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