Sympathy Flowers Etiquette: How To Send Condolences

By: Alterna Cremation
Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Sometimes, words aren’t enough. Instead, we can express our compassion through another means: sympathy flowers.

This gift conveys your condolences in a way that words cannot. Flowers represent several things:

  • The circle of life, which may offer comfort during a time of bereavement
  • Your thoughtfulness
  • A pleasant distraction—beautiful flowers with an uplifting scent

Overall, sending flowers is a gesture that shows you care. Before the pandemic, you may have hand-delivered them or brought them to the ceremony. But now, you need to maintain physical distancing.

You may be wondering how to send flowers respectfully. We’ve put together a few tips on etiquette:

 

Should You Use White Flowers?

Although white is the most popular choice for sympathy flowers, other shades are still suitable. White symbolizes humility, elegance, and purity. You might find that other colours are meaningful too, like red (for love) and pink (for sympathy).

Some families may choose to hold a celebration of life for their deceased loved one rather than a typical funeral. It may be more appropriate to send a bouquet that’s bright and hopeful.

You might also be wondering what type of flowers you should send. Some of the most common sympathy flowers include:

  • Orchids
  • Carnations
  • Tulips
  • Forget-me-nots
  • Roses

If you knew the deceased well, you may know their favourite colour or flower. You can pick a bouquet that reflects their vibrant, warm, or adventurous personality. Sending something this specific can be a truly moving gesture to the family.

 

Send Them Anytime

We don’t always learn of someone’s passing before the funeral takes place. You may only find out that a loved one has lost someone after the service. In that case, it’s still appropriate to send flowers. Grief often persists for weeks, so it can be especially impactful to send flowers after some time has passed. 

Funeral flowers are a bouquet that is sent directly to the funeral home when the service is held, while sympathy flowers are sent to the residence of the family after it takes place.

You can choose to send any arrangement of flowers that you see fit, including bouquets, wreaths, or baskets.

 

Buy Local

If possible, try to purchase a spray from a local florist rather than a grocery store. The attention to detail, hand-picked selections, and careful arrangement will show through when the flowers are delivered. 

At Alterna Cremation, we offer floral arrangements that can express your condolences respectfully and thoughtfully. 

 

Include a Message of Support

A simple and short message can personalize your bouquet and make it more meaningful to its recipient. You may want to include a few sympathetic phrases, like:

  • I am deeply sorry for your loss
  • Sending this with my love and sympathy
  • You are in my thoughts

Be sure to include your name so that the recipient knows who sent them the arrangement.

The pain that we experience after someone dear to us passes away can be overwhelming. But the support from friends and family members can help us get through a difficult time. Sending flowers is a loving way to offer something hopeful to people experiencing grief.

 

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