The loss of a loved one is never easy, but neither is comforting someone who has experienced that loss.  Many individuals desire to send that perfect bouquet of flowers to show someone that their thoughts are with them during this difficult time.  The most important thing to remember is that it is the thought that counts, and any flowers will be appreciated by the grieving.  That being said, there are rules of etiquette that should be observed when sending flowers.

Floral baskets are always a safe bet, they are appropriate no matter who is sending them.  In choosing the flowers it is not necessary to only send white and pale colored flowers.  Bright color arrangements can bring life to an otherwise somber event and can represent the joy and vigor with which the deceased lived their life.  Flower meaning can also be used in determining which flowers to send, and including the reason each flower was picked can show the grieving just how much care was put into the arrangement.  Living green and flowering plants can also be an excellent choice, as they represent life in the face of death.  Also, as the grieving continues to care for and water the plants they serve as a positive reminder of the place the deceased held in their hearts.

As for floral wreaths and crosses, they are not always appropriate.  Generally speaking, these should only be sent by those who were close with the deceased.  Sending such arrangements for sympathy, when an individual does not know the deceased is often viewed as inappropriate.  The most common exception to this rule is when the sender hopes to honor the deceased.  This relates particularly to members of the armed forces, police officers, firefighters, and other service men and women.

Lid arrangements are reserved for direct family members, as there is only so much room on the casket.  If there is some very specific reason an individual feels the need to send a lid arrangement, it is crucial to ask permission from the family of the deceased first.

In the case of cremation, flower choice should be determined by whether or not there is a funeral service.  Oftentimes it is most appropriate to send a floral arrangement representing the life of the deceased as opposed to a traditional sympathy bouquet.  In the case of cremation floral baskets and living plants are still very appropriate.

Once the above considerations have been made, it is important to realize that there is no wrong time to send flowers to the grieving.  While it is a great reconciliation for families to see the funeral home or church filled with floral arrangements and plants, each one tangible proof of how many lives the deceased touched, grieving is a long process.  Many individuals prefer to wait a week or two after the passing to send flowers.  This way the grieving have brand new fresh bright flowers to replace those that are starting to die, and are reminded that they are still being thought of and cared about.  By this token it can be a wonderful surprise to the grieving to receive floral arrangements months after the passing of a loved one, to know that they have not been forgotten.  In this case though, it is recommended that an individual sends a second floral arrangement months later so that it does not appear that they forgot to send flowers closer to the loved one’s passing.

In the end, those grieving are reconciled by the idea that they are not alone in their missing of a loved one, and any flower, plant or card can make a world of difference.