When to Send Flowers After a Death
It is common knowledge that sending funeral flowers is an appropriate gift for a grieving family. This age-old tradition allows you to give your regards without imposing on the family in any way. And because you can personalize the gift with blooms of your own choosing, they convey much more meaning than a simple card can do.
But when is the ideal time to send them? Are sympathy flowers best sent before the funeral, the day of the funeral, or in the weeks following?
The answer to that question depends on what kind of flowers you send, as well as what kind of timeline you are dealing with.
Sending Flowers Before the Funeral
The nice thing about sympathy flowers is that they are always appropriate. Whether you are dealing with the death of a loved one, news of a terminal diagnosis, or any kind of life tragedy, a bouquet that shows your love and sympathy can be sent at any time.
In the days leading up to the funeral and/or memorial service, you typically have two options: 1) send them directly to the home of the family or 2) send them directly to the funeral home for display during the service. Which you choose depends mostly on your purpose for sending the flowers. If they are meant to convey that you are thinking of the family during their time of loss, then it is appropriate to send them to the family’s house at any time (either before or after the service). If they are intended to be on display at the funeral home, then you will want to coordinate the delivery with the funeral director to ensure they arrive in a timely manner.
The only time it is inappropriate to send flowers before a funeral is when the family specifically asks for in lieu of donations. In these instances, they most likely do not have the space for the flowers, or there are religious restrictions or personal preferences.
Sending Flowers After the Funeral
Don’t worry, it is fairly common—you do not have the money to send sympathy flowers at the time of death, or you did not hear about the loss in time to send a bouquet. There is no need to worry. There are no time limits when it comes to expressing your concern.
If the funeral or memorial service has already taken place (or if the family is skipping this tradition), then you still have options regarding a sympathy gift. Although you can send flowers, many people opt instead to send a food basket, plant, or other memorial gift instead. This type of gift typically costs about the same amount of money, but provides more than simple decor to display at the funeral. In fact, food and memorial gifts are often welcome in the weeks after death occurs, as they provide a physical service while also showing your love.
Cookies, cakes, and other home-baked goods might also be appropriate to send at this time. So too might a personalized card, a favorite photo of the deceased, or a custom care package to help support those in mourning. And if you cannot rid yourself of the idea of sympathy flowers being included, a bouquet or arrangement to go along with them will be sure to brighten your loved one’s day.