What alternatives are there to sympathy flowers?

May 12, 2018

As a mark of respect and of sympathy, mourners will often arrange for flowers to be sent to the family of the loved one who has died, or alternatively they might go directly to the funeral director who can find a way to include them in the service.

However, while funeral flowers are a common sight and can help to make a service feel less “cold and clinical”, there are increasingly times when alternatives are preferred.

Quite often, families feel as if the money spent on funeral flowers is wasted and could be used in better ways, such as put towards a memorial or given to a selected charity. Equally, some mourners can be upset by flowers as if they take them home they can gradually begin to wilt and unfortunately remind them of their recent loss.

It is entirely natural and a very good thing to want to show your support and sympathy to the recently bereaved and often just a simple note or gift can go a long way in making them feel supported. However, if plants are not the best way to show your support then you can try and make a kind gesture in other ways. Here are a few alternative methods which are commonly used to convey that good will and support.

A supportive gesture

Sometimes the best way to support someone who is recently bereaved isn’t a material gift at all. In the weeks and months following a loss of someone close, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Many people can struggle with even the most basic of tasks and feel as if their life has spun out of control. During this time, you can help to support them by offering small gestures of good will such as offering to take their dog for a walk, bringing them comforting food, washing their dishes, arranging their food shopping or even just making them a cup of tea. Lending your support in a practical way can be invaluable and may be more helpful than flowers.

Charitable donations

Today it is increasingly common to see families of the bereaved ask for charitable donations of an equivalent amount that a mourner would have spent on flowers. This a great way to support a cause close to their loved one. It could be a charity that they supported during their life, or it might be a charity that helps people with an illness they had or something entirely different. There are lots of different options and many charities will take donations online which can simplify the process.

Memorable photographs

Another interesting alternative to floral tributes is the presence of photographs at a funeral. Funeral goers will be asked to bring with them special and significant photographs of the person who has passed away. This can be a great opportunity for attendees to share memories of their loved one and inject some extra personality to the funeral proceedings.

A signing book

In the same way that photographs can help mourners to share stories of their loved one, families will sometimes ask for attendees to sign a guestbook sharing thoughts, anecdotes and other poignant memories of the person who has died. This can become a great source of comfort for family members in the future as they can look back over the stories whenever they feel they want to do so.

Every funeral is different and for some people, flowers are a perfect addition to the proceedings, helping to create a warm, friendly atmosphere at the funeral. It all comes down to personal preference, and the wishes of the person who has died if they have already made those wishes known.

For help and advice on organising a funeral, please contact us on 0151 228 3900, or leave us a message through our contact us page by clicking here.