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We try to cover a versatile range of topics, like tips for finding the best weed killer for your flower beds and how to care for your garden hedge. In this post though, we turn to a more somber subject, though still connected to plants and flowers – sympathy flowers and alternatives.
You see, as popular and traditional as sending funeral flowers is, there are many people who don’t like it. For some, they are allergic to certain flowers. Whereas others feel flowers are too much of a reminder of death and the funeral. While others still just think it’s a waste of money.
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5 Alternatives to Sympathy Flowers
Even if you don’t agree, and you don’t want to send them craft ideas for using dried flowers because the bouquet you sent died, then it’s time to think of something different. In the following post, we look specifically at 5 alternatives to sending funeral flowers.
1. A Candle and Candleholder
Candles are a great alternative to flowers because they share that association with mourning and last a lot longer. Many people light a candle while reflecting on the person who’s passed away. There are various candles and candleholders you can but these days.
You may want to personalize it by having an inscription put on it or to have it shaped in a design like a dove or a star. Don’t forget that you can also get scented candles that produce a nice fragrance.
2. Donation to a Worthwhile Cause
Many grieving families have started requesting that mourners and funeral attendees pay their respects by making a charitable donation, rather than bombarding them with flowers. Whether they nominate a charity they’d like people to support or you choose one.
It’s often a nice touch and connects the deceased if you choose one that either meant a lot to the person or works on treatment or research for the illness or condition they suffered from (if that’s what caused their death).
3. A Potted Plant
One of the biggest issues surrounding flowers for funerals is that they tend to have a very restricted lifespan. The knowledge that they will eventually wither away and die, then throwing them away can have a hugely negative impact on the grieving family.
It can feel as if now the funeral has been and gone and the flowers are dead, they must accept the death. There’s a finality to it all. With a potted plant though, you’re giving them hope. Most will last a long time, especially if they are looked after properly.
On that point though, you need to keep in mind most grieving families have a lot on their plate, not just physically and mentally, so might not be ready to water it always. Look for a tougher plant, like a Crown of Thorns or Jade.
4. Cuddly Toy, Pillow or Blanket
People who are grieving need a lot of comfort. While they may not be able to get it all the time from you, or other people, whenever they need it, you can get them a gift that will fill in the gaps. A cuddly toy, pillow or even blanket are great gifts for people who’ve just lost a loved one. They provide emotional and physical comfort.
There are many cuddly toys, pillows, and blankets out there with quotes about loss, to make them more special. Of course, you could customize one of these kinds of gifts yourself. If you’re handy with crafting, you could embroider a message onto it. Some clever people even take an old piece of clothing that was worn by the deceased and fashion it into a hugging pillow.
5. Food/Home Cooked Meals
The last suggestion we have is probably one that’s not even crossed your mind, but trust us, this might just be the best way to show your love and care for your grieving friend or relative.
A death in the family is an all-consuming event. The funeral takes up a lot of time, both before, during and after the actual event and there are lots of different things that need to be sorted out in related to the deceased. Wills, their bank accounts and personal belongings, etc.
On top of all that, there’s the anxiety, sadness, and depression that comes along with grief. One thing many grieving people have little time, patience or even motivation to do is cook. So, why not show them that you are them for them by making a home cooked meal or some baking for their children?
Gestures and gifts like this are the ones that will be remembered more, because of their very practical value.
If one of your relatives or friends has recently suffered the loss of a loved one, it’s not going to be an easy time. However, you can show you care by giving one of the above as an alternative to flowers. More importantly, your time, patience, understanding and a non-judgmental listening ear will always be welcome.