Flowers and Funerals
By Sheryl Eleazar
Flowers are essential parts of every occasion, even in
the gloomiest time of death. Flowers in lively colors
are used to set the mood in a cheery and happy event.
Yet in funerals, they are significant symbolisms of
These days, sympathy flowers complete a funeral. They
are like decorations that sets the right ambiance and
formality of the funeral event. Deaths are something to
be depressed about but flowers somehow uplifts the
spirit. The use of flowers in funerals is not a recently
born practice. In fact, fragrant blooms have always been
a part of funeral events in the past. The flora then are
used not for decorations but to hide the offensive smell
of decomposing bodies. Burials held in caves such as in
Shanidar Cave, used the flora for this very purpose.
In 1874, the remains of the late American president
(Andrew Johnson) is said not to have gone through any
embalming and so the foul odor reeked during the funeral
day. The undertaker closed the president's casket and
placed lots of fragrant blooms on top of it and around
the burial ground to hide the stink.
In funeral traditions, if pall bearers carry the casket
of the deceased, the plant blooms for the funeral are
carried by the flower ladies. The ladies are so chosen
from the group of the dead's closest friends who set up
the blooms in the cemetery. Today however, we rarely
practice the role of flower ladies as funeral rites are
no longer community oriented and the hectic lifestyle of
people could barely include carrying the floral blooms
for the funeral.
Yet without the flower ladies, funerals are still never
complete without sympathy blooms. When someone we know
departs, the first memorial gift we can think about is
funeral flower, although the choice may be changed if
the culture of the person who died does not accept them
as appropriate funeral gifts.
Floras are sent to funerals because most people believe
that this is how they can show their sentiments and
condolences to the family of the deceased. They relieve
us of the hard to put expressions or words that we need
to say to the family. By sending floral blooms to
funerals, we visually relate our sympathy, respect and
love for the recently died.
Funeral blooms are also sent and seen in the church
where the remains will be blessed before the burial.
Some people also send such gifts to the home of the
bereaved after the memorial service, still as a way to
Aside from setting an appropriate funeral background,
floras in funerals also has spiritual implication. They
symbolize not just respect and love but also immortality
and eternity. As you throw away a piece of floral bloom
on the grave, it's like you're telling the deceased that
he or she will not be forgotten and all his or her
memories will be cherished as long as you live.
Funeral flowers are not limited to only one color or
only one kind. You may choose which kind of floral bloom
you want to send to the funeral according to the meaning
attributed to that object. Funeral flowers may also be
in varying colors including white, yellow, pink, orange
or even red. You can also choose a floral arrangement
for the funeral flowers.
S. Eleazar writes for FuneralService.com.au, a top
Australian Funeral Service Directory, where you can find
funeral products, service providers and related
articles. Visit FuneralService.com.au today to find
florists and suppliers of funeral flowers.