Flowers at funerals have been something used in end-of-life memorials for many generations. Arranging and placing flowers has been one of the oldest forms of mourning. One of the oldest known uses of burial flowers was discovered during an archaeological excavation of an Iraqi cave, where several human burial sites dating back to 62,000 BC were surrounded by flowers. We may never know exactly when the practice of incorporating flowers into funerals and burials began, but we know it's nothing new.
Today, flowers are used in funerals for several different reasons. First, they are a means of expression. Since it can often be difficult for those mourning a death to put their feelings into words, flowers can act as an expression of love, comfort, sympathy, and respect. Flowers also create a background of warmth and beauty, adding to the dignity and consolation of the funeral service. They create a softness, where their beauty helps balance the heaviness and sadness of death, helping us accept the loss of a loved one.
When choosing flowers to send to a friend or family member who is going through the loss of a loved one, here are a few ways you can make your choice of flowers especially meaningful. There are many types of flowers to choose from and over the years each type and color has been associated with special meanings. Choosing the right flower and color combination can be a way to help represent your feelings or the personality of the deceased.
· Carnations: Admiration, remembrance, and love.
· Chrysanthemums: Positivity and truth.
· Gladiolus: Strength and sincerity.
· Hydrangea: Sincerity and understanding.
· Lilies: Innocence.
· Orchids: Sympathy.
· Roses: Love or reverence.
· Tulips: Renewal and hope
Color choice can add an extra dimension to the meaning.
· Red: Strength and love.
· Orange: Enthusiasm and warmth.
· Yellow: Friendship and new beginnings.
· Green: Nature and renewal.
· Blue: Sadness and peace.
· Purple: Respect and admiration.
· Pink: Grace and innocence.
· White: Elegance and reverence.
Choosing multiple colors is always acceptable if one color doesn’t represent all your thoughts and emotions.
Here is a link to a useful graphic from Frazer Consultants that can help simply the process of choosing the flowers/color combinations that best represent what message you would like to express when sending a flower arrangement for a funeral or memorial service.