Flowers at the funeral service not only add warmth and life to a somber event, they are a tangible tribute. They let the bereaved know, visibly, how much their loved one touched the lives of others. You can send flowers to the funeral home prior to the visitation/memorial service or to the family residence at any time. In some cases flowers may also be sent to Protestant churches. Flowers generally are not sent to Jewish synagogues and Catholic churches.
Charitable gifts in memory of the deceased are often made, particularly when the family has requested gifts to be made in lieu of flowers. The family is notified of the gifts by personal note from the donor or by the charity or other organization. In the latter case the donor provides the family’s name and address to the charity at the time the gift is made.
It is usually acceptable to send flowers even when the obituary or death notice states, “in lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to …”. Just as we would not send sympathy cards, offer assistance, or donate food when asked to make a financial contribution, flowers are always appropriate and appreciated. However, if the obituary announcement states ‘family flowers only’ then it is best to respect their wishes of limiting the volume of flowers at the funeral.
Even if you don’t send flowers or make a charitable contribution, a note or card to the deceased’s family expressing your thoughts of the deceased is a welcomed gesture, especially if you weren’t able to attend the funeral.
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