7 Alternatives to Sending Flowers for a Funeral
Flowers and potted plants are beautiful expressions of care for a friend or a family member’s funeral. But sometimes, you may want to express your compassion in a different way. There is certainly no written rule that states you have to send a grieving person a flower or plant. There are plenty of things that you can do instead that will be remembered long after the funeral is over. Here are a few of the more popular ideas for your consideration:
- Give to a favorite cause or charity on behalf of the one who has died. Examples may include a donation in the their name to the SPCA for someone who loved animals, a donation to a public library for a
book lover, or a gift to the American Cancer Institute for someone who has lost a battle to cancer. Other ideas include a donation to their alma mater, fraternity, sorority, church or other social organization.
- Consider a tangible memorial item like a plaque, brick or nameplate at a public landmark or other community buildings and parks.. Areas around town that have historic restorations going on will often have
community members purchase bricks, or plaques with their names on them to help finance the project.
- Have a tree or bench put in your local park for the name of the one who died. Many parks will allow people to donate money for benches, trees or plants and will include a memorial plaque at the site. Check
with your city’s parks department or historical society for more information.
- Send a sincere letter. Long after the flowers have died, a sincere letter stating your love or admiration of the one who had died will remain. Tell their family how their loved one touched your life and what
knowing them means to you. It will be appreciated and cherished.
- Involve your church or synagogue. Houses of worship often have sermons or prayers offered in the name of a person that has recently passed away. Even if you belong to a different church than the one
who had died, your warm thoughts and prayers will be appreciated. Check to see if your church prints these memorials in their program, you can send it to the family as a keepsake.
- Give the gift of your time. Be a friend and listen. Offer to help around the house. Instead of leaving it up in the air with “Let me know if there is anything I can do,” make a specific offer. Say something like “I know you have so much to worry about right now, let me come over Thursday and bring you dinner. I could mow your lawn Saturday for you, too.” This keeps those who are grieving from having to make decisions or ask for help.
- If you do decide to give plants or flowers, do something a little more meaningful and long lasting. Consider giving a living tree or rose bush that will remain as a lasting memorial in a family plot or backyard
area. You can enclose a note in your card stating you will be planting a tree in their loved one’s honor. Follow up a couple of weeks after the funeral to setup a good time. There is no reason to overwhelm the
family right after their loss. Always follow local growing and planting guidelines for best results.
You can make a lasting impression with a little imagination. The most thoughtful and creative gifts come from the heart. The most important thing you can do for a person that has lost someone close is to support, listen, help and be there for him or her. Cards and words are meaningful, but actions will be remembered.