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To ask about etiquette when sending flowers to funerals (cultural difference)

(32 Posts)
user1469905283 Thu 08-Sep-16 20:24:39

Hi all,

I have lived in the UK for almost 12 years now, but fortunately never had to think about etiquettes surrounding a bereavement. Where I come from, flowers are only meant for happy occasions and never sent to funerals. So I am struggling a bit with what's the right thing to do.

The person in question is not a close friend.. More of an acquaintance. She is the DIL of a very close friend. This person recently lost her DM and I would like to send her something to say we are thinking about her. I know from my friend that she is going through a hard time dealing with her loss. We do exchange Christmas cards every year, so you could say she is a bit more than an acquaintance.

Now my questions are...
1. Are flowers and a card OK, or do I need to send something else too?
2. Should I send these to her house or the funeral (I have the funeral date and address from my friend)

That's it really. TIA!

humblesims Thu 08-Sep-16 20:28:45

Others may disagree but I think in this situation that a card to the home address with a message of condolence is sufficient.

HorseDentist Thu 08-Sep-16 20:30:01

A lot of funerals request flowers from close family only. It varies so would be best to ask.
A card for the family to their home address is usually common practice.

MrsJayy Thu 08-Sep-16 20:48:29

Send your friend a sympathy card that would probably be best

BombadierFritz Thu 08-Sep-16 20:53:28

sympathy card no flowers would be safest option.

AnnieOnnieMouse Thu 08-Sep-16 21:00:02

A sympathy card and no flowers, would be my suggestion, too. If you have an idea of when and where the funeral might be, you could call funeral directors, and ask if there is a charity that is being supported, inseatd of flowers - I agree that many, many people prefer a donation to charity rather than flowers.

I don't think I've ever sent flowers to someone who's been bereaved - they get cards, and then flowers/wreath are 'addressed' to the deceased and sent to the funeral home/cemetery. I'd send her a card to her house.

HormonalHeap Thu 08-Sep-16 21:08:11

I think the religion of the family plays a part here. For example in the Jewish religion it is unheard of to send flowers to a funeral, one just goes.

Musicaltheatremum Thu 08-Sep-16 21:42:24

Card would be perfect. I got so many flowers to the house when my husband died i had to buy more vases. I still read the cards and letters 4.5 years on. So very special.

5Foot5 Thu 08-Sep-16 21:55:20

Unfortunately I am in the process of organizing a funeral right now. It is very normal to just have flowers from family but ask for donations in lieu of flowers for a charity. In fact the death notice we put in the local paper will say that and so far everyone I have rung has asked if that is the case

MissBattleaxe Thu 08-Sep-16 23:11:42

When I was bereaved I had about three bouquets of flowers delivered to me at my home address, for me and not for the deceased. It meant the world and I was very touched. Many florists these days include a vase with the bouquet and my thoughtful friends chose this option. I didn't have to rearrange them or find a vase.

I think if you want to, flowers are OK. I had white lilies and white roses. Seeing how beautiful nature can be was comforting.

BackforGood Thu 08-Sep-16 23:18:57

Just a card or a letter if you prefer.
I might take/send flowers for a close friend, but not in this circumstance.

Almost every funeral I've been to (and I'm talking dozens and dozens) they have said 'family flowers only, donations in lieu of flowers to....' and nominated a charity.

KittensDoNotLikeFluffyBlankets Thu 08-Sep-16 23:28:28

I think it is a lovely idea to want to send a present to a bereaved friend to give her comfort.

As Miss said, I think flowers are fine as such a gift.

you may be experiencing some confusion because funeral announcements sometimes say "family flowers only" or "donations to x charity in lieu of flowers". That refers to funeral wreaths and arrangements that usually go on/near the coffin. This kind of thing is totally different to the kind of thing I think you mean. You mean a gift for the bereaved to comfort her, not a floral tribute to the deceased.

As such, they should go to her house, addressed to her. With a florist's card at least, but a proper full size card saying "In sympathy" could also be sent, either together, or separately.

As I said, I think flowers as such a gift are lovely. It's possible there could be some confusion at a stressful time though, and the recipient or someone close to her might mistake them for "funeral flowers" I.e. A tribute for the deceased. So you might want to consider another kind of gift-scented candle, nice foods etc if you think such confusion might arise.

I think you are a lively Perron and a very supportive friend by the way.

KittensDoNotLikeFluffyBlankets Thu 08-Sep-16 23:28:50

Person, not Perron!

justilou Thu 08-Sep-16 23:41:25

From recent experience I found the first few weeks after my father's funeral overwhelming and I don't remember much from this period at all. We had lots of flowers (which I love) but there were too many and I couldn't possibly remember who they were from. I would send a card now, and then some flowers 2-3 weeks later - or even a letter sharing some positive memories you have of the deceased.

thedishonthecoffeetable Thu 08-Sep-16 23:42:02

Speaking as someone who lost their mum this year, I think flowers sent to the person is lovely, no one sent me any, would have loved some, my sister did have some and was very happy to get them

Redglitter Thu 08-Sep-16 23:47:26

I'd never send flowers to a funeral any I've been to are family flowers only but I have sent flowers to friends who've lost someone close. When my dad died my mum got so many beautiful bouquets from friends it was lovely thankfully they all came in cases

sooperdooper Thu 08-Sep-16 23:47:54

When I lost my mum just over a year ago lots of people sent me cards and flowers and I was very grateful and touched - many people ask for family only flowers at funerals, tbh we did because after a cremation they go to waste really sad

I think it's a lovely thought that you want to send something and I'm sure your friend will really appreciate it

GiddyOnZackHunt Thu 08-Sep-16 23:53:59

Card is appropriate however a lot of families ask for donations to hospice or research charities in lieu of flowers. You could make an appropriate donation and mention you have done this in a brief comment.
"I have made a donation to British Heart Foundation in memoriam of x"

Pipistrelle40 Thu 08-Sep-16 23:56:03

I would agree send some flowers after the funeral. That is when they will be really appreciated. Is very miserable coming down to earth after the funeral and everything that goes with it so knowing someone still remembers and cares would be great for your friend. You are a lovely person and friend to have.

Pinkerbeller Fri 09-Sep-16 00:13:22

When did reading comprehension get so bad in the UK?! This isn't about funeral flowers or donations for the deceased ffs!

OP, you are very kind to think of her in the loss of her DM. A bouquet and sympathy card will help her to know that she is supported in her grief by good people like you.

Send it to her house, in her name, with a card stating a few words of condolence for the loss of her DM.

KittensDoNotLikeFluffyBlankets Fri 09-Sep-16 00:17:34

That made me smile Pinkerbelle

Beeziekn33ze Fri 09-Sep-16 01:08:58

Justilou - I agree with you. We have a family funeral next week. I sent a card as soon as I heard my relative had died, will donate to their chosen charity. In a couple of weeks I'll send some flowers to the relative's daughter.

MsMarple Fri 09-Sep-16 01:36:49

A friend sent me flowers when my Mum died with a lovely card and, weird though it sounds, they did help in the middle of all the bleakness.

Qwebec Fri 09-Sep-16 01:50:07

I also second the idea of flowers and a card a few days/weeks after the funeral. Those closest to her will be there with her at the beginning, helping her thought the first emotions. IME it is when the events cool down and she is more on her own that it will make a difference.

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