8 Flowers That You Can Send for Sympathy

by Jennifer

In moments of grief and loss, expressing condolences through gestures like sending flowers can provide solace and support to those who are mourning. Flowers have long served as a symbol of sympathy, offering comfort and a sense of peace during difficult times. However, choosing the appropriate type of flowers to convey your condolences can be a delicate matter, as cultural norms, personal preferences, and the nature of the relationship with the bereaved all come into play. Understanding the significance of different flowers and their meanings can help ensure that your gesture is both thoughtful and appropriate.


The Symbolism of Flowers in Sympathy

Throughout history, flowers have held deep symbolic meanings across various cultures and traditions. When selecting flowers for sympathy, it’s essential to consider the messages they convey:

1. Lilies: Among the most commonly associated flowers with sympathy, lilies symbolize purity, innocence, and the soul’s restoration after death. White lilies, in particular, are often used in funeral arrangements to signify peace and transcendence.

2. Roses: With their timeless beauty and diverse symbolism, roses can be a fitting choice for expressing condolences. While white roses symbolize purity and reverence, pink roses convey admiration and gratitude. Red roses, traditionally associated with love and passion, may not be the most appropriate choice for sympathy unless the deceased had a particularly close relationship with the sender.

3. Chrysanthemums: In many cultures, chrysanthemums symbolize grief and are commonly used in funeral arrangements. Their full blooms and rich colors can add warmth and comfort to memorial services, making them a suitable option for expressing condolences.

4. Carnations: Carnations are often included in sympathy arrangements for their long-lasting blooms and gentle fragrance. White carnations symbolize purity and remembrance, while pink carnations represent admiration and gratitude, making them a thoughtful choice for expressing sympathy.

5. Gladioli: With their tall, elegant stems and vibrant colors, gladioli symbolize strength of character, integrity, and sincerity. These flowers are often included in sympathy arrangements to convey admiration for the deceased and support for the bereaved.

6. Hyacinths: Known for their sweet fragrance and delicate blooms, hyacinths symbolize sincerity and heartfelt emotions. Purple hyacinths, in particular, are associated with mourning and are often included in sympathy arrangements to offer comfort and support.

7. Orchids: Orchids are admired for their elegance and exotic beauty, making them a sophisticated choice for sympathy arrangements. White orchids symbolize reverence and humility, while pink orchids convey sympathy and understanding, making them a thoughtful gesture for expressing condolences.

8. Forget-Me-Nots: As the name suggests, forget-me-nots symbolize remembrance and enduring love. These delicate blue flowers are often included in sympathy arrangements to honor the memory of the deceased and offer comfort to the bereaved.

Considerations When Choosing Flowers for Sympathy

While the symbolic meanings of flowers provide guidance, several factors should be considered when selecting flowers for sympathy:

Cultural and Religious Customs: Different cultures and religions may have specific customs and traditions regarding funeral flowers. It’s essential to respect these practices and choose flowers that align with the beliefs of the bereaved.

Personal Preferences: Consider the preferences of the deceased and their family when selecting flowers. If the deceased had a favorite flower or color, incorporating these into the arrangement can add a personal touch and honor their memory.

Relationship with the Bereaved: The nature of your relationship with the bereaved should also influence your choice of flowers. If you were particularly close to the deceased or their family, selecting a more personal arrangement may be appropriate. However, if you are less familiar with the family, choosing a classic and universally meaningful arrangement is advisable.

Practical Considerations: When sending flowers for sympathy, consider the logistics of the situation. Opt for arrangements that are easy to transport and display, as the family may already be overwhelmed with logistical arrangements during this time.

Alternative Options for Expressing Sympathy

In addition to sending flowers, there are other meaningful ways to express sympathy and support for those who are grieving:

Donations: Consider making a donation to a charity or organization that was meaningful to the deceased or their family. This gesture not only honors the memory of the deceased but also provides tangible support to causes that were important to them.

Food and Meals: Offering to provide meals or assistance with everyday tasks can be a practical way to support grieving families. Prepare a homemade meal or arrange for food delivery services to help alleviate some of the burdens they may be facing.

Personalized Gestures: Take the time to write a heartfelt condolence card or letter expressing your sympathy and support. Share fond memories of the deceased and offer words of comfort and encouragement to the bereaved.

Presence and Listening: Sometimes, the most meaningful gesture you can offer is your presence and willingness to listen. Reach out to the bereaved and offer to spend time with them, whether in person or virtually, providing a compassionate ear and a shoulder to lean on during this difficult time.


Choosing the appropriate flowers to send for sympathy requires careful consideration of their symbolic meanings, cultural norms, and the preferences of the bereaved. By selecting flowers that convey heartfelt condolences and support, you can offer comfort and solace to those who are mourning the loss of a loved one. Additionally, exploring alternative ways to express sympathy, such as donations, food offerings, and personalized gestures, can further demonstrate your care and support during this challenging time. Ultimately, the most meaningful gesture is one that comes from the heart and reflects your sincere desire to offer comfort and support to those who are grieving.


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