10 Flowers You Can Send When Someone Dies

by Jennifer

In times of loss, expressions of sympathy and support can provide solace to those grieving. Among the many ways to convey condolences, sending flowers holds a special place. Flowers offer a tangible symbol of care, compassion, and remembrance. However, selecting the right flowers for such occasions can be a delicate task, as cultural norms, personal preferences, and symbolic meanings play significant roles. In this guide, we explore the etiquette and significance behind choosing flowers to express condolences.


Understanding the Symbolism of Funeral Flowers

Flowers have been an integral part of funeral rituals and traditions across various cultures for centuries. Their ephemeral beauty serves as a poignant reminder of the fleeting nature of life. Different flowers carry distinct meanings and symbolism, making them powerful tools for conveying emotions.

1. Lilies: Among the most commonly associated flowers with funerals, lilies symbolize purity, innocence, and the soul’s restoration. White lilies, in particular, are often chosen for their association with peace and transcendence.

2. Roses: With their timeless elegance, roses are versatile symbols of love, respect, and sorrow. White roses represent purity and reverence, while red roses convey love and admiration. Pink roses can express gratitude and appreciation for the departed.

3. Carnations: These sturdy flowers are often used in funeral arrangements for their long-lasting blooms. White carnations signify pure love and innocence, while red carnations symbolize admiration and affection.

4. Chrysanthemums: In many cultures, chrysanthemums are closely associated with death and mourning. In some Asian countries, they are traditional funeral flowers symbolizing grief and lamentation. However, in other cultures, they can represent honor, loyalty, and longevity.

5. Gladioli: Tall and majestic, gladioli symbolize strength, moral integrity, and sincerity. Their upright form makes them suitable for expressing support and solidarity with the bereaved.

6. Hyacinths: These fragrant blooms convey heartfelt condolences and deep sorrow. Purple hyacinths, in particular, are often chosen for their association with mourning and grief.

7. Orchids: Exotic and graceful, orchids symbolize love, beauty, and refinement. White orchids are a popular choice for expressing sympathy and reverence.

8. Forget-Me-Nots: As the name suggests, forget-me-nots symbolize lasting remembrance and fidelity. They serve as gentle reminders of the enduring bond between the deceased and the living.

9. Tulips: With their elegant simplicity, tulips convey grace and comfort in times of sorrow. White tulips symbolize forgiveness and new beginnings, while purple tulips represent royalty and admiration.

10. Daffodils: Bright and cheerful, daffodils symbolize renewal, hope, and resilience. They can be appropriate for celebrating the life of the departed and offering comfort to the bereaved.

Etiquette of Sending Funeral Flowers

When sending flowers to express condolences, it’s essential to observe certain etiquette guidelines to ensure that your gesture is respectful and appropriate.

1. Consider Cultural and Religious Customs: Different cultures and religions have varying traditions regarding funeral customs and flower symbolism. Take the recipient’s cultural background into account when selecting flowers to avoid inadvertently causing offense.

2. Respect Personal Preferences: If you know the deceased’s favorite flowers or colors, incorporating them into your floral arrangement can add a personal touch to your gesture. Alternatively, consider the preferences of the bereaved family when choosing flowers.

3. Coordinate with the Funeral Home or Florist: In many cases, funeral homes or florists can assist you in selecting appropriate flowers and arranging delivery to the funeral service or the family’s home. They can also provide guidance on suitable flower arrangements based on the circumstances.

4. Include a Condolence Message: Along with your floral tribute, include a heartfelt condolence message expressing your sympathy and support for the bereaved. A thoughtful message can provide comfort and solace during a difficult time.

5. Respect Flower Restrictions: Some religious or cultural traditions may prohibit certain types of flowers or colors at funerals. Be mindful of any specific guidelines or restrictions when selecting and arranging funeral flowers.

6. Timing of Flower Delivery: While it’s customary to send flowers promptly after learning of someone’s passing, there is no strict deadline for sending condolences. You can send flowers before or after the funeral service to express your support for the grieving family.

Alternative Ways to Express Sympathy

While flowers are a traditional and meaningful way to express condolences, there are other gestures you can offer to support the bereaved during their time of loss.

1. Memorial Donations: Consider making a donation to a charitable organization or cause that was meaningful to the deceased. This thoughtful gesture honors their memory while supporting a cause they cared about.

2. Offer Practical Assistance: Instead of or in addition to sending flowers, offer to help the bereaved with practical tasks such as preparing meals, running errands, or providing childcare. Your support can alleviate some of the burdens they may be facing.

3. Attend the Funeral or Memorial Service: Your presence at the funeral or memorial service can provide comfort and support to the grieving family. It’s a tangible way to show that you care and are there for them during this difficult time.

4. Send a Personalized Gift: Consider sending a personalized gift or keepsake that holds special meaning for the bereaved or commemorates the life of the deceased. This thoughtful gesture can serve as a lasting reminder of your support and friendship.

5. Offer Emotional Support: Sometimes, the most meaningful gesture you can offer is a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on. Reach out to the bereaved and offer your support, empathy, and understanding as they navigate the grieving process.


In conclusion, choosing appropriate flowers to express condolences requires sensitivity, thoughtfulness, and cultural awareness. By selecting flowers that hold symbolic meaning and observing etiquette guidelines, you can offer a meaningful gesture of sympathy and support to those who are mourning the loss of a loved one. In addition to sending flowers, consider alternative ways to express your condolences and support the bereaved during their time of need. Your thoughtfulness and compassion can make a meaningful difference in their healing journey.


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