Alternatives to Funeral Flowers

Written by catherine m. albano
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Alternatives to Funeral Flowers
Live butterfly releases can be a meaningful alternative to flower arrangements at funerals. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Flowers at a funeral make a big sensory impression. Visually, they can fill a room with a cheerful rainbow of colour, easing the sorrow of the mourners present. In terms of fragrance, few people will deny associating the smell of certain blooms with a wake or funeral. The expense, however, can sometimes be difficult for practical folks to justify. Although most funeral directors will recommend that some flowers be present, there's no need to overwhelm the funeral procession with 10 times as many flower arrangements as there are people.

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Donate to Charity

When the cause of death is related to a disease or other health issue, giving to a related charity in the deceased person's name is a way to honour that person and possibly benefit those still suffering. Such donations frequently go toward research in treating or curing the medical condition. This prospect can ease the deceased loved one's sorrow by providing hope that other people's lives might be saved.

Provide a Home-Cooked Meal

The time after a person dies is a whirlwind of planning and notification. Family members rarely have time to tend to basic household functions such as cooking. When a loved one has passed, family members are grateful to receive a meal provided by a thoughtful neighbour, friend, colleague or relative. To alleviate the need to return pans or utensils, provide the meal in disposable pans.

Plant a Tree

Unlike flower arrangements, a well-cared for tree can last many years as a living tribute to the deceased. Check with family members to determine the preferred type of tree and location. Be sure to provide ongoing care for the tree. If family members approve, arrange a ceremony for the planting.

Gift Baskets

Gift baskets can be an elegant and comforting alternative to funeral flowers. They can provide snacks and refreshments for out-of-town family and friends who are visiting for the funeral service.

Live Butterfly Release

The metaphor of rebirth in death is common in many religions, and nothing represents that better than a live butterfly release. Butterflies add a touch of beauty and hope beyond the funeral. Keep in mind, though, that such releases can happen only during the day, and only during warmer weather.

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