Q. Are there gender specific designs or colors?
A. Soft pastels are commonly thought to express a more feminine style, while stronger, bolder colors are sometimes perceived as more masculine. However, your decision should be based on how the departed would like to be remembered, not preconceived standards.
Q. Are there flowers that might be considered too "cheerful" for a sympathy gift?
A. No. As long as the arrangement is a reflection of the life being celebrated and a tribute to the way he or she would wish to be remembered, a particular arrangement should not be deemed too cheerful.
Q. When is a plant the appropriate choice?
A. A green or blooming plant provides much needed comfort and solace that will last through the difficult period following a loss. Family members can continue to appreciate a living plant and feel your lasting sympathy as they journey through the grieving process. They may also choose to plant it at the gravesite, adding beauty and an ongoing reminder of hope to all who visit.
Q. What kind of plant should I send?
A. The most popular and traditional sympathy plant is the peace lily or peace plant. But any green or blooming plant makes a thoughtful sympathy gift.
Q. What kind of food gifts are considered appropriate to show my sympathy?
A. According to the traditions of certain religious cultures, including Hindu, Muslim and Jewish, food gifts such as fruits or sweets are often offered instead of flowers. But no matter what the religion of the grieving family, a fruit basket or gourmet food assortment sends a message of caring and comfort - a symbolic nourishing of the soul.
Q. Are there religious considerations I should take into account when it comes to sending sympathy gifts?
A. Yes. Various religions have traditions and customs regarding sympathy flowers.
Buddhist - Send white flowers, the traditional color of mourning in Buddhist culture. Yellow flowers are also acceptable. Red flowers symbolize happiness and are not considered an appropriate tribute.
Christian - Most denominations consider flowers an appropriate tribute with no limitations on the color of choice.
Hindu - Flowers may be an appropriate gift depending on family preference. A gift of fruit delivered to the bereaved family's home is also considered a welcome gesture of sympathy.
Jewish - Flowers may be an appropriate gift depending on family preference. A gift of fruit, sweets or food delivered to the bereaved family's home is also considered a welcome gesture of sympathy.
Muslim - Flowers may be an appropriate gift depending on family preference. A gift of food sent to the bereaved family's home is also considered a welcome gesture of sympathy.
Q. The death notice states to make a charitable donation "in lieu of flowers." Should I still send flowers?
A. It is increasingly common for families to request a gift to a charitable foundation "in lieu of flowers." While wanting to comply with the family's wishes, many of us still would like to send a gift that acts as a tangible reminder of our sympathy and support. Making a charitable contribution in addition to a gift of flowers allows you to honor the family's request while still expressing the sympathy you feel.
Q. I'm confused about what variety of flowers to send. Can you help?
A. Flowers are infused with symbolic meaning according to traditions that date back hundreds or even thousands of years. Here is a list of symbolic meanings to guide you toward a fitting choice.
"I'll never forget you."
Purity and strength.
Sincerity, grace and strength of character.
Innocence, loyal love
Purity and majesty.
Appreciation and love.
Strength and hope.
Honor and devotion.
Faith, wisdom and meaningful friendship.
Dark crimson symbolizes mourning, red symbolizes love, white symbolizes innocence and purity, yellow symbolizes friendship and remembrance and pink symbolizes admiration and grace.