The Benefits of Flowers at Funerals and Visitations
By Dr. Jan Brinkman
An expression of sympathy in the form of a floral tribute can provide a lasting memory for the surviving family. A floral tribute can help you say what is often difficult to express. In addition to adding beauty, sympathy flowers provide a tasteful and meaningful part to the funeral. They have always played an important role in funeral and memorial traditions in nearly every culture throughout history. Flowers are a thoughtful way of honoring someone’s life.
On an emotional level the meaning and function of flowers is somewhat different. The best way to picture the importance of flowers is through the realization of the impact death has on our well being. Death is a dissonant, it creates feelings of intense unhappiness. During such circumstances, the mind is automatically looking for excuses to take away the discomfort. Flowers are probably the only attribute in the funeral home that can enhance an individual’s comfort level during this process, and are therefore an essential part of it.
The funeral is something we do for ourselves to protect ourselves against the anxiety caused by the loss. It is the way we cope. A properly performed funeral will create peace of mind because it facilitates healthy mourning. Humans cope through repetitive communication. In order to release stress, we have to do our story again and again. Flowers provide us with a non-invasive excuse to start this kind of communication. Flowers are the opening for “feel good talk”! If, standing next to the casket, you’d hear somebody say: “my condolences….., don’t you think the weather is nice” , you think: How shallow and self absorbed! Now, if that person would have said: “my condolences….., the flowers are beautiful”, the flowers provided a non offensive invitation to talk about the deceased. Healthy mourning started, right there!
Flowers are the lubricants of this very process and even if the survivors have to borrow the authority of the deceased in order to justify an abundance of flowers, remember that they actually are asking for justification to make coping easier. Flowers provide a tremendous advantage in the long run and the impressions are lasting. It makes the family feel good, which in turn makes the funeral into a better event. Automatically that will make the funeral home look good which in the end it will be good for both our businesses. Flowers, if done tastefully, have a tremendous ripple effect.
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