Floral arrangements make all the difference in a funeral service. They add comfort to grieving family members, and are a beautiful final tribute to a loved one. While many families do appreciate the kind gesture, what exactly can you do with the flowers after the funeral service other than see them thrown away? In order to limit the number of floral sympathy received, families can include a note in the published obituary to receive donations in lieu of flowers, to a charity of their choice.
Waste Not, Want Not
But in our world of recycling where we are encouraged not to waste anything, there must be other meaningful ways where families can reuse floral arrangements. Here are a few ideas:
Leave on the gravesite of another loved one
After the funeral service, family members can ‘repurpose’ floral arrangements and place them on the gravesite of another family member, relative or loved one who is already interred on the grounds of the same cemetery. Visiting their resting place and honouring their memory with flowers that would otherwise be discarded, makes the most of a day best used for honouring cherished lives.
Donate unwanted flowers
With pre-arrangement, the flowers can be donated to a hospital, nursing home or to a church. Family members would need to allocate a person to take charge of the flowers after the funeral service, and to ensure they have already prearranged it with whoever is receiving the donation. Otherwise the cemetery or the funeral director will simply discard them.
When donating funeral flowers, remember to remove all sympathy cards, because the cards help the family keep track of “who sent what” so that a thank you note can be returned later.
Sometimes, donating the flowers as they are arranged for its original purpose may not be appropriate. Consider rearranging the flowers in a vase to give the flowers a new lease of life.
In all cases, it is advisable to disclose to the receiver the original purpose that the flowers were used — for reasons such as allergy concerns or in some cultures it may not be desirable to receive funeral flowers.
Create a memorial keepsake in honour of a loved one along with an inspiring quote
After the funeral service, take a few petals, head or whole bouquets and dry press them. Once dry, these keepsake flowers can be used to create a memorable picture frame in honour of a loved one. These dried flowers can also be used to make pot pourri or create a nice addition to scented candles.