Sympathy Flowers: What Significance Do They Have?

I love flowers – especially at funerals. When families tell me they want to use “in lieu of flowers” in the obituary for a loved one, I do my level best to explain just how valuable sympathy flowers are to the funeral experience.

The giving and receiving of sympathy flowers during times of mourning, sadness and grief – as well as displaying colorful arrangements, flowering plants, sprays and wreaths at funerals – are venerable funeral traditions that should be honored.

But there’s a more important reason than just tradition: mental health. Experts have found that flowers play a significant role in the grieving process. Candice Shoemaker and Diane Relf in their 1990 study, The Role of Flowers and Plants in the Bereavement Process, substantiated the value of flowers and plants during this experience in people’s lives.

At the funeral service, flowers help brighten a somber environment, provide a topic of conversation and a tranquil focal point. And because of their soothing qualities, sympathy flowers displayed at funerals actually have a positive impact on the emotional well-being of the bereaved.

But despite these findings, the presence of flowers at and around funerals is actually diminishing, partly because of the rise of “in lieu of flowers.”

I believe the growing trend to use “in lieu of flowers” isn’t serving the families or their friends, and here’s why. Sympathy flowers provide a voice for the many people who have difficulty finding the right words of consolation and support during a time of loss. Flowers are a tangible means of showing concern, affection and sympathy for the bereaved. And they are a perfect way to pay tribute to the deceased at the service or graveside.

Not only that, I think the phrase doesn’t serve your firm either. Why? Because it limits the compassionate care you provide, and can cut into your revenues.

How The Sympathy Store Helps Families

Funeral firms that have The Sympathy Store, funeralOne’s eCommerce solution, on their funeral home website give their communities an easy way to express their sympathy to the bereaved or pay tribute to someone dear. And give themselves an added source of revenue – your firm can earn as much as 25% on each sale.

I’ve heard from funeral directors who show The Sympathy Store to families during arrangement conferences, as the prelude to a conversation about the benefits of funeral flowers. Many times this strategy has resulted in the immediate sale of tribute flowers for the service.

With this free funeral eCommerce plug-in, your website visitors who come to view obituaries or leave condolences can conveniently send grieving families sympathy gifts and flowers at the same place – anytime, anywhere.

It’s convenient for you too, because funeralOne handles all the details. Not only that, it’s free. Click here to learn more.

Do you have an opinion on the power of flowers to comfort and soothe the bereaved? Leave your comments below!

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  1. Local Florist

    Indeed, flowers play an important role in grieving. The best way to express yourself with flowers is to go to your locally owned florist who sponsors your child’s little league team, and donates to many local charities. A good funeral director is not interested in making money on the backs of the florists and will refer you to a good florist directly.

  2. Annie Lok

    Yes flowers have their magical power to harmonise the ceremony. But how many more middle-man do we need, between the grieving families and the florists who actually do their flowers?? These middle-men do not exist for nothing, now we know there are at least 25% extra to pay – that’s how “in lieu of flowers” becomes popular!!

  3. Ginger Whetstine

    Oh, this is an ad for the app and not an article as it is selling the app and kind of cutting the florist out of the process. I know I would prefer to have them in my shop and speaking to someone that can make sure their preferences are available and that what they have in mind can be done as they choose……. but this leaves them hanging and follow up on most arrangements would be needed. I would hope there is more respect to the florist and not just relegating us to ‘workers’ , we have much needed experience and can smooth out any issues before they are problems, but, this takes our voices out of the process and I think allows more chance to disappoint when the customer doesn’t speak with the florist they use.

  4. Krystal

    This blog was meant to educate on the value of sympathy flowers. This solution in particular doesn’t cut the florist out of the process, it actually works with the local florist. Almost every retail industry has gone online,and it only makes sense for people to be able to purchase flowers online. Most people prefer shopping online now because you can research products, shop anytime you want and never feel pressured to buy. The beauty of this solution is that it’s also got 24 hour sympathy experts working around the clock, adding that level of customer service.

  5. Krystal

    Hi Annie, for this particular store, every product is either the same price or cheaper. We were able to streamline the process and cut out extra costs in shipping. It doesn’t act as a middle man at all! In my opinion, it eliminates all the guess work for funeral directors, families and florists. Instead of researching online, calling the funeral home to get the address, looking up the service time, worry about the flowers getting there in time, etc. It’s really a great solution for families and has been taken very well by funeral directors. When someone loses a loved one, they don’t want to call around to a bunch of florists, funeral homes, etc. Instead, they can shop online, in the comfort of their home, and The Sympathy Store fills in the loved one’s service information, local florist information, best sellers, etc. automatically.I’m not sure about the other solutions out there, but I’d definitely recommend that one.

  6. Annie Lok

    Many florists do online business as well Krystal, that’s no news. But how many florist ‘chain stores’ can you find?? Rare, isn’t it? Flowers are not canned food, you can’t get around a florist, but deal with the customer without actually knowing and seeing what you are selling day by day. It may as well be okay to sell coffins in supermarkets otherwise??

  7. Funeral Flowers Arrangements

    Funeral flowers play a significant role in the grieving
    process. I always try to find the best flowers for these occasions.

  8. Funeral Blog. The official blog for the funeral & cemetery professions. » Blog Archive What Everyone Ought to Know About Funeral eCommerce

    […] this year we wrote a blog on the significance of sympathy flowers, and received this […]

  9. Elisha

    Flowers can be very helpful in dealing with loss. That little beautiful distraction can go a long ways sometimes.

  10. Trayson Evans

    That is so interesting that flowers play an important role in the grieving process. I wonder if the benefits come from the tradition of flowers at a funeral. Then again, the tradition had to start somewhere. It would be interesting to find out what kind of effect can be measured with an MRI.

  11. Koizumi Duarte

    Very nice blog friend. I really enjoyed your blog while reading. The way you describe the significance of the sympathy flowers is really great. As flower is the best things to console one’s feelings. If you want to buy Sympathy Flowers to Philippines then must visit Funeral Flowers Philippines. They had a great collection’s.

  12. Liam Hall

    That’s a great blog but you can also go online now for flowers now. I also do shopping from an online store of tj flowers. You can get all kind of flowers here. Nowadays everything is so accessible you can get door step delivery as well.

  13. Memorial plaque

    As an engraver of memorial plaques, I do know the importance of flowers. Indeed, I often have to engrave flowers as you might consider. [spam link removed]
    Moreover, flowers as signification, and meanings, and people in grief do know that. A rose for a lover, a lily for a friend, sometimes palm for a collegue. I do understand your anger against the “in lieu of flowers”. It is important for the families.
    As an individual, I know that I prefer visit a tomb with a bunch of flowers, usually white flowers.

  14. Plumeria Botanical Boutique

    As a local flower shop we have these discussions frequently. Flowers truly have a great power that helps, even if just a little, the grieving that goes on during a tragic loss.

  15. Latonya Berube

    very nice blog, thank you for sharing.