Expressions of Sympathy

Helping someone deal with the loss of a loved one is never easy. 1-800-FLOWERS.COM can help you lend your support during life's most difficult times.

Commonly Asked Questions About Funeral Flowers

Make it home for the holidaysCan I send food or fruit baskets to the funeral home for the family?
It is always best to first contact the funeral home and ask if they accept such deliveries. If they do not, send the basket to the home of the bereaved.

What should be written in a condolence letter?
A condolence letter is a personal letter to a member of or the entire bereaved family expressing your sincere sympathy on the loss of their family member. If you have a special memory, It is appropriate to share that information if you wish to. The purpose is to offer comfort and support to the bereaved.

What is an appropriate gesture to send for cremations?
Cremations are becoming an alternative for many religions that previously opted for burials. Many cremations first hold a standard funeral service in a chapel or church and flowers are appropriate. As cremations are becoming more acceptable in many religions, viewings are often held first and later the cremation occurs following the funeral service. Flowers, especially standing sprays, baskets or even an elegant vase arrangement are suitable.

Can you send flowers if there is no funeral service?
Yes, It is appropriate to send floral arrangements to a memorial.

What does "in lieu of flowers" mean?
According to Clay Atchison, founder of "Often times, this terminology is used to encourage charitable gifts but not necessarily to discourage other expressions. Most families sincerely appreciate all personal expressions and may later regret having too few flowers at the funeral. It is imporatnt that each give make their own choice and many people are choosing to send a floral remembrance to the service or family home as well as a donation to the charity indicated. While a monetary donation is a worthy tribute, there is really no substitute for beautiful flowers at a sympathy service. They comfort the living as they commemorate the lives of the deceased. For more information about the significance of funeral flowers in helping in healing, go to

How do I know what charity to donate to?
If the bereaved would prefer donations to a charity in lieu of flowers generally the information can be found in the obituary or in literature at the funeral parlor. You may also wish to donate to a specific charitable cause on your own and many will send a notification to the bereaved of your donation in the deceased's name.

When it is considered too late to send an expression of sympathy?
It is always more appropriate to acknowledge a loss than to ignore it, especially if the person experiencing the loss is a coworker or friend. Send an arrangement of flowers with a heartfelt message, a plant or write a card or letter expressing your deepest sympathy.

What are other ways to pay tribute to the deceased?

  • Donate a book in their memory at their local or your local library
  • Donate a scholarship money in their name to a school
  • Plant a memory garden
  • Create a photo montage

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