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The Significance of ‘In Lieu of Flowers’

August 12, 2010

[Note: We are asked almost daily about the meaning of ‘in lieu of flowers’, even though it could be interpreted as self-serving, we thought it was important to demystify it for you as best we can.]

In Lieu of FlowersWhen it comes to funerals people have the tendency to tread very lightly with traditions, customs and following the family’s wishes. It’s no surprise that when you hear or read the words “in lieu of flowers” you’d assume that means the family prefers not to receive them. Truth is, this is usually just a bad habit of the Funeral Director to say the family wishes to have a donation made on behalf of the deceased, not that they wish not to receive flowers at all. Funeral Directors themselves rank flowers & plants above even food and sympathy cards as providing the most comfort to those grieving.

Not Just For Show

Consider that 77% of people polled in this nationwide survey felt flowers at the funeral brighten up the somber environment of the funeral home. 80%  agreed that looking at the cards to see who sent the flowers was a comfort to them. Also, interestingly 53% agreed the flowers and plants provided something to talk about during the visitation.

When the flowers themselves are gone, the grieving always remember the flowers sent and who sent them. We have families even call to thank us, the Florist! You can just imagine what the gesture meant from those sending the flowers.

The Root of the Matter

“Flowers have a long association with the funerary practices of humans, beginning in pre-history. In fact, the archeological record shows evidence of flowers being buried with the remains of Neanderthal men. Ancient civilizations across Europe and the Middle East also burned, buried or entombed flowers with their dead. With their innate processes of development…. from infant seed to youthful sprout to fully blossomed adult to withering petals, and culminating in the ripening pods or fruits which bear within them the promise of life renewed….flowers are an elegant metaphor for the ongoing cycle of life itself, and a symbol of immortality; something which even cavemen understood. Flowers are life exemplified.” Read more

Below is a video produced (way back when) by The Society of American Florists to inform Florists & individuals on the subject.

So next time you see the words “in lieu of flowers” remember that it might just mean the Funeral Director needs to expand their vocabulary. The choice remains yours, a donation is always a very nice way to express your sympathies and commemorate those gone, just don’t forget the warmth and comfort that flowers bring to those left behind too.

Of Course, We Are Here to Help

If you are looking to send flowers to those closest to the deceased, browse appropriate flowers for the service and visitation. Remember to check the local Obituaries to ensure you have all information needed for the delivery.

If you don’t think that flowers are appropriate for the funeral home, many people also choose to send flowers to the home.

If you are looking for funeral flowers for a loved one such as a casket or urn spray, please visit our catalogue or call us during business hours at 514-683-3533 or 1-888-683-7799.

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