Attending the funeral. Do I send flowers also?
December 15, 2013 7:43 PM   Subscribe

Usually I think of sending flowers when I won't be able to attend a funeral. I will be attending one this week, for a pretty close relative, and another relative asked me to go in on some flowers. Is it customary to send flowers even if you're attending? This is in the US.
posted by lakeroon to Human Relations (16 answers total)
I wouldn't normally, but if asked to contribute towards some I probably would. It might be an older generation thing (I'm 32) because I know my parents have done it for funerals they've attended.
posted by sbutler at 7:48 PM on December 15, 2013

My family generally goes in at various relationship levels (children, cousins, aunts, etc.) for group flower gifts when we're attending a funeral.
posted by xingcat at 7:50 PM on December 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

Seems pretty common around here, though not a requirement, even (maybe especially?) for those that are close but not immediate family to the deceased.

Though, now that you mention it, it's never occurred to me to purchase any, although I know my mother frequently does. Me and my partner live pretty paycheck to paycheck, so it's rare we could afford to do much.
posted by stormyteal at 7:52 PM on December 15, 2013

Very common for Protestant funerals.
posted by Houstonian at 8:00 PM on December 15, 2013 [4 favorites]

Interesting question...

If I feel that, due to circumstances (not many family members, shortage of available funds, etc) there won't be many flowers at the viewing/funeral, I'll send flowers, because, there should be some flowers around a casket and if I'm in a position to take care of that, I will. If I believe that these factors aren't an issue, that the family can afford to adorn the event in an appropriate manner, I'm more likely to attend and make some kind of donation.

That said, if someone is asking you to kick in $10, go ahead....
posted by HuronBob at 8:01 PM on December 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

funerals are for the living, and the relative who asked you is presumably still living, and it's worth $10 or $20 so they don't backchat about you to other relatives.
posted by bruce at 8:15 PM on December 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

I think this is definitely my family, typically there are flower arrangements by relationship ("beloved aunt", "beloved sister", etc) so people who share that relationship pool their resources to buy them.
posted by town of cats at 8:53 PM on December 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Part of the answer depends on HOW close you are to the deceased. A work or casual friend, a not-close relative? Group flower buy is fine. Parents, grandparents, siblings, etc, group buy or individual, but almost definately flowers plus attending the funeral.

Look, nobody is going to be hurt by 'extra' flowers, but they might if they thought you didn't care enough.
posted by easily confused at 3:46 AM on December 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yes, it is usual; often family flowers are acceptable even when "no flowers; memorials to xxx" is requested.
posted by Anitanola at 4:43 AM on December 16, 2013

I used to work at a florist, and yes, most definitely.

It is also common for relatives to "go in together" on flowers because funeral flowers can be a bit expensive.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:34 AM on December 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yes, it's pretty normal.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:51 AM on December 16, 2013

Yes, normal for relatives.
posted by jaguar at 7:33 AM on December 16, 2013

Totally normal. My brother and I always go in for flowers for a relative's funeral, whether or not we are able to attend.
Protestant family, we are @ 50, upper South, if it matters.
posted by PlantGoddess at 8:16 AM on December 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yes, it is normal. Especially for (close) relatives. Any funeral I've been to has included many flowers from people in attendance. It's such a lovely gesture and makes for a more beautiful service. Just go in on the flowers... why question it? FWIW, I'm 29 years old.
posted by ancient star at 8:31 AM on December 16, 2013

There were lots and lots of flowers for my mother's memorial service. They had mostly been sent by family members, and at the end of the service no one would take them home so the funeral home gave them to me. They were a lovely touch at the service itself, but in the end I had 8 funeral sprays in my small home for a week. They all died within the same couple of days and then got thrown out. It was depressing to be surrounded by them, it felt like such a waste when they got thrown out.

So, sure, maybe chip in some money if you feel someone will be slighted. But plenty of others will send flowers. I would rather take up a collection for something useful, like food, or a cleaning service, or money to be put towards final expenses. Depending on who's asking you to chip in, you might have a conversation about it.
posted by vignettist at 11:59 AM on December 16, 2013

Also many florists have plants-such as peace lilies (a popular green plant for homes) at competitive prices, so one can send something that will last, if that is a consideration.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:37 PM on December 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

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