Having a death in the family can be a very hard time for the family. They are often grieving for quite some time, and many people wish to offer them condolences on their loss. Some people are not aware that there are certain rules of etiquette that should be followed when offering such condolences to a grieving family.
Here is the proper procedure when sending flowers and cards for a death or funeral.
Flowers are usually one of the first things that enter a person’s mind. Flowers are a cheery reminder of life and can often help to cheer up the family a little bit. Flowers are usually either sent to the funeral home for display during the funeral or to the residence of the family for them to enjoy in private. Some people include in the obituary that they wish for money to be donated to a specific organization in lieu of flowers. In these cases, it is best to honor the family’s wishes and not send flowers.
What to send will also vary depending on where you send it. If you are sending flowers to the funeral home, the florist will know what types of flowers are good for this. The florist will also include a card with the arrangement indicating who the arrangement is from. The funeral director will likely collect these cards and give them to the family separately. If you are sending flowers to the family’s home, then a smaller plant or potted flower would probably be more appropriate. These plants will also live longer and serve as a reminder for the family for a longer period of time.
Sending cards is also an appropriate way to express your sympathy. This type of gesture is appropriate for anyone, no matter how close or distant from the family. You should be careful to select a card that is tasteful and accurately portrays your relationship to the deceased. Including a personal note with your card is also acceptable, especially if you were close with the deceased or the family. Also, when sending a card, if you have made a donation in the deceased’s name, it is proper to mention the donation, although an amount is not necessary. Just stating that you have made a donation in his or her name would be enough.
Another option is called a Mass Card. These are for the deceased who are of the Catholic faith. These can be given by either Catholic or Non-Catholic friends or family members. These are basically cards given out by the church that family and friends can obtain and make a monetary donation. These cards are then given to the family. The Mass Cards should be filled out clearly so the family can properly thank those who contributed.
Going through death is a very somber and trying time for any family. Receiving condolences from family and friends is very meaningful and can help the family through such a rough time. One must exercise caution, though, so as not to overstep their boundaries or offend anyone. Flowers and cards are some of the simplest ways to show the family that you truly care about their loss.