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Sympathy Flowers - Blog Re-Post

Below is a repost from one of my very first blogs. I wanted to re-post it because as it was relivant in March of 2008, so it is today, especially after the holiday. In honor of my dad, who died on Christmas Eve 17 years ago and because of the season, I thought it was especially timely to remind people how important flowers are to families who are grieving.

Recently a customer and I got to talking about sympathy flowers. This started me thinking about the floral industry and what an important role we play during the grieving process. I remember when my father passed away I asked my mother if she wanted me to inform friends and family to make a donation instead of sending flowers. My mother's response was something I've never forgotten, even 15 years later. She looked completely grief stricken and told me that her greatest fear was that she would walk into the wake and not find any flowers there. Being in the floral business, I've always known that flowers are sent as an expression of sympathy but I never truly understood what an important role they played in the minds of the surviving family members until that moment. My mom feared that no flowers at the service would mean that no one cared about my father.

Since that moment, unfortunately, I have lost many family members, including my mother and it's never been more clear to me. Flowers are associated with the emotional side of death and flowers play a functional role at the funeral. They help the bereaved come to terms with their loss and they provide comfort and warmth during this difficult time. Flowers provide a tangible way for people to express their care, concern and love for the bereaved. How often in life can we make a simple phone call and have it mean so much?

So, the next time you are wondering if you should send flowers as a way of expressing your support for the living, I hope you will remember my mother. This blog is my way of saying "Mom and Dad, you may be gone but you will never be forgotten". All my love, Georgianne
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