We see it all the time in the obituaries in the paper and online - "In Lieu of Flowers" send money to this organization or charity but what is it really saying? Customers ask all the time if that means they are not allowed to send flowers and the answer is a big NO. That sentence does not mean that the family does not want flowers for the service and that the funeral director will not accept them, it means that if you wanted to honor the person by making a donation, this is the organization the family would like you to donate too. Can you imagine walking in to a funeral service and not seeing flowers? How sad indeed. Flowers help to express your feeling in a visual, loving way and families have expressed that flowers are measurable representation of how well loved their family member was.
So the next time you need to express your sympathy, remember that flowers are still very much appreciated and I personally believe that nothing will ever change that!