When someone dies, it’s very common to send flowers, but have you ever wondered why?  It may actually be among the first funeral traditions, dating back to as early as 60,000 BC.

Before the practice of embalming became common, flowers served a very practical purpose: masking odors. In the Victorian era, showing emotion was discouraged, and flowers at a funeral were used to silently express feelings. Today, flowers are a symbol of love and support, prized for their beauty as well as their fragrance.

Different flowers have different meanings.

  • Lilies are commonly associated with funeral services. They symbolize innocence and the restoration of the soul of the person who has died.
  • Gladioli are often used in fan sprays for an elegant arrangement. These lend an air of dignity to a traditional service, representing character, sincerity and integrity.
  • Carnations are often chosen because they are long lasting and fragrant. Different carnation colors mean different things. Red symbolizes admiration, pink is for remembrance and white represents love and innocence.
  • Chrysanthemums have different meanings in different countries. In the United States, they represent truth and are regarded as positive and cheerful.
  • Roses are instantly recognizable and classically beautiful. White roses stand for reverence, innocence, humility and youthfulness, while red roses are used to express love, respect and courage. Pink roses are for love, too, but also grace, appreciation and gentility. Dark crimson roses represent sorrow, and yellow roses mean friendship.

Some people prefer to receive a potted plant or tree, which will last long after the funeral service is over.

  • A potted orchid is a beautiful and memorable gift. It represents undying love and strength. White or pink orchids traditionally express sympathy.
  • Hydrangeas are a beautiful and appropriate gift for a grieving family. They represent heartfelt sincerity, and can be replanted outside where they will bloom year after year.
  • Spring flowers such as daffodils and tulips are a symbol of renewal. This makes them a lovely gift for someone who is grieving.
  • Giving a tree is unusual but meaningful. Some people choose to give potted trees or saplings, which can be planted in memory of the loved one. Flowering trees such as magnolias, dogwoods or camellias are an especially beautiful gift.

For more than 60 years, Skylawn has been helping families plan the perfect tribute, honoring each unique life and providing exceptional service. If you need help planning a life-honoring memorial, call us at (650) 227-3142 If you would like to send a sympathy gift, we will help you find the perfect arrangement or potted plant. You can even order conveniently through our website.