History of Funeral Flowers
Whenever someone dies, it has been a long-standing tradition of sending flowers to the bereaved family as a way of sympathizing with the loss that they are terribly feeling. Sending flowers comforts the family and lets them know that you are with them in thoughts and in prayers, despite the outpouring feeling of grief and loss over their loved one. But the question is, what is the history behind funeral flowers?
During ancient times, archaeologists have found that the evidence of flowers that were used during burial rites was traced 60,000 BC ago. They were not sure what was the purpose of those flowers but some scientists and researchers developed a theory that flowers were used in that burial ceremony.
In fact, one of the famous funerals ever recorded in history was when the then President Andrew Johnson was buried in 1874 wherein flower were used to cover the unwanted smell due to decomposition. President Johnson’s body was not even embalmed. And on the day of his funeral, his decomposing body started to emit a foul smell to the point that Lazarus Shepard closed the coffin and piled a number of odorous flowers on top of it just to replace the bad smell of President Johnson’s body.
In 1951, Dr. Ralph Solecki documented well the excavation in the famous Shanidar Cave in Northern Iraq. He discovered that many of the burial land sites there and the exposed pollen and flower pieces or fragments from different species and types of flowers were discovered to be existing since 62,000 B.C. A team of researchers and archaeologists found a sample of soil that they believed were from flowers that were put on burial grounds. They even marked it as the first ever flowers that were actually used for the funeral. The team from the famous Guinness Book of World Records even documented this and declared as the world’s oldest form of human ritual.
Modern Use of Funeral Flowers
Funeral flowers are a visual expression of sympathy and respect. It is also a way of handing out support and sharing with them the burden of grief that the bereaved family is feeling. Nowadays, funeral or sympathy flowers are sent for different reasons.
Flowers are a means of expression of feelings. When words are not enough to express sadness and grief over the death of a loved one, flowers become the alternative expression of it. Flowers create a good memory through its scent and arrangement. It is consoling feeling that your loved ones are surrounded by beautiful flowers given by friends and family who actually remembered the demise of a loved one.
It also adds to the dignity and sympathy to the funeral. It helps the bereaved family cope with the difficult situation they are experiencing. Sometimes, it is difficult to confront and accept the fact of the death of someone and feel empty at the thought of not having to enjoy their presence in your life anymore. That is why the mourners of the deceased publicly express their grief and sympathy through socially acceptable means like the giving of condolence wreath flowers. It also helps the grieving family to accept and adjust, in their own way, after the demise of a loved one and show their respect to the deceased.
Funeral flowers are also given in lieu of absence when you are not available to visit the funeral. When a family member or friends cannot attend the funeral service, they send flowers on behalf of their presence. It is also a way of paying respect to the deceased for the very last time knowing that
they will no longer be there forever.
Famous Funeral Flowers
White Lilies. Lily flower symbolizes purity and innocence that is why it is a famous choice for sympathy flowers given during funerals.
Hydrangeas. Hydrangea flower is given to someone as a gesture of sincerity and repayment. This is perfect for a loved one whom you dearly appreciate for all the good things that person has done for you.
White Roses. Traditionally, white roses are associated with purity and new beginnings because of their quiet beauty. It is also often a gesture of sympathy and remembrance especially when someone passes away.
Chrysanthemums. In some European countries, they treat chrysanthemums as a symbol of death and they exclusively use this flower during funerals only. While in some Asian countries like China, Korea, and Japan, Chrysanthemums symbolize grief. On the other hand, in the US, it symbolizes truth and positivity.
Carnation. This flower is a popular choice for funeral flowers and wreaths because of its symbolism. The red carnation symbolizes affection which could also mean that the deceased person means so much to you that you will never forget them. On the other hand, white carnation symbolizes innocence. While pink carnation symbolizes a spirituality that is why it is a great choice especially in Christian funerals because it is believed that they were created from the tears of the Virgin Mary. If you want to send a deceased loved one a carnation flower, you can buy one at your local florists in Singapore. They offer same day flower delivery to maintain the freshness of the flowers. But, if you do not have the energy to go to a physical store of a florist, you can buy one at the online florist. They deliver express flowers to save you from any hassle.