It’s hard to put into words what losing a loved one means. It’s one of life's most difficult experiences. Whether given as condolence offerings or used for funeral decoration, flowers hold a special place during times of grieving.
Funeral flower arrangements convey messages from the heart, offer comfort, and show support from family and loved ones. They also portray respect for the deceased. Here's a brief guide to help if you are arranging a funeral setting or simply want to offer your sympathy.
Funeral flower arrangements
Funeral flowers can be arranged to give or for display, in baskets, as sprays or bouquets, as well as wreaths. Baskets come in several sizes and styles. Colors are often sober and are usually pastel shades of white, blue, lilac, or yellow. Standing sprays may be displayed on an easel, typically near the casket. Wreaths consist of large bunches of flowers and are more elaborate but look beautiful in a large area. The circular shape of a poignant floral wreath symbolizes eternal life.
Flowers to consider
A wide variety of flowers can be used at funerals, but the only consideration is color. Usually, bright and vibrant colors aren't chosen unless the family has specifically selected these because of a preference. The following flowers make nice flowers for funerals:
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When people lose their loved ones, many of them choose to add their names to an existing headstone or monument. Maybe it’s the monument of their spouse, their parents, or any other family member or a close friend.
What you should do
Adding a name to an existing monument is not an easy task, and it is critical that you hire a trained and experienced professional engraver. You may also want to consult the cemetery staff or a funeral director before adding the name. There may be certain guidelines that need to be followed, or the funeral director may be able to point you to the right engraver. Talking to experienced professionals always helps.
Another important part of adding the name to the monument is choosing the inscription. Which words do you want inscribed on the monument? Of course, this must be something meaningful, something that will honor the memory of your loved one and reflect the kind of person they were. Often times, people also add a favorite quote of the deceased. Don’t hesitate to take your time, think carefully, and consult other people.
What you shouldn’t do
You may want to cut corners and hire an amateur engraver because it’s cheaper, but the difference in the quality of work will be very obvious. Adding the name of your loved one to a monument is a way of honoring their memory, and this is something that has no room for mistakes.
Including jokes in monument inscriptions is hardly ever a good idea. It’s always best to take it seriously and move forward in a way that would respectfully and beautifully honor the memory of your loved one.
Finally, don’t proceed with your task unless you have all the proper permissions required from local government or cemetery authorities. A professional engraver can work with these. The last thing you’d want is to have to go through extra trouble while you are in mourning.
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Cemeteries are places where the bodies of those who are no longer with us rest. They are a place where people come to pay their respects to their loved ones, to grieve and mourn them and honor their memory. As such, cemeteries are places that require a code of conduct.
When visiting the grave of a loved one in a cemetery, keep these do’s and don’ts in mind:
Most cemeteries have visiting hours, usually from around 8 or 9 in the morning till 5 or 7 pm in the evening. Some older cemeteries, especially those adjacent to churches, and are not walled in, may be open to the public at all times. Make sure that you ask about the cemetery’s visiting hours before heading out.
Walking over graves, whether it is the grave of your loved one or a stranger you do not know, is extremely disrespectful. A grave is the site where the body of someone who has passed is put to rest and it holds deep meaning for that person’s family and friends.
Even if the grave or monument is dirty, don’t clean it in a way that could cause damage. And if there is already some damage, don’t try to fix it yourself if you are not sure how to do so. For example, using chemical cleaning agents may damage the headstone. It’s best to call professionals. Contacting the company who processed and installed the monument is your best bet.
If there are other people in the cemetery who have come there to reflect and/or visit the grave of their loved one, make sure you are respectful of their peace and privacy. Be considerate and allow them to reflect or grieve in peace.
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Decorating a gravesite is a great way to honor the memory of one who has passed. It allows you to pay tribute to your loved one in a creative, personalized manner. Besides, knowing that the gravesite of your loved one is beautifully decorated in a way that they would have appreciated gives you comfort and some peace of mind.
If you want to decorate a gravesite, here are a few ideas that can inspire you.
Flowers are among the most commonly used gravesite decorations everywhere. You can use either fresh flowers or artificial flowers, depending on availability and also your convenience. While fresh flowers are great, they can get wilted very quickly, and most cemeteries remove them once wilted. With artificial flowers, you don’t have to worry about that, but you will have to compromise on authenticity and replace as needed.
A great decoration idea for gravesites is to decorate as per the season or an upcoming special holiday. For example, if it’s summer, you can decorate it with fresh summer flowers such as daisies and sunflowers. If it’s fall and Halloween is coming up, then carved pumpkins and other Halloween-themed decorations should be a good idea. And if it’s Christmas, then using hollies and wreaths and other Christmas decorations are great.
Personalized decorations of gravesites help you pay tribute to your loved ones who have passed. A great way to set up this kind of decoration is by using wind chimes, notes from you, friends, and family, photos of cherished memories, stuffed toys, etc. These bring the personality of your loved ones to their gravesites and also allows you to ensure that you honor their memory in a meaningful way.
A common tradition developing is placing one or more solar lights on the gravesite or bordering it. There are various reasons for this decoration, according to religious or cultural traditions.
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Maintaining a clean and beautiful grave is a way of showing your respect and honoring the memory of your loved ones who have passed away. Besides, visiting their place of resting often to clean, it offers you more opportunity to remember them in a private and personal manner and can perhaps, help you with your grief.
In case you need some help with grave maintenance, here are some tips that you should keep in mind.
The headstone is the most noticeable part of the grave and it is important that it is always in great condition. While you can’t always expect it to be in tiptop shape forever, proper maintenance can increase its lifespan. Since chemical agents can damage the headstone, the best way to clean it is by using water and a brush with soft bristles. You can also simply wipe it with a dry or damp cloth.
If you notice any cracks, chips, or broken parts, call professionals as soon as possible.
Most cemeteries take care of mowing and general landscape work, but if you want your loved one's grave to look spotless, a little effort on your part can make a huge difference. If there are weeds and leaves growing around the burial plot or debris lying around, remove them without wasting time.
A great way to immediately brighten up a grave is to decorate it with beautiful, fresh flowers. If your loved one had favorite flowers, you can place these in a vase or simply lay them down on the grave. Another great idea is to decorate the burial plot with a wreath, which you can place on or against the headstone. Of course, artificial flowers and plants last longer, but need to be replaced when worn or faded.
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