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Should I send flowers to a funeral if I am attending?
Friendship / 1:13 PM - Wednesday December 31, 2008

Should I send flowers to a funeral if I am attending?

My husband recently lost a dear friend. I told him I would take care of the flowers and he said, "That's nice, but we're going" to which I say, "Of course we're going, but I think we should send flowers as well." He's under the impression that you only send flowers if you don't go...is that true?

Also, our friend left behind 4 children...I would like to make a donation. Upon talking to the funeral director, there is no charity/scholarship or fund set up. There was no life insurance...so, I would like to help out in anyway possible. What's the etiquette here?

Thanks!

- Asked by Female, 29-35

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When my son in law died, most of the flowers were sent from those who didn't attend...but there were also some from people that were close to him that did both.

There may be a place for donations that you are unaware of. Both my daughter's and son in law's work had accounts set up. You should ask close family members...that information should be coming out soon. Other people sent checks made out directly to my daughter and enclosed them in their cards.

Do not hesitate to send money. It will be very welcomed. My daughter did get insurance money, but it was some time before that was issued, and there were expenses from the funeral, and just the day to day bills.

Other things you can do:

She may have a lot of help right now, with visiting family...also a lot of need for feeding them. Some grocery shopping (kids snacks, milk, bread, juice, peanut butter, etc) and also some prepared meals that will serve any guests also.

She will need help even more a week or two in...when any visiting family is gone (if that's the case)...find out.

Your help could include fixing a meal once a week for her and the kids...taking the kids for a day, or even an afternoon...to give her some alone time to grieve. My daughter had very little time to grieve as she needed to. You could offer to go over and clean her house.

She will probably not ask for these things. Truthfully? She does not really know what she needs, and would bless her. It is so hard to "think" if someone asks you what you need. Offer "specific" things to her.

I'm so very sorry for the loss of this young man. My son in law was 26, my daughter 24, when he was killed. Their daughter, 3.

I personally want to say thank you, and BLESS YOU, for wanting to do something for her. :)

- Response by mamom04, A Sweet Sarah, Female, 56-65, Phoenix

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flowers are a nice gesture wether you are attending or not. and making a donation is very thoughtful and i'm sure will be much appreciated by the family. you are a good person. i'm sorry for the loss and god bless you all

- Response by jojo914, A Thinker, Female, 36-45, Who Cares?

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It is the tradition to send flowers if you can not attend to show that they are still in your thoughts, but many people still attend as well. It depends from your background and how you were raised. I was raised to bring flowers as well as attend.

On the finances, you can always make an anonymous donation to the funeral home or you can mail them a sympathy card with cash or gift card. If the grieving family is not really telling about the finances and reaching out for help - that would be the most gentle way to deal with it.

- Response by tennesseemom3, A Thinker, Female, 29-35, St.Louis, Other Profession

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I'm not sure of the etiquette here, but sending flowers while still attending would be a nice idea. Since there is no fund set up I wouldn't offer money, just tell the wife that you are very sorry and if she needs anything don't hesitate to ask.

- Response by ashygirl27, A Thinker, Female, 26-28, Student

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Well I'm English so if you're from the US the etiquette might be different.

It is normal to send flowers if you are attending unless specifically told otherwise. Donations to the funeral director are perfectly acceptable too, again unless told otherwise.

I'm sorry for your loss.

- Response by beelzebub, A Guy Critical, Male, 29-35, Who Cares?

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I've always sent flowers AND attended, it's a show of appreciation rather than just with your presence. They will receive a lot of flowers and all they do is die. Usually a modest something is nice, closer family members will bring bigger showier flowers. So maybe instead you can take a moment with the widow (at the wake, or even some time a few days after the funeral) and ask her if she could use a little financial assistance. I'm sure she would appreciate it with 4 kids and all. You can always explain that you don't have much to give but would really like to help.

But I think sending flowers as well as attending is thoughtful and kind of you.

- Response by sweetness04, A Trendsetter, Female, 26-28, Artist / Musician / Writer

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Yes you send flowers whether or not you go. Give the widow a check for her to use as see needs.

- Response by barbb, An Alternative Girl, Female, Who Cares?, Other Profession

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I would send flowers to any funeral I thought enough of the people to attend in the first place. However, with no life insurance and four kids if you think there will be lots of flowers it sounds like the money would be better spent on an account for the family. If you are not comfortable setting up an account for them ask their minister or a family member for help with that. Or make an anonymous donation. You might also consider that funerals are really expensive and if you can afford it, talk to the funeral director and pay for that anonymously. I think etiquette here is to do what you can afford and maybe let others know there is a need for this family that is financial. People who have never had a death don't realize how expensive it is to bury someone. If you can afford it, send flowers too and don't forget the family after the funeral. A few days around the death there is food brought and all kinds of stuff. A few days later the family is left alone, still hurting and needing a friend. If you can, take a meal to them once a week or so for however long you can. Do little things for the family that will help them out. Try to put yourself in their position if you 've never been there and do what you feel led to do for them. The kids will never get over losing their daddy but you and your husband can be great friends to them still and they will need all the help they can get. Another option might be to take groceries over to them afterward, or just go over and look around to see what is needed and then try to fill that need the best you can. Love them and be there for them after it's all over with. That's when it will hit them the hardest and when they will need you the most. Even if you can't afford to do a lot, you can go by and see them and take meals or other little things to let them know they haven't been forgotten. Love them, love them love them.

- Response by tootcat, A Thinker, Female, 56-65, Retired

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Even if you are going you would still send flowers or give to charity of choice, check the obituary on his friend they will print what charaties there.

- Response by seasons4, A Sportif, Female, 46-55, Financial / Banking

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Maybe YOU should set up a fund for them??

- Response by catscratch, A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Executive

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I wouldn't send flowers. I would send a plant. something that can continue to grow and they can look at years from now and be reminded of their friend's care and concern. some people will send flowers even if they do go. my family does.

you may be able to set up a fund for the children. Im not sure how...but if there is a remaining parent or close relative, talk to them about it.

- Response by mrsjsqanda, A Married Girl, Female, 26-28, Atlanta, Who Cares?

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I would always send flowers and then attend. But again it depends where you are from :)

- Response by A Career Woman, Female, 29-35, New York

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