Floral Funeral Tributes
by Brian Nisbet on May 27th
Many obituary notices now state family flowers only. What effect has this had on the flower trade?
Most florists are disappointed by newspaper obituaries containing phrases such as "family flowers only" or "in lieu of flowers" because of the financial effect on their business. Very often the family of the deceased are either trying to give well wishers other options, or they are trying to solicit donations to a particular charity.While the family may not intend to turn away all floral tributes, the growing trend towards charitable donations rather than flowers must be having an effect on florists. Most florists are small businesses and in addition to passing trade they rely on occasions such as weddings and funerals to boost their sales. In most cultures, floral tributes known as sympathy flowers have long had a role at funerals because of their comforting beauty. For many people, flowers are a symbol of hope and provide a means for expressing condolences when someone has died. There has even been some research which has confirmed that the colours and aroma of flowers actually help to ease grief.
Floral tributes symbolise the giver's empathy with the grieving family. The trend towards "family flowers only" or even "no flowers please" not only changes the way Western people celebrate a life and mourn a death, but also harms the flower trade. Quite clearly it is not the intention of the recently bereaved to damage small businesses such as the local florists, but if these trends continue this could be the result.
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