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In ancient days, fragrant flowers and spices were used at funerals to mask odors. Now they are most often used to honor the dead or bring comfort to the survivors. Funeral traditions vary for each culture and faith. Most Jewish sects for example, believe funeral flowers are inappropriate. Instead, fruit and food baskets are traditionally sent to the family or charitable contributions are made. Most other religions, however, view a gift of flowers to be both appropriate and thoughtful.
Flowers have a variety of meanings such as love, beauty, passion, life, inspiration, and innocence. Funeral bouquets needn’t always use traditional flowers; adding favorite flowers or colors that will have special meaning for the departed. Another option would be to deliver a green plant or tree.
After the funeral is over and the mourners have all gone home, many families wonder what should be done with the flowers that have been sent. Bouquets and plants can be given to special relatives. Some plants and trees can also be planted somewhere meaningful – a park, family yard, or school, in memory of the deceased.