Flowers have always been the most popular method of sending love and support to family members and friends who have lost a loved one. Their beautiful colours and scents help to remind those grieving of the precious life lost and serve as a reminder that life can still go on.
However, in these recent times, funerals have had capacity limits placed on them due to restrictions on public gatherings and a lot of people who would usually send flowers or attend in person are unfortunately not able to do so.
Sending homemade food or running errands for someone who has lost a loved one is a great show of support, but even just letting them know that you are available at the other end of the phone is a great gesture. If you’re looking for some other gifts to show your friend or family that you’re thinking of them, here are a few ideas and some of the best alternatives to sending flowers for a funeral.
Candles – sending a candle is a great way of sending your best wishes as it’s a gift that keeps giving. A candle will remind the person that you are there for them every time they light it. Lighting a candle is a well known practice for people who want to show their dedication and remember a loved one. They can also be really calming – add in a pleasant scent or some essential oils and help your friend or family relax, at what is likely to be a very difficult and highly tense time.
Potted trees or shrubs – as an alternative to flowers, why not send a tree or small potted shrub that the person can keep in their home or plant in the garden for a lasting remembrance of the deceased. Over time, long after flowers will have wilted, a tree should live on, growing taller and stronger and be there for future generations to admire too.
A photo collection – if you have lots of photos of the loved one who has passed that the family may never have seen, then it’s a great gift idea to make copies of them and create a small and personalised photo album. It is a permanent keepsake, and whenever it is looked at it will bring back fond memories of the loved one.
Make a donation – donations are a great way to show your appreciation and honour the person’s life. You can demonstrate their morals and values by dedicating money in their name to a charity they were fond of. It may be a local charity supporting a particular cause, or a well-known international organisation that you know the loved one had a strong passion for. If the person was ill, this can also be a great way to give back to the hospital or hospice that supported them in their final days.
A handwritten note – coming straight from the heart, you could pen a letter to the loved one’s family members describing how you knew the person and all the fond memories that you treasure of them. It serves as a keepsake and can be read by the family to bring back memories of their own, and bring a smile to their face when they need it most.
Whatever gift you decide to send, it is always important to bear a thought for the family’s wishes during this sensitive time. They may have made it known that an ‘in lieu of flowers’ request was made, or have asked for something specific which was dear to their loved one. In these cases, you should respect what has been asked for even if you feel differently.