Flowers and funerals have been linked since the earliest times. One hundred thousand years ago at Qafzeh in Israel, possibly the world’s oldest intentional burial site, there is evidence flowers were placed on the graves. Why flowers? Maybe they were placed on top of buried remains to disguise the scent of decay and discourage animals from disturbing the grave. Or perhaps the beauty of flowers has always made them a likely token of esteem for someone who has died. Regardless of the reason, the connection of flowers and funerals remains strong today.
So, what can be done with all those lovely blooms after the funeral is over?
1. Remember to offer the flowers to all family members and close friends. Before everyone disperses ask them to take an arrangement and enjoy it in your loved one’s memory.
2. Use the flowers to brighten someone’s day. Arrangements can be deconstructed and made into bouquets that can be distributed to nursing homes, friends and neighbors.
3. Many churches purchase flowers for their services. Check to see if a donation of your flowers might be welcome.
4. Arrange flowers in a bouquet, hang them upside down in a dark dry place and allow them to dry for a long-lasting keepsake arrangement.
5. Remove the petals, arrange them on baking trays and dry in a low heat oven to make potpourri.
6. Press some of the prettiest blooms.
7. Explore the internet you will find people who will use your flowers to make a variety of keepsakes as well as some helpful ideas and how-to instructions.
8. Compost your flowers. You just might be gifted with volunteer blooms in the Spring.
Finally, remember the intended sentiment of the flower. They are meant to give comfort. They were sent because someone needed to express their love and affection for you or the person who died. Flowers are not intended to become a burden; you are not expected to keep them forever. Just enjoy the flowers in the quantity and for the length of time that suits you and then let them go.