“To be kind is more important than being right. Many times what people need is not a brilliant mind that speaks but a special heart that listens.” Unknown.
So true, especially when you have lost someone you dearly love.
One of the most difficult situations in the flower shop is to meet with grieving family members, who while in the depths of grief, are trying to make decisions about flower choices that will honor and reflect who their family member was, and be something their loved one would love and appreciate as a tribute.
We want to listen first to hear what he or she loved in life. What was she interested in? Did he have a favorite hobby? Did she love bright, vibrant colors or did she prefer pastels and soft colors? What color reminds you of him? Would you like a certain amount of roses in the arrangement to reflect the number of children in your family? What should we know that would help us get a better idea of what would reflect his or her personality? Was she a nature lover? Did he serve in the armed forces?
Once we know about your loved one, if family members aren’t comfortable or are too overwhelmed with making floral choices, we are here to help make the situation easier by offering suggestions as far as colors, flower types, and even design ideas. Sometimes customers don’t have any idea at all what they would like. In that case, we have many books of ideas to look at as well as photos of our past sympathy work which can be customized with your own ideas. Of course, we are always comfortable after listening to family about their loved one’s favorite colors, flowers, and interests, designing a vase or basket arrangement or an easel arrangement based on what we’ve heard. We have an area in our back workroom where you and your family can take the time you need to sit, look through our resource books,and discuss what you would like your floral tribute to look like.
Many services are now a Celebration of Life, which often calls for vivid and bright flowers. Sometimes family members want to include momentos in an arrangement reflecting a special interest of their loved one. Recently, a family brought in their father’s beautifully woven fishing creel and we filled it with a vibrant mix of yellows and blues along with fashioning a fishing pole out of vine maple and accenting it with a burlap bow. Another unique arrangement was an evergreen wreath accented with several sets of deer antlers which served as the focal at the church service. Probably the most unusual arrangement we’ve ever created was an easel to look like a hamburger as the family said that was their loved one’s favorite food and she would have loved it. (wish we had pictures of all of these!) In this day and age, there aren’t any set expectations as far as what you must do for floral arrangements. You can be creative or keep with tradition—it’s up to your wants and needs as a beloved family member, and it’s always my intention to have that special heart that listens—especially in your time of loss.