Why Funeral Flowers Have Stood the Test of Time


Back in the 1950s, archaeologist Dr. Ralph Solecki discovered burial sites in a cave in northern Iraq with pollen and flower fragments dating back over 60,000 years.[1] This suggested that the dead were buried with flowers. Why has this custom persevered throughout the ages?

Time and time again at Krause Funeral Homes, we’ve seen floral arrangements add beauty to funeral services. We’ve also noticed how Milwaukee-area families are so deeply moved when they learn who sent the arrangements. After all, it can be difficult to know what to say after a death. Giving flowers to those who are grieving expresses love, comfort, and sympathy, while also reminding the family they are not alone.

Thanks to their fragrant beauty and comforting qualities, funeral flowers have played an important role in funeral customs all around the world. In ancient times, tradition called for families to use flowers and herbs to anoint the bodies of their loved ones who died, while aromatic flowers and plants provided a pleasing scent to mask any unpleasant odors.

Today, floral arrangements create a background of decoration, brightness, and life at a funeral service, adding beauty to what are often somber events. Surrounding someone who has died with vibrant flowers makes a lasting impression and invokes a visual reminder that grief is a shared experience. What’s more, many families have told our staff how much it meant to them to receive arrangements from their loved one’s co-workers, neighbors, and friends.

Flowers can express specific sentiments. Here are some of the most common floral arrangements found at funerals:

  • Lilies symbolize innocence, peace, and majesty.
  • White roses are symbols of spirituality, purity, and innocence, while red roses evoke feelings of love and grief.
  • Red carnations suggest admiration, while pink carnations stand for remembrance.
  • Gladioli symbolize strength of character, sincerity, and moral integrity.
  • Daffodils and tulips symbolize renewal and new beginnings.

Another option that adds a special personalized touch is to send a favorite type of flower or plant, such as a basket of wildflowers to honor a love for the outdoors or a bouquet featuring a preferred color. Families will certainly appreciate the extra thought and effort behind the gesture.

If you would like to view all of the floral and memorial items that Krause has to offer, you can do so here at our online store or reach out to our team for more information. We are always available to lend a helping hand.

[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/11/obituaries/ralph-solecki-dead.html

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