Actually Helping Someone
Here’s the issue when it comes to sympathy flowers: too many people get so caught up in the gesture, they forget to think about the person hurting. When someone loses a job, a pet, a loved one, or some dear piece of property, they’re not thinking normally. You’ve been there. You get sad, and suddenly you’re in a downward spiral.
Eventually, you dredge up all manner of tragic circumstances from your past. Until a certain point, the depression continues to compound, and you’re helpless to stop it. Now, someone simply trying to help you should correct that emotional trajectory. Sometimes the exact opposite thing occurs.
The sad person sees what he lost in the friend offering comfort, and gets more sad. Sympathy is difficult, even if you know what you’re doing. A good move is to give a grieving person flower, instead of words. Words can be interpreted in many ways. Flowers can as well, but there’s a more narrow “spectrum” if you will.
Words might have intentions, backgrounds, and hidden purposes. Flowers simply look pleasing, smell nice, and show that people care. Here are a few tips to help you give sympathy flowers to those who need them, and not incidentally send a message you didn’t intend.
1. The Size of the Bouquet
Sometimes, sending sympathy flowers is more about the sender than the recipient. If you send a huge bouquet with over a hundred expensive roses, while that may distract a person, it may also prove irritating. Even so, there are situations where that’s precisely appropriate.
Someone who lost an elderly family member who had a distinguished life may appreciate a grand gesture. Someone who is sad because they sent a novel to a publisher and were rejected is not going to have the same reaction to a huge bouquet. Match the size of the bouquet to the situation your friend or family member is going through.
2. How Well You Know the Person: Anonymous Giving
If you don’t even know the person who is grieving, you want to be careful. We feel for others, and seeing people sad usually prompts us to try and help. But if you don’t know someone, showing up with flowers can be confusing. There’s a workaround. You don’t have to be there. Have the flowers delivered to the grieving person anonymously.
3. The Kind of Flowers You Buy
This tip is a bit more subjective. Any flowers will be perfectly appropriate for the majority of people, but there are certain floral arrangements designed for grief, and put together for that purpose. Some flowers are better than none, but those designed specifically for condolences are going to be the best overall choice.
4. When and Where You Give The Person the Flowers
Don’t make a big show of presenting a huge bouquet to a bereaved friend at a wake, or something like that. It’s better to either leave the flowers with other floral condolence bouquets or present your friend with the flowers privately.
Helping Hurting Individuals Heal
Flowers are fine for condolence, you just want to get the balance right. Buy the right kind of flowers, present them at the right time and in the right place, give anonymously if appropriate, and match bouquet size to the situation.