Saying Goodbye – final tribute to a loved one

I have to say, when I first started consulting with grieving families who had lost loved ones, I was a tad nervous.  While I put 110% into everything I design, these arrangements were different.  Different in that, I was creating ones’ final floral arrangements.  Their send-off needed to be absolutely flawless.  I am very sensitive to grief, often times, when I am in the same room as those making the final arrangements, I can actually feel and sense the grief in the air.  Over the years, I have remained close to many that I have assisted and the general comment made is this “I don’t really remember the consult Karen, what I do remember is the comfort that you brought into the room” – that makes me smile!

Over the years, I have designed for young and old, those who were ill, and those who’s passing was sudden.  Whatever the situation, those left behind often feel very vulnerable and overwhelmed. Flowers are for the living. They comfort the grieving loved ones left behind. Whether you are sending flowers to a funeral, memorial service or to the home or office, it is a warm hearted way of showing support for those in mourning. These designs often bring joy to others as they trigger fond memories and loving, even joyful, conversations of shared and treasured times.

Flowers offer unspoken words of sympathy. They help us to say things that are sometimes difficult to express. Flower arrangements that represent a person’s personality, colors, hobbies or occupation are a great way to emotionally connect with one’s family and friends. This celebrates what was special about their lost loved one.

1. Tell your florist about your lost loved one.

  • Did they have a special hobby, a location that was dear to their heart be that the beach or a special workplace theme, were they nature lovers? 
  • Perhaps they have favorite colors.  This can be worked into the overall type of person being remembered.  Bold, bright colors would be maybe recommended for someone whos presense brightened up the room when they entered, or maybe you are looking for a softer palette to represent someone who was mostly quiet and subdued.

For the chef lover:       Basball Fan: 

2. Look at pictures of design options. They vary from casket sprays, to blankets, wreaths, and more.

3. Make sure you trust your florist to deliver the freshest flowers always!  In your grief, you might not recall what the flowers looked like but there is no room for old, discolored or wilting stems.

Pretty much anything is possible if you have selected a florist who truly cares about that final farewell.  Over the years, I have done a variety:  Creatied designs to encircle urns added tractors to  pieces, made a pontoon boat out of flowers, designed in a guitar, created words to relect a relationship, and made wreaths and crosses to name a few.   

I’ve never been able to completely turn off my emotions during this time.  I think it is important to show caring and compassion each and every time.  And when I place those tribute pieces atop, or beside your loved one, I always say a prayer wishing peace to the grieving family.


  1. Lynne Horigan says

    The pontoon boat was for my father. Her depiction of the boat was spot-on and it brought a smile to so many faces at the wake and funeral. Rather than a blanket of flowers, this magnificent piece stood right next to my father’s urn. Today it lives in my mother’s home. I would trust Karen to do any arrangement that I needed. She is passionate about her workπŸ’•πŸ’•

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