The use of flowers in funeral rites, to commemorate the deceased, dates back to ancient times. In fact, there’s evidence to suggest that even our Neanderthal predecessors decorated tombs with plants and flowers. Certainly, by the time the first civilizations of Ancient Egypt emerged, flowers were an important part of mummification rituals.
Nowadays, we use flowers as a physical symbol of grief, condolence, sympathy and loss. It’s customary for mourners to use floral displays to decorate the coffin during a funeral service, and to lay bouquets at the graveside, should a burial be taking place.
But flowers, much like ourselves, don’t last forever. While they play an important role in funerals and commemorative services, they’re only temporary. What’s certain is that the grieving process lasts long after the memorial service, as does the desire to keep the memory of a loved one alive.
So, are flowers only useful as memorial symbols in the short term? For many people, the grieving process only just begins with a funeral service, and there’s a strong desire to keep the memory of a lost relative or friend alive for much longer than the lifespan of cut flowers. That, however, doesn’t mean that floral tributes can’t play a role long after a memorial service has ended. Here are three ideas as to how you can use some specially selected flowers to preserve the memories of your loved one.
Plant a Memorial Garden
One obvious solution to the fact that cut flowers don’t last forever is to refrain from cutting them at all. For a more permanent memorial, planting a commemorative flower bed is an excellent option. This could be planted in a variety of locations—the garden of the family home, a public place that was special to the deceased, or wherever their ashes have been scattered.
One important thing about a memorial garden is that you’ll have to tend it to keep the flowers blooming every year, and that work in itself can play an important role in the act of remembering—a labor of love for the deceased. You can also get together with other friends and relatives to make tending the garden a communal effort.
Press Flowers for a Keepsake Box
A fairly simple way to extend the life of cut flowers is to dry and press them. The bouquets used at the funeral of your relative will carry sentimental value, and pressing them is a great way to preserve a memento of the day everyone said their goodbyes.
Pressed flowers from a commemorative bouquet are an ideal thing to add to a keepsake box of items that you’ve collected to remind you of your loved one. For more details about the attractive keepsake boxes supplied by Order of Service, view their website.
Turn Pressed Flowers Into Artwork
A few pressed flowers by themselves, perhaps kept in a small booklet or picture frame, can make a lovely keepsake from the funeral of a close friend or relative. But as an added touch, you could press a larger number of flowers and use them to make a piece of art to display in memory of your loved one.
Depending on your creative skills, pressed flowers can be used for an incredibly wide variety of things, from decorating vases and other ornaments to making pictures—your imagination is the only limit!
image: “T” eresa