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Choosing Sympathy Flowers: Flowers & Their Meanings



Some people say that funerals are just as much for the living as they are for the dead. They give people who loved the deceased to get together and mourn for their loss and to come together and support one another. It’s as much about getting closure as it is about honoring the deceased person’s life.

But this support to the deceased person’s family needs to go beyond the funeral, too, because the grief goes beyond the funeral as well. Gestures of support like helping with the funeral itself, bringing food to the deceased person’s family, making sure they have what they need, sharing your memories of their family member with them, and getting them flowers to express your sympathy are just some of the ways you can help the grieving family and support them through this time.

Picking sympathy flowers can be tricky business, though – there are countless flowers out there, and something for every occasion. The last thing you want to do is send a grieving person the wrong kind of flowers and cause offense when you actually want to support them. Keep reading to find out what flowers would be best for your sympathy flowers delivery, and what they all mean.

What Colors Would be Best?

Many flowers come in different colors, and not all of them carry the same meaning. You don’t want to pick the wrong color for a particular flower for a sympathy bouquet. For example – roses are one of the most popular flowers for any occasion, and while white, light blue, or light pink roses would be appropriate as sympathy flowers, the same cannot be said about a bouquet of bright red roses.

Here are the most common flower colors and what they mean. In the next few sections, we will be discussing the specific meaning of different kinds of flowers.

  • White: White flowers usually symbolize things like innocence, new beginnings, and remembering loved ones. This color is most common for funerals.
  • Pink: These flowers symbolize warm feelings, love, and friendship.
  • Purple: Purple flowers stand for loyalty, love, and respect. Given what a grieving family might be going through, these flowers are always a good idea.

There are rare cases when it might not be inappropriate to give the grieving family something brightly colored. This can include situations where you’re foregoing funeral traditions to give the family the deceased person’s favorite flowers or if they requested a non-traditional funeral.

It’s also okay not to bring sympathy flowers to a funeral and donate to a charity of the deceased person’s choosing if that is what they or the deceased family has asked for.

In the next section, we’re going to talk about the meanings of different kinds of funeral flowers in sympathy bouquets.

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The meaning of most flowers is pretty open to interpretation, with their use in funeral services and in sympathy bouquets rooted more in tradition than any concrete meaning for them. This is because even the language of flowers itself is open to interpretation, and a single flower can hold multiple meanings depending on the color, the intention of the giver, and their relationship with the receiver.

As such, lilies, too, stand for a number of things. While the white color stands for innocence and purity, lilies themselves represent themes of rebirth and renewal that are pretty appropriate for religious services.

Stargazer lilies, in particular, are known to symbolize things like eternal life and sympathy, which makes them a good choice for funeral arrangements like wreaths and bouquets.


Orchids are popular funeral flowers because of their long-lasting nature, and they stand for eternal love. There are countless types of orchids out there, and no set rule for exactly what kind is used for funerals, but you should stick to white or pink orchids in any case.

These colors are more symbolic of things you want your sympathy flowers to represent – love, innocence, care, and sympathy.


There’s barely any occasion that calls for flowers to be exchanged that roses wouldn’t be the appropriate choice for, and a funeral is no exception. White and light pink roses are a great option for sympathy bouquets.

White roses stand for innocence and purity. Pink roses stand for love, appreciation, and grace, while yellow roses stand for friendship and happy times ahead. In certain situations, you can give the grieving family very dark red roses that would stand for grief and loss.

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Hyacinths have a long history of being seen as a flower for sorrow and the loss of loved ones, and this probably comes from their ties to greek mythology. The first hyacinths are said to have bloomed from the body of Apollo’s fallen lover with the same name.

Today, the flowers represent sorrow and grief. Purple is often the color of choice when you choose a hyacinth sympathy bouquet. if you’re looking for a bouquet of hyacinths to offer you can check out these flowers to buy online.


Every color of this flower has a different meaning, with pink flowers meaning remembering the deceased, white standing for innocence – as it often does – and red standing for love and adoration.

They’re also the traditional flower for mother’s day, which makes them an appropriate sympathy flower for someone whose mother or a mother figure has passed away.


Chrysanthemums have very different meanings in different parts of the world. All over Europe, they are famously a funeral flower used in funeral services and in sympathy bouquets. It is even seen as a symbol of death itself.

In the US, however, this flower stands for support and affection and the message that you’re there for the receiver. Chrysanthemums are still used in sympathy bouquets and are often just the right balance between an acknowledgment of the death and tragedy that has come to pass as well as a show of support through it.


In addition to doing your best to be there for the grieving family, you should look for signs that any member needs help with their mental health, or needs immediate attention. Grief can be hard to handle and navigate, and while it is easier to go through with support from loved ones, sometimes people need proper counseling.

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