Social Question

Jude's avatar

I'll be attending a funeral on Saturday and according to the family, the deceased didn't care for flowers, what else could I bring for the family? Perhaps, a plant?

Asked by Jude (32112points) March 31st, 2010

I’d like to bring something along with a card.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

11 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

In the Russian community it’s pretty customary to bring an envelope with money so I’d do that but I know that’s considered impersonal here so I’d probably bring a poem in a frame or a star named after the person certificate.

Seek's avatar

Money is never turned down, and always appreciated.
You may ask about offering a charitable donation to a cause the deceased supported.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

I like to take food. Not sickly, sweet stuff, either. Meat loaf, a casserole. a meat & cheese tray, something that they can either heat up or set out easily when there’s people at the house. Speaking from experience, that’s greatly appreciated.

gailcalled's avatar

They will probably list several favorite charities. You can make (any amount) a small donation in memory of the deceased and make sure that the family is notified. It is an enduring gift, which food is not.

Edit: When we had deaths in our family, we set up specific memorial funds and were (and still are) very grateful for the occasional donation. Examples; a bench with a plaque under a lovely tree on a college campus; a fully supplied hut and cache for mountaineers in the Mt. Washington, NH area, a reading room in a library, stipends for biological and environmental summer programs for grad. students in RI, a rest stop on a bike path in Arlington, MA. (I personally pay for that out-of-pocket to be mowed and maintained in the growing season.)

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Gift card with money, gift basket of food goodies and depending on what your history is with the deceased or the living then some favorite photos enclosed in a card.

Jude's avatar

Wonderful ideas! Thanks, @gailcalled.

gailcalled's avatar

@jjmah: After the dust settles and the family is not so overwhelmed, a letter with personal stories is wonderful. I have folders full of them.

Judi's avatar

If you knew the person, a letter recounting happy memories and the impact the person had on your life can be very comforting. I went back over letters and cards several times when I was mourning my first husband.

jo_with_no_space's avatar

Charity donations are always good and show thoughtfulness… other than that, it depends who the deceased was and how well you knew them… for example, might a teddy bear be appropriate? Or a small ornament? Perhaps something like a nicely framed photo of them, if you think it appropriate.

I think it will be the gesture and thought that you put in that will be more important than what you get – as long as it is sensitively-chosen and shows some care, you can’t go too far wrong.

cak's avatar

If they are saying “no flowers” it generally applies to plants, too. Sometimes, the family also doesn’t want the burden – yes, it can be a burden- of caring for flowers or plants that were received because a loved one passed away. See if (and you can usually contact the funeral home) you can make a donation to a favorite charity.

When my father passed away last year, we asked for donations to a charity instead of flowers. One of my father’s friends waited about a month – he was very distraught, they knew each other for over 50 years. He wanted to do more than a donation and offered us money to cover miscellaneous expenses, we politely declined. Still searching for a way to do something for us, he sent each of us a photo that we had never seen of my father, while stationed in Germany. He was out with guys and having a wonderful time. It’s become a very cherished item of mine. Something very personal and very appreciated.

There are some wonderful suggestions above; @gailcalled has some lovely suggestions.

Gabby101's avatar

Money or donation to charity is appreciated if the family doesn’t want flowers. Plants, to me, are a burden because they don’t die and you have to find a place for them in your house.

Just an FYI, if you are writing a check, be sure to make it out to a family member or to the name of the charity. If you write the check to “The Family of _________” or to the “__________ Memorial,” the checks can be difficult to cash. Some people put “The Family of ______ OR my name” and those checks I was able to cash.

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