Designing funeral flowers was not my dream when I set out to be a florist. I had never been to a funeral, and funerals are not the most glamorous occasion to show off one’s work. However, in my experience of designing the flowers for my grandparents’ funerals, I have learned it is the most precious occasion when designing for your loved loves. By designing the flowers, I could express my feelings in one of the few ways I can convey them: in art. Many artists will tell you they express their thoughts and opinions in their masterpieces. The thing is, I don’t have a paint brush or a musical instrument, I have floral design.
[[That’s right, I just made up a quote. I searched the internet for the right quote, and realized, ironically, there was no quote that expressed what I wanted to convey.]]
We all know flowers are the perfect form of apologizing, expressing our love, celebrating a success or mourning a loss. How can one thing express so many different emotions? It isn’t necessarily the colors or the flower itself, as it is the action of one person conveying their emotions in physical form…the giving of flowers.
Thus, while I am not broadening my work into funeral flowers, I wanted to share the designs I created as my final farewell to my grandparents. I worked through grieving by working with the flowers. Each of these designs came from my heart; I consulted with no one about their dreams and desires for this occasion. For the first time, I was free to express exactly what I wanted.
My grandmother passed in September of 2015. She was a Godly woman, grounded in the word and proficient in prayer. She prayed expecting an answer. The truth is, I believe her prayers is what made my business booming. She told me she prayed I would stay busy with lots of weddings, and that I did those first few years. Her favorite flower was the yellow rose, and so they were the focus of my designs.
On one side of the casket was her floral cross; designed with green push chrysanthemums, yellow roses and white lily. I truly loved how this turned out, and I know she would have as well.
On the other side, I displayed an asymmetrical triangle arrangement. This design was created using yellow roses, spider chrysanthemums and solidago. I added in touches of white: the lilies and dendrobium orchid, with lots of greenery via the irises, belles of Ireland and fern.
Her casket spray was the first and currently only funeral casket spray I have created. It was a lesson as I worked. I included the same flowers as the above designs, as well as memorial ribbons to celebrate her life and the loved ones she left behind.
My grandfather passed about a year after my grandmother. He, too, was a Godly man, rooted in Christ. He and my grandmother were the family’s prayer warriors. When they prayed, they moved mountains. Grandfather was also a WWII Veteran. I am so grateful for the legacy he left behind, fighting for our rights and praying for everything else.
To tie in my grandmother to his funeral service, I designed one round floral arrangement using her beloved yellow roses. She was his yellow rose.
To commemorate my grandfather’s service, his other funeral designs were comprised of red, white and blue flowers. Mirroring grandmother’s display, I created a patriotic themed cross featuring red carnations, white chrysanthemums and sprayed blue chrysanthemums, along with greenery. I added touches of curly willow, really just for fun and because I thought it needed it (remember my whole-free to design what I wanted, thing?).
On the other side of his casket was a floral wreath, also with memorial ribbons celebrating the loved ones he left behind.
There were no casket flowers, instead the American Flag draped over his casket.
Thank you for taking the time to read this more serious blog post about my grandparents’ funeral flowers. Though a sad occasion, they were both joyful events as we celebrated their passing from this world into Heaven.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” -2 Timothy 4:7