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Sympathy Flowers

It is never easy comforting a relative, friend or associate who has lost a loved one. People are often uncertain as to the best way to show their sympathy. Adding to this uncertainty are changing trends in how Malaysians commemorate the death of a loved one. In a multi-racial country, which comprise of Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and Christians being the main faith, the ceremony differs in rituals, and length of time. Services may take a few days for Buddhists, Taoists and Hindus while the rituals for Muslims and Christian are relatively shorter and simpler. Viewing periods may range from a day to 3 days, and sometimes may not occur at all.
Flowers have traditionally been sent to the funeral home for display during the viewing and service. However, this does not mean that there should be no show of sympathy if no service is held. Grief therapists agree that the rituals surrounding death are an aid in the grieving process. In instances where there is no service, experts recommend sending condolences to the bereaved person or family's home.

Guide to Common Terms for Sympathy Flowers
Many people are unfamiliar with the terms used by florists for sympathy arrangements. The followings are the more common terms :

Wreath: A round floral presentation of flowers and foliages. There is no religious significance for the circle form, although some believes that a circle symbolizes eternal life.
Floral Spray / Floral Stand : Flowers designed for viewing from one side only. Sprays are often placed on an easel. Depending on the budget and design, floral spray can come in 1 tier, 2 tiers or 3 tiers.
Cross: Flowers designed in the shape of a cross. The cross symbolizes the Christian faith of the deceased and is used to comfort and to soothe.
Floral Arrangement: A mix of fresh flowers displayed in a vase, basket or other container. This form of arrangements is gaining in popularity especially if the condolence flowers are sent to the homes of the deceased family.

Casket Spray: Flowers designed for the top of the casket - usually ordered by the immediate family or relatives close to the family.

Inside Piece: A general term to describe small floral designs placed inside the casket. Examples include satin hearts, nosegays or small sprays. Although common in the Christian’s rituals, this practice, however, is not popular in this part of the world.

To view sympathy arrangements in greater detail, please click here.


The Weeks Following the Funeral:
Helping a Friend in Grief

The funeral service is over. Friends and family have paid their respects and gone home. There are no more hectic plans to distract the grieving family, and the shock has worn off. They are now left feeling lost and alone.

Experts say that although the initial outpouring of sympathy is a great comfort to a family that has lost a loved one, many people experiencing such a loss appreciate being thought of in the weeks and months after the funeral. Consider sending flowers or a plant with a personal note to the home of the bereaved. Your message of, "I'm here if you need me," will show the bereaved that no matter how much time passes, he or she can count on your support.



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