Flowers for Funerals
A Guest Article from Gillian Hawtin of Flower Thyme
A few thoughts on flowers for funerals from the talented Gillian Hawtin of Flower Thyme, Kineton
A friend once said “You have a lovely job, as a florist you dip in and out of people’s lives” – so true, births, marriages and of course death – and I have always felt the important and symbolic power flowers have to reflect times of sorrow as well as celebration.
Gently guiding bereaved families through the process of choosing suitable floral tributes to reflect someone’s life, loves and interests is a very special responsibility.
Often families have already thought about many aspects of funeral when I talk to them – be it music or spoken eulogy and of course flowers have an important role to play too – seasonality, colours and style of tribute are all important considerations to help reflect an individual’s character, tastes, or hobbies. Vibrant spring colours and flowers might reflect a person’s happy disposition whilst soft, cottage garden roses and sweet peas suggest a gentle, unassuming nature. A hobby or interest – perhaps a favourite sport, pastime or even confectionary can be the inspiration for a bespoke floral tribute or a person may have had a favourite colour or flower which is a starting point to develop upon. They may have loved their garden or the countryside prompting me to suggest, perhaps vegetables or wildflowers to use as a foundation upon which to base my design. One of my most special memories is being asked to gather flower and foliage from the garden of lady who had passed away – a peacock butterfly followed my every move as if watching I didn’t pick the very best – but instead left those blooms for another day.
Flowers are indeed, powerful tools and I am blessed to have the opportunity each and every day to work with them to help families and bring them comfort on this hardest of days – and by repurposing the flowers after the funeral service ( if desired,) gently dismantling the tribute and turning it into a series of hand tied posies which can be distributed to family members, helping them to continue to reflect over the days that follow the funeral service.