Crisis Support - Other

What to Give at a Funeral instead of Flowers

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"What to Give at a Funeral instead of Flowers"
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Although flowers might be traditional, there are many other tokens that you can give instead when you go to a funeral.  These gifts may be more practical and appreciated by the family.  Consider the following ideas.

Donation to a charity

Many times the family requests that a charity donation be made in lieu of flowers.  Flowers might look pretty but a charity donation can make a real difference in people's lives.  There are different ways to decide which charity to give to.  Sometimes the family will specify a particular organization.  Other times you may give to a charity associated with the person's illness such as a donation to a breast cancer fund or diabetes foundation.  You could give to a cause that was close to the person's heart such as an animal related charity if the deceased was an animal lover.  If you really have no idea, you could just choose a large one such as CARE or the Red Cross.  Many places will send a card to the family to tell them of your donation.


The family might like a gift basket of food.  You may want to give this to them before or after the funeral instead of right there.  You could give a gift basket of fruit, for instance.  You could also make the family some comfort food such as hot soup or fresh home baked cookies.  You could make them some meals as well.  Make sure to adhere to any dietary restrictions that they have.

Gift card to a restaurant

You may want to give the spouse or immediate family a gift card to a restaurant.   They may have a difficulty cooking and could use a night in which someone else cooks for them. 

Trust fund for children

If the person had younger children, then you might want to consider giving a little trust fund for the children.  It could be money to help the children go into college for instance.  Of course, if the person is going to be in dire straits financially, you could look to getting practical items like diapers for babies, clothing and so forth.  Find out what they need to try to get something that would be practical and appreciated by them.

Flowers for a funeral can be very pricy and last only a short amount of time.  Other gifts, including those listed above, might be more practical for the family and others. You can also combine your gifts with other people to make a more substantial gift.

More about this author: Suzanne Rose

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