Usually with cremations in Bellingham, WA, flowers will be sent if there’s a funeral service or if there is a memorial service for the deceased. While flowers are beautiful, the sad reality is that they will die within a few days.
There are other, more lasting ways to support and comfort a grieving family, while showing honor and respected to their deceased loved ones, that are perfectly acceptable instead of flowers. Be assured that there will be flowers at the funeral or memorial service. Traditionally, the immediate family gets some sort of floral spray, and extended family members provide other types of floral arrangements.
Before doing anything, read the obituary. It’s more common now for families to request contributions to churches, charitable organizations that were meaningful to the deceased, or to organizations or education institutions that fund research for the particular diseases that the deceased may have had, or even to organ donation organizations, if the deceased was an organ donor.
If the family specifies who contributions should be given to, it’s because these entities were vital to the deceased and they are vital to the family. Unless instructed to “give to the charity of your choice,” contributions, if that’s what you decide to do, should be made to the entities specified by the family.
If the family doesn’t have an “in lieu of” clause in the deceased’s obituary, then there are many ways that you can honor the memory of their loved one.
One thing you can do is to give them or tree or shrub to plant in their yard with a memorial stone that commemorates their loved one. Even if the yard doesn’t have room for a shrub or tree, memorial stones are a very thoughtful gift.
Another thing is to give them a homemade sympathy card, a handwritten note, or an unusual sympathy card that projects feeling of warmth, care, and concern because the family will realize you stopped and took time to do something special in memory of their loved one and for them.
A really nice gift is to go through old photos, pick out pictures of the deceased, and make a digital album of pictures the family doesn’t already have. (In fact, if a matriarch or patriarch dies, this is a good way to ensure all the immediate family have copies of their pictures.) There are many photo scanning companies and the quality is very good. You’ll box up the photos and send them to the company. They’ll scan them all and put them on a DVD, then return the photos and the DVD to you. You can then use the DVD to make thumb drive copies of the photos for the family.
Self-care is often the last thing on the minds of people who are grieving, so a self-care gift is a very endearing gesture. If you know them well, consider hand-selected gift baskets with things that will be calming and relaxing for them. If you don’t know them real well, consider a gift certificate for a hair salon appointment, a pedicure, or a manicure.
For additional information about memorial gifts for cremations, our compassionate and experienced team at Moles Farewell Tributes & Crematory – Bayview Chapel is here to help. We also serve the areas of Bellingham, Ferndale and Mount Vernon, WA. You can visit our funeral home at 2465 Lakeway Dr., Bellingham, WA 98229 or you can call us today at (360) 733-0510.