Funeral Flower Etiquette & 14 Message Ideas From Grandchildren


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When is it a good idea to send flowers to a funeral? There’s no hard-and-fast rule. It depends on the type of service, the relationship with the deceased and the family, and whether you think flowers would bring comfort or be a bother.

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If you recently lost a grandparent, you may be wondering if sending flowers would be an appropriate way to express your sympathy and grief. Again, different families have different traditions and expectations. 

First, let’s take a moment to discuss funeral flower etiquette to help you decide whether you should send an arrangement or not. If you choose to send flowers or a plant, we’ll also help you with the message to include with the delivery. 

Tip: After the loss of a grandparent, you and the rest of the family might be facing many complicated tasks, from sending sympathy gifts to filing paperwork. Our post-loss checklist can help you understand what comes next. 

Funeral Flower Etiquette for Grandchildren of the Deceased

There are two main reasons someone would choose to send flowers to a funeral. One is to show love and support for the grieving family. The second is to show respect and love for the deceased person. 

As a grandchild of the deceased, you are a member of the grieving family. Most people would not expect you to send a small floral arrangement. Instead, you may be the recipient of small arrangements or plants that your friends or coworkers may send.

One exception to this general rule is if you are an adult grandchild and you cannot attend the funeral because you live too far away, are ill, or have a particular circumstance that keeps you from being able to attend the funeral. In that case, you may want to send flowers to the service. 

Many grandchildren choose to purchase an arrangement as a group. You may consider coordinating the purchase of flowers with your siblings. You may want to expand the group and reach out to your cousins as well. 

Most of the time, the casket display is purchased by the surviving spouse or children but it may make more sense for the grandchildren to buy this decoration. This may be a helpful contribution if the surviving spouse or children struggle with being able to afford the cost of a funeral. It’s undoubtedly not against funeral etiquette. Keep in mind that if your grandparent was a member of the military, the casket might be draped with a flag — a casket spray will not be needed.

If you choose to go in with other members of the family to purchase a floral display, there are many different ways you can approach this show of respect and love.

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Purchase a standing display

Some grandchildren choose to show respect for a deceased grandparent by purchasing a standing display. Many times these arrangements are decorated with a ribbon that says “Grandmother” or “Grandpa.” Sometimes these displays are in the shape of a wreath, cross, or heart. They’re often hung on wire stands. 

Purchase a hinge spray or a small bouquet

You may also consider purchasing a hinge spray or a small bouquet to be placed inside the casket. Some grandchildren buy a small bouquet to place in their grandmother’s hands.

Some florists also offer flower-adorned pillows to be used inside a casket. Of course, make sure that the deceased is going to be placed in an open casket if you make these purchases. These types of floral displays are usually buried in the casket with the deceased.

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Purchase single stems 

You may consider giving each grandchild and great-grandchild a single flower to place on the casket at some point during the funeral or graveside service.

This can be done as special music is played or after the coffin is lowered into the ground.

Purchase flowers of special significance

Whether you purchase a standing arrangement or the spray for the top of a casket, you may want to take care to choose the right type of flower. Each flower has a special meaning. Typically, lilies, roses, orchids, mums, carnations, hyacinths, or hydrangeas are used in arrangements. You may also want to choose a flower, plant, or color that had a special significance for the deceased. 

For example, perhaps your grandmother was known for growing irises. If her flowers happen to be blooming at the time of her death, you could use them in the display from her grandchildren. If irises aren’t in season during the time of the funeral, you may consider using silk flowers in the arrangement and having each grandchild take a stem home as a special commemorative item.

Maybe your grandfather was a big fan of a particular team. You could choose flowers to represent his favorite team’s colors. 

You may also want to purchase the flowers in a specific number. For example, if there are 15 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, you may wish to order an arrangement with 15 roses and 12 carnations. Maybe you want to purchase blue carnations for the male grandchildren and pink for the female grandchildren.

Perhaps you purchase a corsage or boutonniere for each grandchild so the guests can pick them out of the crowd. 

You may also consider giving seed packets to the funeral guests as a commemorative gift. This would be especially appropriate if your grandparent loved gardening and was known for a particular type of flower. 

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Other things to consider when purchasing flowers for a grandparent’s funeral

Many times, grandchildren are a source of tremendous pride for a grandparent. If this describes your family, you may want to make an effort to highlight grandchildren with a special presentation involving flowers.

Of course, if children are minors, their parents may take care of these arrangements.

Families are advised to be mindful of who is labeled a “grandchild.” You may cause hurt feelings if you don’t include all the people who would like to be involved in your presentation or display. Make sure everyone in the family agrees on how to handle these particular considerations, such as estranged family members, step-grandchildren, or honorary grandchildren. 

COVID-19 Tip: If the funeral is taking place virtually using a service like GatheringUs, you might not know whether or not to send flowers. Reach out to the person planning the funeral to ask whether funeral flowers will be displayed to online guests. They might have an "in lieu of flowers" request, instead. 

Funeral Flower Message Ideas From Grandchildren

Are you an adult grandchild who is unable to attend the funeral because of illness, geographic distance, or some other reason? Perhaps you feel moved to send flowers on your own, even though you plan to be in attendance. 

Whether you attend the funeral or not, you may feel called to send an arrangement to your mom or dad. Your own parent is suffering from the loss of a parent and may be having an especially hard time. 

Regardless of the reason why you might want to send flowers for your grandparent’s funeral, the florist will ask that you include a note. You may be limited by a particular number of characters as you compose the message since the cards that accompany floral displays are the size of a business card. 

Here are some samples of text for the sympathy note for funeral flowers

  • “Grandma, you will always be in our hearts. Love from your grandchildren.”
  • “In loving memory of Grandpa Stewart. He was loved by all.”
  • “We love you and will miss you, Grammy!”
  • “Although we are broken-hearted, Gramps’ memory still lives on in all of us.”
  • “A grandparent’s love is strong and deep and filled with memories to cherish and keep.”
  • “In loving tribute to a kind-hearted woman. We love you, Grandma!”
  • “My heart is broken that I can’t be there today to celebrate the life of my beloved Pops. I am sending my deepest love to the rest of the family. Rest in peace, dear Pops!”
  • “When I think of Gram, I think of peanut butter cookies, peonies, and the tightest hugs known to man. I wish I could be there to share other memories today.” 
  • “Grandpa Pat made the world a happier place. Susie, Mike, and I will miss him terribly.”
  • “In loving memory of our GG.”
  • “I am so lucky to have had such an amazing and inspiring grandpa in my life.”
  • “My thoughts and prayers go out to the rest of my family today. I wish I could be there with you to share memories of an amazing man.”
  • “Dad, I know that Grandpa’s death has been especially hard on you. Wishing you peace and comfort in the days ahead.”
  • “Mom, you took such great care of Grandma during her illness. Thank you for the love and devotion that you showed to our amazing grandma.”

Honor the Ones Who Passed

Losing a grandparent can be extremely difficult. As you think of ways to honor the one who passed, you may consider writing down as many memories as you have of your grandparent.

Record your memories of your grandparent as well as much as you know about their history. One day, your children may be interested to learn more about their ancestors, and they will appreciate that you took the time to share some of your thoughts. 


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