Yesterday I had the honour of arranging flowers for a funeral; after a weekend of Valentine and wedding flowers you might think this would be something of an anti-climax, not so. You see I consider flowers for such a mournful and sorrowful occasion to be as important as any wedding I arrange. These flowers must convey the love of a grieving family, how could anything less than perfect be acceptable?
As I write the words mournful and sorrowful I add in the word celebration as we say goodbye; with heavy hearts overflowing with grief, we may well wish to celebrate a life lived in equal measure.
As with all my work, individuality is crucial and (therefore) to be able to listen and interpret are skills of utmost importance in order for me as a florist, to create these flowers. I also think that empathy is an important part of my own creative process when arranging farewell flowers. I draw on experience from my life as a nurse and midwife which I think helps me empathise with a grieving person or family. This is not an easy emotion for some and I recognise it as one of the reasons why so many florists might shy away from funeral work.
In the past (and indeed to this day), funeral flowers have been tarnished with a damming reputation of gratuitous thrift, second rate quality not to mention their exorbitant expense. Who cares? Who really appreciates these flowers? I for one feel passionately that flowers should convey the emotions of the bereft and perhaps reflect more than a glimmer of the person they represent; I am determined to elevate their reputation and reinstate the importance and value of flowers in the grieving process.
Letting go, saying goodbye, bereavement - call it what you will, I consider it to be an honour and a privilege to be given a creative hand in arranging these beautiful floral displays. I hope you’ll agree.