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As Edwin Curran says 'Flowers are the music of the ground. From Earth's lips spoken without sound'. Indeed, flowers are one of the most beautiful ways of expressing the deepest of the human feelings. Be it happiness, joy, love, gratitude, or sadness, flowers can speak what words cannot. The importance of flowers as a means of expressions has roots in the ancient past. Flowers have communicated unspoken love, unexpressed gratitude, and inconsolable pain.
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Flowers on the occasion of funeral needs a special mention, primarily because of its evolving History. Let's have a look at some of the interesting facts about flowers presented at a funeral.
- In the past, flowers at a funeral not only as a showcase of respect but also to beat the bad odor that used to arise of decomposing dead bodies. Flowers were used in various quantities depending on the climate of the place, season, condition of the dead body, speed of decomposition and time gap between death and burial. It was to allow mourners to tolerate the bad smell that rose out of the dead, to pay their final respects to the departed soul. Historical evidence proves the use of flowers for their fragrance and scent in the event of the burial of the dead.
- Flowers were used since the Victorian era and probably before, to pay respect to the dead. The sentimental value of flowers on the eve of burial services is immense. As the pain and anguish of the relatives of the deceased were overwhelming, no words could console them. Hence people used to give flowers to express the sadness and sympathy as well as to somehow, mellow down the grim environment with the beauty and fragrance of flowers.
- Flowers in the event of death give a feeling of warmth and comfort for the relatives of the departed person. It only adds on to the gravity of the environment. Also, flowers are said to have spiritual significance. The life of a flower right from the moment it buds till the time it withers away is parallel to the immortality of human life. They are synonymous with the transitory life of a man.
- The most commonly associated flower with a funeral service is a lily. It symbolizes innocence and purity. The Gladiolus is usually presented or displayed in funeral service and is representative of dignity and strong character. Carnations are widely chosen to express sympathy. Roses of different colors are also used to depict different expressions. Red rose conveys love and respect, whereas the close friends usually buy yellow roses. Orchids, tulips, and daffodils are also used to express admiration and sympathy.
Flowers are a pure and innocent way of saying goodbye to the one who has left and consoling the one who is left behind.