Author Topic: Wake etiquette . . . bringing flowers? etc.  (Read 13258 times)

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jpcher

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Wake etiquette . . . bringing flowers? etc.
« on: March 18, 2012, 03:39:19 PM »
I know this is a bit late for my situation, but I was just wondering about bringing flowers to a wake instead of having them sent?

Is this rude? Awkward? I was thinking of stopping at Jewel on my way and picking up a small arrangement (in a vase) . . .

The wake starts in 2 hours, so it's too late to get anything delivered. (I was busy unthoughtful to not plan ahead. :()

As far as sending flowers to a wake, funeral type thing . . . is there some unwritten rule somewhere that says something like how close you are to the family you should send flowers? Put a check in the card?

This wake is for one of DD#2's BFF's G'ma. BFF is Tina (I've posted about her.) While I've never been close to the family (only met G'ma a few times) DD#2 has known Tina for 10+ years. She's been to G'mas home, even spent a couple of weekends at G'mas vacation place.



I think that I've missed the etiquette boat on teaching my DDs about going to wakes/funerals.

We've have had plenty of experiences being on the receiving side, but this is the first time the DDs are attending on the giving side. Does that make sense?

evely28

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Re: Wake etiquette . . . bringing flowers? etc.
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2012, 04:03:12 PM »

I think that I've missed the etiquette boat on teaching my DDs about going to wakes/funerals.


I don't think anyone ever truly miss'es the etiquette boat when they show such concern for it as you do. ;)

Can you leave the flowers in the car until you ferret out what the wake is like?

I think nothing is needed beyond the flowers and card and acknowledgement.

Sharnita

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Re: Wake etiquette . . . bringing flowers? etc.
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2012, 04:09:38 PM »
I think is can vay widely.  is this at a funeral home?  If so you can call and ask them about bringing an arrangement.


QueenofAllThings

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Re: Wake etiquette . . . bringing flowers? etc.
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2012, 07:36:53 PM »
Rather than show up with flowers (I've never seen anyone bring anything to a wake) consider sending a Mass card (if Catholic) or sending a condolence card.

Thipu1

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Re: Wake etiquette . . . bringing flowers? etc.
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2012, 08:14:52 PM »
Rather than show up with flowers (I've never seen anyone bring anything to a wake) consider sending a Mass card (if Catholic) or sending a condolence card.

I agree.  You do not bring anything to a Wake unless the Wake is held at a residence.  That's rare these days.  Even there, a Mass card or food for the family is the only thing you bring.  Everything else is sent to the mortician who is overseeing the burial.  Funeral homes have the ability to set up floral tributes and other gifts in an orderly and artistic way.

A funeral is something that usually happens without much warning.  Close relatives of the deceased are in no position to accept and immediately acknowledge gifts.  This sort of thing is best left to the
Funeral Home.

 

yokozbornak

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Re: Wake etiquette . . . bringing flowers? etc.
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2012, 09:49:13 PM »
You could also check to see if there is a mention of a donations in lieu of flowers in her obituary and make a contribution to that instead.  They will send the family a card about your donation.  You could also just send the family a card or maybe even a nice plant later this week to let them know that you are thinking of them.  I still have two of the plants that people sent me at home after my father passed away, and they are very sweet reminders of him.

kareng57

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Re: Wake etiquette . . . bringing flowers? etc.
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2012, 10:04:04 PM »
You could also check to see if there is a mention of a donations in lieu of flowers in her obituary and make a contribution to that instead.  They will send the family a card about your donation.  You could also just send the family a card or maybe even a nice plant later this week to let them know that you are thinking of them.  I still have two of the plants that people sent me at home after my father passed away, and they are very sweet reminders of him.


I think this is excellent advice, sending something a few days after the service.  Sending flowers to the funeral home might seem to be a nice gesture, but someone has to arrange for their transport to the next-of-kin's home.  (And in case someone wants to call-me on my assertion that it's okay to bring gifts to a wedding reception because they usually have transport arranged - with weddings there are months to make plans.  With funerals/memorials, it's days).

However, I'm finding that there are different definitions re wakes, in NA.  IME, it's something that you hold at a place such as a pub, after the more formal funeral or memorial service has taken place.  However, on this board, it seems to mean a service where there's no coffin - for example, meaning a cremation rather than burial.  Cremations/memorial services are the norm in my region, far more than burials.  We had a memorial service for my Dh, at the funeral home, and we did try to keep it rather light-hearted, as much as we could.  But I would not have called it a "wake".

TootsNYC

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Re: Wake etiquette . . . bringing flowers? etc.
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2012, 11:49:32 PM »
Every wake that I've been to is before the funeral, and it's held at a funeral home or other professionally arranged viewing place. And so there is already an expectation that there will be flowers, and the funeral director has all the arrangements for that in place--far more so than with a wedding, in fact. Anything taking place *after* the funeral service is a gathering or a memorial service.
    At my mom's funeral, we called that "the family visitation" or "the visitation" instead of "wake."

In those instances I think you can bring an arrangement of flowers to the wake, and simply hand it to the funeral director who is running the wake (if that's where it's held). Then the staff will figure out where to put it. It might be a nice gesture that will be noticed by the family. I know that I saw the flowers sent by a friend of mine, and it really, really touched me to see them there.

But I don't think it's necessary, and I think a FAR more valuable "gift" would be for your DD to sit down and write a longer letter of condolence to the widower and to Tina's parent, and to Tina--three letters. And to tell them of a memory of spending time with Grandma, and saying, "I too will miss her, and I wish you comfort."

And other phrases based on the specific beliefs of those involved.


JoyinVirginia

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Re: Wake etiquette . . . bringing flowers? etc.
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2012, 01:48:50 AM »
In out area it is referred to as the visitation, usually the evening or afternoon before the actual funeral. Either the urn could be displayed, if the deceased was cremated- or the deceased is in an open casket. It is perfectly fine to wait and do a memorial donation to any identified community organizations, or even to her place of worship.

squeakers

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Re: Wake etiquette . . . bringing flowers? etc.
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2012, 02:13:17 AM »
I just attended a wake or visitation.  We were greeted at the door by the funeral home reps and directed to the correct room. (There were 3 visitations going on at the same time.) That would have been the time to hand over an in-person floral tribute. The reps would have taken it and found a spot for it quietly and w/o disturbing the grieving.

I also sent a floral tribute to a friend's mother's funeral.  I had the quandary of putting 12-15 names on the card or our online guild name.  Our friend knows us by both but I figured using the guild name would have been slightly easier to explain as well as take up less room than all of our names. He appreciated the flowers and had to laugh when he explained to his relatives who are not online just who we were.

We gave money to the uncle's family.. but I sent nothing to my friend.  I am unsure why other than.. we were very close to the uncle and his family and  I had never met friend's mom (let alone my friend).
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Luci

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Re: Wake etiquette . . . bringing flowers? etc.
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2012, 10:26:41 AM »
Midwest US - We have visitations here, and flowers are usually sent only by super close friends and realtives. My dad passed away on New Year's Eve, so having flowers sent was nearly impossible. My sister in law was close friends with a florist, so she was able to go in especially for us to get the family arrangements. Some people did stop at the supermarket to get plants or baskets to bring to the visitation. They were just handed to the staff greeting them. It wasn't a bit awkward.

Most other people send a donation to charity of choice, usually mentioned in the obituary or on a sign at the donation table just past the guest book. That's usually my choice. As a family mourner, I always like the monetary donations and live plants. I can point at my houseplants even now and tell you which funeral many were from (or which surgery), and usually the person who sent them. The cut flowers we usually just sent to local nursing homes and hospitals as watching them die just seems too symbolic. They were of course appreciated.

FYI - Here, the flowers from the visitation are taken to the church funeral and then to the burial site and final blessing, so vases are not a good idea as they take too much care. That's why even fresh cut flowers are put in baskets in that florists styrofoam stuff that is soaked.

I do hope things went smoothly for you. It's such a hard time for everyone - a family mourning or watching a friend you love in pain.

Thipu1

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Re: Wake etiquette . . . bringing flowers? etc.
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2012, 10:38:32 AM »
Here, we call them wakes or viewings because 'visitation' has an unpleasant overtone.  In my experience, a visitation is the coming of something unpleasant, like a plague or an invasion.

Also, people don't bring anything to a memorial service which can be held anywhere from a few days to a few months after the burial or cremation.

DaDancingPsych

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Re: Wake etiquette . . . bringing flowers? etc.
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2012, 11:01:36 AM »
I agree that if you transport the flowers yourself, that you should hand them to the funeral director as you enter. In fact, if you ever have a question, I would not hesitate to contact the funeral director. They are used to various questions and are typically happy to help.

My grandmother recently passed away and one of the things that my mom appreciated was a sympathy card with a book of stamps. There were many things to tend to after my grandma’s death that required my mom to mail various paperwork here and there. Not to mention writing various thank you cards. The stamps prevented her from having to run to the post office. Just an idea.

It's good to be Queen

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Re: Wake etiquette . . . bringing flowers? etc.
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2012, 11:02:48 AM »
I think it is fine to bring the flowers with you.  Make sure there is a card so the family knows who sent them.  When you get to the funeral home hand them over to a staff person, not a family member.  The family will be busy and won't know what to do with them. 

It is very kind to send flowers and I think that flowers, a donation, or a condolence note are all nice gestures.

kareng57

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Re: Wake etiquette . . . bringing flowers? etc.
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2012, 08:24:05 PM »
Here, we call them wakes or viewings because 'visitation' has an unpleasant overtone.  In my experience, a visitation is the coming of something unpleasant, like a plague or an invasion.

Also, people don't bring anything to a memorial service which can be held anywhere from a few days to a few months after the burial or cremation.


Regional differences, I guess.  Viewings/visitations are pretty uncommon around here - I don't mean just in my own experience; perhaps 10% of all newspaper obituaries give visitation hours.

Cremation is very much preferred over burials; I think more than 65%.  Of course, viewing can precede cremation as well as burials but it doesn't seem to be common.