He loved the beachAs a retail florist, I have the honor of helping families plan services for loved ones. I create custom floral arrangements personalized to celebrate life. When a grieving family comes to me, I ask if it would be OK to ask them some questions about their loved one. I want to get a better understanding of what would be the most appropriate floral tribute for their service.

If I find out their loved one was the matriarch, a lady who lived a full life surrounded by many people who loved her, a lady who perhaps made quilts for her family members, a hobby she was passionate about and enjoyed sharing with her family and friends, I might suggest a special floral design featuring a large heart on an easel with a multitude of flowers paved in a quilting pattern.

Quilted HeartIf I find out their loved one was a man who was environmentally conscious, who devoted his life to efforts to save the planet, I might suggest a moving tribute for his casket — a beautiful array of all green flowers and foliages, each designed in recycled containers representing a different ecosystem. One could be lush foliages and flowers from the Pacific Northwest. Another could be a combination of desert plants and findings. Still another could be a collection of beautiful blooms from tropical destinations or the rainforest. A gathering of grasses and field flowers could represent his hometown Mid Western roots.

Open up to your florist. Talk about the special qualities of your loved one so your florist can create a meaningful tribute that will add beauty to the service and provide comfort to your family and friends during the visitation.Music was her passion

For more information, read “Quiet Ambassadors of Love” and Sympathy Flowers, and see pictures of sympathy tributes.

What unique and personalized sympathy tributes have you seen? Please share in the comments below.