Say it with Flowers is perhaps an overused phrase nowadays; in the funeral world flowers really do speak words. I read (in Creative Review) that the Say it with Flowers slogan was created in the US back in 1917 by the Florists’ Telegraph Delivery Association (FTD). “As the FTD went global (the UK equivalent, Interflora, formed in the 20s) the slogan went international too.”
I have picked lavender from my own garden to give to family of the deceased at funerals. I have worn a red and white rose buttonhole ordered from a local florist in honour of a keen Arsenal F.C. supporter, whose funeral I was conducting. Today I picked a spray of hops to give to a 99 year old gentleman at a graveside service. The husband of the deceased had met his wife of 73 years while hop picking all those years ago. One of the simplest gestures to show care for loved ones is to give flowers – even better when they have real meaning. The invasive hop clambering up the side of my house, which I keep trying to cut down, was put to good to use today and I think provided a small amount of comfort.
If I ever need reminding of why I do this funeral celebrant work, it’s days like today. It’s so humbling.