Itâ€™s been one of those yearsâ€¦ Several people we know have passed away in the last twelve months. Itâ€™s a sign we are getting older I suppose, though some of the departed were actually younger than us. I have never been comfortable at wakes and canâ€™t stay for longâ€¦ and when I do sit in a wake, besides a short prayer and remembering fond memories of the dearly departed, I inevitably stare at all of the floral tributes and quietly review/critique themâ€¦ petty, I knowâ€¦ but if we went through life with a thought bubble visible to the rest of the world, I would probably offend a lot of folks along my path… I may just be so incredibly traditional, but I think flowers for a wake should be white or ivory, period. And I donâ€™t know if you have noticed lately, but so many funeral wreaths or tributes have become these huge one dimensional flattish green leaf wonders with a few flowers poked into them. I realize most folks are too busy with their own lives and when someone passes away, they just call the nearest florist and ask them to send a floral something or otherâ€¦and â€œotherâ€ is what you typically get.
Over the past 30 years, I think the quality of floral tributes sent to wakes has really deteriorated. That is a personal observation, but it is rooted in the fact that what usually arrives at a wake these days is a LARGE, if not overly LARGE concoction of garden variety leaves in dark green with a smattering of flowers stuck into the green leaves like pins into a pin cushion. If you sprung for some serious money, you get better and more variety of flowers. If you were modest about expenditure, you get a few points of white or worse, serious tropical color. Then there are those horrific greetings on ribbon written out with pentel pen, YIKES!!! Wreaths used to be the usual floral tribute at wakes because they symbolized eternal life (I suppose spinning forever in an endless circle) but they are a rare sight these days. A few months ago I did the flowers for a wake of someone special and they turned out quite well. Last week, the mother of a good friend passed away and we wanted to send something special. We had this classic wreath crafted using nearly 500 white roses from Benguet, rosal leaves around the outer edge to cover the frame of the arrangement. I had to go to the wholesale flower market to get enough flowers and find folks who would do it the way we wanted. The results were rather stunning, donâ€™t you think? We were thrilled with the relatively small, simple, but striking wreath. A fitting tribute to a great lady (who cooked me a fantastic meal once, even)â€¦