The Right Flowers For The Right Situation
Life happens. People die. There’s no way around it, and it’s never going to feel good. There is a very real time for grief. In fact, one of the issues here is that it’s not generally a good idea to try and get someone’s mind off their pain—at least not right away. Some wounds take time to heal, and they should be allowed that time.
When several years have passed, that’s a different story—though some loss may never be recovered from. Parents grieving a child will likely take that pain with them until they are reunited with that child in the world beyond our own. The point is, grieving is a natural process that takes a while, and it’s better to commiserate than assuage.
Just look at the root to “commiserate”. The connotation seems to be a combination of miseries. You’re sharing in the misery of another when you “co-mmiserate”. Instead of trying to fix the person, you let them know their feelings are understood. One of the best ways to do that is through two things: silence, and flowers.
See, flowers bloom and then wither; much like human beings reach their height then gradually fade away. Beyond direct beauty and floral notes, flowers are metaphorical to the human condition. It’s easy to see why they’re given out at funerals, and in the workplace after a tragedy. Specifically, here we’ll cover workplace condolence best practices for flowers.
- Choose Flowers That Match The Situation
If a parent has lost a child, that’s more painful than an adult child losing their elderly parent. Both are painful, but the sort of condolences you give will differ in either situation. Progeny, family, spouses, and friends all impact someone with different levels of grief. Floral arrangements should reflect that.
When someone loses a child, the pain is so acute that good managers will give them a few weeks off at least for bereavement, if not a month or more. When the event happens, and when the employee returns, there’s no need for long conversations. A simple peace lily, philodendrons, or orchids are good options.
Sometimes floral arrangements for lost loved ones should reflect the preferences of those who have died. Maybe an elderly parent or grandparent that loves Christmas would be best commemorated with poinsettias. Try to find flowers that fit whatever loss the person has had, and be sad with the person who is dealing with the pain.
- Don’t Get Too Fancy With The Card
Try not to write a Russian novel on the card that comes with whatever condolence flowers you decide to go with. All you need to say is you’re sorry for the loss of the bereaved, and then share the sadness with them. Certainly, you might write about your memories of the person who passed on, if you knew them—but then, in that case you’re a bereaved person, too.
- Avoid Embarrassing The Bereaved
You don’t want to have some big event with massive carnations and a sort of condolence mural for those who are contending with a loss. If they come to work and find some table filled with flowers and portraits of those who have died, that’s more likely to initiate increased pain. The person may even be embarrassed and try to bottle up their grief.
Certainly, there are personalities who prefer to be recognized for whatever they’re going through. So know who you’re dealing with to determine what sort of things may or may not be embarrassing. Just try and anticipate such responses in advance so you can avoid any unnecessary discomfort for those who are grieving, and those who work with them.
Truly Helping Those In Pain
Try not to embarrass bereaved persons, assure the card you provide them isn’t over-ambitious, and try to find floral arrangements that match the situation. Generally, the same sort of thinking will apply to a funeral, only the gravity of the occasion may suggest increased floral presence during an actual funeral ceremony.
The workplace is strange today, and in many businesses, it has become decentralized. Issues like this will be increasingly less impacting as time goes by. Still, people will be born, they will get married, and they will pass on. Until that changes, sometimes bereaved persons will be on the clock. Don’t downplay their grief, just be there as you can.