Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Genuinely Curious

Please know that this post is in no way an attempt to be funny or glib or humorous. I’m genuinely curious to know how others would handle this situation. Because this is where my mind goes when I’m lying awake in the middle of the night. **

A respected businesswoman in my hometown passed away yesterday. She owned a local floral shop, right in the middle of downtown. Although I’m not sure of the exact number of years she was in business, my mother fondly tells the story of how my dad sent her a dozen red roses from this florist on the day I was born, so I know the shop has been in business at *least* 40-ish something years. For as long as I can remember, the shop has been right there, conveniently located down the street from my favorite bakery.

Now, here’s my question: For those people who might wish to pay their respects in the traditional method by sending flowers to the funeral home and/or church, what is the proper thing to do? Although this woman ran her shop with her daughter, and they undoubtedly had other employees, I can’t help but think it would be the height of insensitivity to ask them to prepare the arrangements at this time. I’m sure they’ll want to prepare the casket piece, but to call up the store and request to purchase a floral arrangement for their own mother/boss seems pretty tactless. Not only that, I imagine the store is closed at this time.

Then again, it also seems inappropriate to send flowers to this woman’s funeral, made by a “competitor”. Or does it? I mean, if *I* owned a flower shop, would I be hurt or offended if people used another florist to send flowers to my mother’s funeral?

Just curious what everyone else thinks …..

PS. Speaking of handling situations, thanks for your kind comments and suggestions regarding the “knighting” issue with Brayden. We have come up with what we think is a good solution. Shortly after moving here, she tried out for, and was accepted into, the 5th grade Honors Chorus. Their year-end performance is Thursday night, and Blaine and I are going to make (perhaps slightly more than we would normally) a pretty big deal of it, taking the family out for ice cream afterwards; still, making no mention of the knighting ceremony the next morning. Then, when (if) she is upset about her brother and sister being knighted and not her, we’ll be able to say to all three of them, “Look, Thursday was about Brayden, Friday was about Kellen and Kendrie. Sometimes you’re the bug; sometimes you’re the windshield. Deal with it. Move on.”

Because we’re compassionate parents like that.

**Kidding. I NEVER lie awake in the middle of the night. I’m one of those obnoxious people who falls asleep before my head ever even hits the pillow, and in fact, Blaine has accused me of falling asleep on my WAY to the bed before.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is a tough one. Perhaps the obituary and funeral notice will have a suggestion about donations in lieu of flowers. Otherwise you could call the shop and convey condolences and just ASK.

URBAN BLONDE said...

Kristie,

I can't think of anything more personal and thoughtful then to send the florist's children a card and letter from your family detailing the memories your family has in receiving (and sending) flowers throughout the years from her business.
And add perhaps a donation to one of her favourite charities.

I know my heart would be warmed reading what an impact my mother had made in people's life.

Blondie
PS Regarding Brayden, I love when opportunities arrive that help us solve problems! Sounds like the perfect solution.

mom25in5 said...

Hey Kristie;

I certainly appreciate your quandary! I really like the note idea with a donation in her name. I'd also check with the funeral home - they probably have an answer to this very question.

Hugs!

Kim

Dancing-Swimming-Riding-lessons, OH MY-Mom to:

Daniel-13
Scott-11
Bryan-9
Sarah-8
Dana-8

Cindi said...

Kristie, I think that the other ideas are great. In fact, I was going to suggest making a donation in the woman's name to an organization that meant a lot to her. The funeral home might have a suggestion. And there have also been times in my life in which I've pled ignorance and would just call the woman's shop and explain to the person answering the phone that you really don't know what to do about sending flowers. See what the response is.

Now, as far as the knighting ceremony goes, I think your plan for handling it sounds great. In fact, I really like the idea of the whole "knight" thing and would like to mention it to our guidance counselor and/or principal. It sounds like a great way to encourage the children to work on the pillars of good character.

(Teachers just LOVE to "borrow" good ideas!)

Grandma J said...

Oh yeah, the Bug v. Windshield
That's perfect!
As far as the flowers go? I would be open with whoever manages the Flower Shop (daughter, employee) and ask them. I don't think that would be insensitive at all. The woman had to be fairly old and her death, while sad, can't be a total shock. I'm sure they would appreciate the fact that you want to do the right thing to honor this woman. Maybe call the funeral home, they are pretty good at finding out what the family prefers.

When I die? I want the money....oh wait, that won't work, will it?

lizinsumner said...

Wow, leave it to you to come up with a problem like this one, kiddo. You've got a point, either way. So, here's my suggestion: avoid flowers. Send food. JMHO. Everybody appreciates food....or better yet, coffee. When I die, I'm going to put into my will that there's money set aside to hire a latte cart and a barista and have them at the church - and everyone can sip lattes during the service. Trust me on this one: food/casseroles/baked goods.

Safire said...

Another vote for food here instead of flowers. I think it would be great to send the shop cookies or pastries and coffee with a note to say how much you loved their hard work.

Marisa said...

Donation to a charity or food is my suggestion also.

Laura said...

I am with the donation crowd, flowers fade away so fast anyways

Anonymous said...

I think you have plenty of suggestions on the flower shop and speaking of flowers, I think you have a great solution for Brayden adn a flower might make her feel extra special and something for her to have while the other two have their medal, just a thought.

Shannon

Mama Bear said...

All wonderful comments from everyone. I think a personal card to the florist's family would be very touching. Do you have a local newspaper? Perhaps a letter to the editor with your personal stories about this shop owner would be appreciated and would reach the eyes and hearts of others who feel the way you do (family, employees, past patrons).

Jacquie said...

I would call and inquire at the funeral home, but would also consider calling the flower shop. They might take great pride in creating the arrangements in tribute to their mom. I would most definitely not order flowers from anyone else.

Anonymous said...

That is a hard one...I do know of a woman here that died and she was a long time employee of the local florist (her name was Mrs. Flowers! how appropriate!) I have never seen such beautiful flowers at a funeral. They were a wonderful tribute to someone who loved flowers and arranging them...I also think a donation would be nice...did she have a special pet? Maybe to your local Humane Society?

PS..I also liked your plan for Thursday night!

Meg from Ga

Anonymous said...

Kristi,I was thinking you are so good at scrapbooking could you make a scrapbook about this womans flower shop over the years or something like that.I know it would be hard to make it before the funeral,but you know I always thought people needed more sent to them a week or two after a funeral than during a funeral.Everyone is there to help you during the funeral.I just thought instead of flowers at the funeral why not give them something that will carry on after the funeral..Just a thought.
Also I think my 11 year old and your 11 year old are somehow related..
Yesterday my 11 year old needed blood work and 3 people had to hold her down for a tube of blood.I know needles are scary but come on 3 people.Then she came home and bragged about it to her sisters like it was cool. Yes my drama queen.
Take care and take heart the teens years are not far off...( sigh)
www.caringbridge.org/visit/hannahpadgett

Bridget said...

Love the windshield and bug deal. I'm sure I can work it into the rants here, within the next day or two!

I would send money. No doubt, there are bills to be paid, whether for the funeral or for expenses at the flower shop. If you write your reasons in the card you choose, how could anyone fault you?

Your kindness is what will matter the most.

Elaine said...

I haven't read the other comments but there are other things you can do/send. Like a pretty stepping stone, or a plaque, there are usually too many throws but that is another option. my mil just fixed up a small clock that was like a mini grandfather clock. She put a little greenery and a pretty bow with it, with a card. It was gorgeous! She got it at Walmart. I would choose to not do flowers because I wouldn't know what would be proper. it would be kinda sad though if there were no flowers.

Elaine said...

so I just read your post to my teenagers(I have a some to spare if anyone needs a couple lol) and my 15yr old son says, "what matters most, the flowers or were they came from?"

he's got a point...

Monica H said...

I definitely wouldn't senfd them flowers from another florist. Seeing as she was the owner of the florist, I can only imagine how many flowers will already be there at the funeral. Everyone else already beat me to the punch- but I would make a donation in her name to a local charity or plant a tree in her honor. If you feel inclined, you could make a meal for her family and send it over. Cookies would be nice too.

threehandprints said...

Well..our family has dealt with this personally. I have an aunt that owns a florist. She along with her sisters(one being my mom) did the casket piece when my grandma died. I would suggest asking the funeral home if they have a donation place as that's what we asked of well wishers...people made a donation in her name instead of flowers. Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Kristie,

I also think the idea of writing a letter to the editor. I lost my dear son when he was 18 and there were several letters to the editor in our paper from people whose life he had touched. It was so nice to hear what an impact he had in our community and I can always take out the papers I have saved & read how much he meant to others.

Karen

http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/6reelpeople said...

Kristie, I would probably not send flowers to her funeral via her own shop. I probably would either just do it with another florist or even give to the charity/fund per request. You could also skip the flowers and do a stone with a little cliche-y type saying (I really do not mean that in an insensitive way-just giving ideas). Also, I am a cold, heartless mother who also would tell her children to get over the "why not me?" stuff. I know some things can be tricky, but you all are doing a lovely job at parenting and somehow i think Brayden will scoot through this whole knighting process. Now see, if you would just homeschool your darling blessings, you could have them at home comparing the whole, "Zach, you have got to be kidding me? I was doing *that* when I was two years younger than you. Duh". It really is beautiful. Really. Best wishes, Tammy in *finally* sunny Ohio

Anonymous said...

Kristie,
You don't suck, parenting sucks! In a good way, of course. There is no easy way to shelter yet teach your kids life lessons. You are doing a great job.
Re: former florist - i would check the obit and see where the donations were being requested to and send $ there instead of flowers. they always die....
mary cron s.
crosslake/san diego

Dani said...

I'd send a card. Personally, it was the cards and the thoughts expressed in them that meant the most to me when my mother passed away.

Hyzymom said...

Love that you can come up with a question that I've never thought of. I love the idea of a card or note - you are such a great writer anyway. Here's my aside about the flowers from someone else. My guess is in semi-small town the florists probably all know each other and probably aren't cut throat evil competitors. The other florists might also take great pride and honor in making a flower arrangement for this person.

As for Brayden - my total sympathies. Don't beat yourself up about losing your cool. It's happened many times as the Hyzy house and we all survive. Great idea about the concert. Yes to giving Brayden a small bouquet of flowers. We always did that after Brenna's piano recitals and seemed to get a kick out of it.

Lastly, shoe scuffing has been known to cause my head to pop off and me to snatch shoes off my children's feet! Kidding, but not by much!
Hang in there, my mother claims that in about 7-8 years (Brenna is 15) we'll be best friends. :o)

Anonymous said...

I'd probably pay for flowers and tell them to just send a card...shop gets the money and there was no work involved. I think it might be odd to get flowers from a competitor, very odd, especially at a funeral.

Stacie from MN said...

Wow, I don't know what I would do there. Maybe call her shop and simply ask them if they would have time to prepare the arrangement. If they do not, maybe the employee could suggest a place you should order from??

Anonymous said...

What a dilemna! Depending on your budget, since this woman obviously loved flowers and presumably trees, maybe you could have a tree planted in a local park in her honor. It can be somewhat costly so you may want to go in with others. Some friends and I have done this when a parent dies and it has always been very much appreciated.
Diane in Cincinnati

Anonymous said...

Kristie,

I am pretty sure the daughter will not be working, and out of respect the shop should be closed. Afterall their mother and boss (not to mention the owner of the shop) just died. I would definitely donate money in her name but if the shop was open, I would order something special that they normally don't do. Like maybe a picture to donate to the family, or some keepsake, etc... defintely not funeral flowers.

Ryley said...

Wow.. that is a tough question..
What about something other than flowers.. cause really.. flowers+funeral=tacky!
There are always so many flowers..and they just die!! :)
I really like the idea about a letter.. even though you may not have known her personally. You can always make something up!! :) and its a sweet story about your mom getting flowers on the day you were born from her. or a donation.. or both.. don't do flowers.. unless your heart is completely set on it! Wow.. i probably wasn't any help at all.. sorry!! :)

leeanne said...

Kristie, I would avoid the flowers all together and take a card with money for a memorial in it. And always include an handwritten, personal note. You cant go wrong with that.

Kelly said...

I wouldn't even know where to begin with this one...

Miscellaneous From Missy said...

Ooh, a quandry! I'm voting for LizInSumner's comment. :-)

Totally off the subject, but I originally typed LizInSummer and I started wondering, "Who is she in winter? Does she become ElizabethInWinter?" So I double-checked her name before I hit post and lo and behold, she's not LizInSummer at all, she lives in Sumner! Ha!

Dianna in Louisiana said...

I'd probably do as other posters have mentioned and send a card and donation. And, I think that your solution to the knighting dilema is just perfect.... Hope you have a great time in your role as proud momma over the next few days!

Anonymous said...

For SURE I would make a donation to pediatric cancer (as I always do anyway - whenever appropriate to acknowledged anything) - possibly leukemia to PROVE what a sincere gesture you are making. Personal - not tacky like flowers -and far more respectful.....

Trish in Leeburg, VA said...

hmm.. I am of no help with the funeral flower issue although I can see us having a similar issue in the future as my family goes way back with our favorite florist!

Love the idea you guys came up with for Brayden! That is a great way to celebrate her strengths!

Anonymous said...

Oh, good luck with that one!! I am really not sure what I would do. My husband does own his own business and I think I would have been more offended if someone did/does call his competitors. Now, mind you it isn't a flower shop, but like you say, maybe the shop is closed out of respect for their family member/boss. If that is the case, maybe it would be okay. Oh, I live in a very small town so I would just go order a bunch of sandwich trays from the local Subway and drop food off at her families house instead of sending flowers to the funeral home.
Wendy in Winder, GA