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Remembering our Departed with flowers

Chrysanthemums in a flower market in the South of France. Source:

Job 14:2 tells us Like a flower he comes forth and withers. He also flees like a shadow and does not remain”. In the Holy Bible, flowers are used in many verses to represent beauty, love, grace and also death.

The month of November is dedicated to the dead. It begins with All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day and throughout the month, it is traditional to pray for souls in purgatory and visit the graves of loved ones.

Flowers are used to express condolence in funerals and to take to the graves of our loved ones for remembrance. Each species of flower has an important significance. Below is a list of some flowers most suited for the month of November:

Roses—The dark crimson rose represents grief and sorrow making it most suitable for remembering our loved ones. Yellow roses represent friendship and usually are given by the friend of the deceased. White roses represent reverence, youthfulness and innocence; red roses represent love, and pink roses represent love and appreciation. Any floral arrangement that includes a rose represents overall love for the deceased.

Lilies—These represent the innocence that has been restored to the deceased. A white lily symbolises purity and sympathy.

Carnations—The pink carnation is for remembrance of the deceased. The red carnation symbolises admiration whereas the white carnation represents love and innocence.

Orchids—Orchid flowers represent eternal love. For our deceased, pink, white and light purple orchids are most ideal.

Chrysanthemums—A very popular flower for funerals. They are a symbolic flower for death and used commonly for graves.

I dedicate this article to the departed in my family: Suresh Radhaykissoon (my father-in-law), Albertina Sankar (my grandmother), Sookdeo Sankar (my grandfather) and Hilton Boland (my uncle). May your souls rest in peace for eternity.

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