In Lieu of Flowers Provides New Resource on the Social and Emotional Value of Personal Expressions of Sympathy

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Clay Atchison, of http://www.inlieuofflowers.info, announces the release of the newest site resource, the article Flowers and Personalization: They Go Together Like a Hand in Glove. This article is definitive in its examination of the meaning and importance of personalized funeral floral tributes.

Send a Personal Arrangements Expressing a Shared Pastime (Photo Credit: John Henry Co.)

The sympathy flowers sent to the funeral home or chapel always garner attention from the bereaved family and their guests.

Clay Atchison, of inlieuofflowers.info, announces the release of the newest site resource, the article Flowers and Personalization: They Go Together Like a Hand in Glove.

If you've been faced with attending a funeral or memorial service recently, you may be aware of this simple fact: the sympathy flowers sent to the funeral home or chapel always garner attention from the bereaved family and their guests. "You may remember these quiet collective rituals, either before or after the service, where the cards of each bouquet or potted plant are read aloud (in hushed voice) to small clusters of on-lookers," shared Clay Atchison, of http://www.inlieuofflowers.info. "This reading always sparks a conversation between them all, before they move on to the next arrangement."

And when there are no flowers? "People miss an important ritual of validation," expounded Clay. "This is where the relationship between the deceased and the sender of the flowers is validated by the very presence of the flowers, but through the reading of the accompanying sympathy cards, that relationship is acknowledged - and appreciated - by the wider circle of guests.

"Someone's death leaves a hole in the fabric of a community; but when the individual relationships which made up that community are not recognized, it's as if the deceased lived in a social vacuum, devoid of closeness," elaborated Clay.

"When well-meaning friends take the phrase "in lieu of flowers" literally, and only a memorial donation is made, a loving relationship is reduced to dollars and cents in the mind of the donor, and often the family doesn't even know a donation has been made," continued Clay.

Not many people are aware of that fact; but when you think about it, it makes sense: many charitable organizations are overwhelmed by the good work they're doing - and taking the time to acknowledge the number of donations made in memory of the deceased, and the names of the donors, can become less of a priority than taking those funds and putting them to work for the community.

"When you make a donation, you're trusting that the organization will follow through with an acknowledgement card sent to the family of the deceased. I'll be honest and tell you that you shouldn't do that; it's better to trust in yourself to personally acknowledge the closeness you shared with the loved one lost to you," shared Clay.

Clay Atchison is the man behind http://www.inlieuofflowers.info, a treasure trove of useful information about the history, value and etiquette behind the use of flowers during funerals and memorial services. The article, Flowers and Personalization: They Go Together Like a Hand in Glove, which gives site visitors a clearer idea on how they can truly capture the personality of the deceased, and express the love they shared through a personalized floral tribute.

"With a personalized floral tribute, all in attendance - and their guests - have tangible evidence that the sender thought of them at this difficult time," continued Clay. "When you include a handwritten note, everyone gets to read the message of love there. You're validating the relationship, honoring the deceased, and offering comfort to those participating in this event. It's truly a win-win situation."

Unlike monetary donations, these personalized floral tributes bring warmth and beauty to the funeral services and comfort the grieving immediately after their loss. They also resonate with love, and compassion - in a way that dollars and cents cannot. Flowers or gifts of potted plants are reminders of the beauty of life, its abundance, and eternalness. As Park Benjamin said, flowers really are 'love's truest language.'

InLieuofFlowers.info provides support to members of the general public who are searching for information, resources, and tools to help them exercise their 'freedom of expression.' Clay Atchison shares that it's his "goal to help people come to know the perfect heart-driven action to take, and assist them in taking it with ease and the self-assurance that comes when you know you've 'done the right thing.' That could include personalized floral tributes, and we wanted to provide people with the information they need to make that decision."

The site also has the resources to select the perfect expression of sympathy after the death of a loved one, friend or acquaintance. The wealth of information on the site ranges from the tribute guide by relationship, to a selection of bereavement poems and sympathy card messages. There's also a section covering sympathy etiquette, as well as a compendium of funeral hymns, and a glossary of sympathy terminology.

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Clay Atchison III
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