Flowers have always been used to expressemotions. In a society like Singapore where emotions are hardly openlyexpressed either through speech or words, flowers have always been used toexpress the unspoken. This is especially true in funeral rites where manyrelatives and friends will send flower wreaths as a way of expressing theirsympathy towards the relatives of the deceased. However, do you know that thereis a deeper more practical meaning towards the sending of flowers that goes waybeyond the showing of sympathy?
Flowersand its practical use
In Singapore, many young adults do not remember a time where the deceased are buried instead of being cremated. The joke that many of the locals have is that when we are alive, we live in HDB high rise and when we are dead we live in the high rise situated in Mandai crematorium. However, that is the hard truth in a land scarce country.
Back in those days, the body of the deceased are embalmed before any funeral rites. Depending on the religious rites that need to be performed, the body will either be cremated right away or will rest in the coffin for a few days.
However, back in those days before the embalming was perfected, there was an issue with all the funeral rites. The bodies of the deceased often fall into disrepair and decompose easily. This is made worse if the environment is humid and moist like what you have in Singapore. This decomposition leads to a lingering bad smell. If you think the smell is bearable, ask any policeman or women who have handle suicides and decomposing bodies in locked rooms.
To avoid the bad smell, relatives actually use a large amount of flowers around the casket to mask any unpleasant smells. This may be the reason why funeral wreaths have by custom been placed near the casket. This allows relatives and those who have come to pay their last respect to be there without having to tolerate the bad smells.
Flowersand its symbolism
Apart from being a tool to show sympathy, flowers also have symbolic meaning. For example, there are many who will send white lily flower wreaths. Do you know why? This is because white lilies are often associated with purity and it is believed that in death the innocence and purity has been reinstated to the soul of the dead.
In Singapore, Chrysanthemums are another very popular choice when to funeral flowers. This is because they represent sorry and grief. There is a popular local saying that you should never gift chrysanthemums to your girlfriend, a clear sign that this flower has a very unique social meaning in the local context. However, do note that if you are in other countries, this flower can have very different meaning from that of sorrow and grief in Singapore.
Funeral flowers and timing
There are times when we hear of an unfortunate passing only to realisethat the body will be cremated very soon or the wake has ended. Sometimes it isno fault of ours as the immediate family wishes to keep the session private. Asa rule of thumb, it is always good to check with your friends or relatives howlong the wake will be as it will be very embarrassing if your funeral standarrives after they have cleared out the void deck where the wake was held.
Being conscious of the religious setup
This is one point thatmost people who send funeral wreaths forget. Often they make an assumption thatjust because their friend is a particular religion, their deceased familymember shares the same faith as well. This may not be true. In fact, many atime the deceased may be of a different religion and faith. This is an issue ofgreat sensitivity as many a time the funeral will be held according to thereligious rites that the deceased has asked for. Hence, you do not want to senda funeral wreath with Biblical quotes when the deceased is of Taoist orBuddhist faith. When in doubt, always check.
Above are some interesting facts about how and why flowers are used in funerals both historically and in the present. As this is a post about funerals in Singapore, we have also thrown in a couple of tips about what flowers to use and what you should look out for when sending funeral flowers. If you ever need a funeral flower delivery Singapore, do not hesitate to contact us.