DEAR HARRIETTE: I am 23 years old and learning how to "adult." Recently, my friend's father passed away. The death wasn't unexpected, but it is still tragic. Knowing this information, my friends and I wanted to send over flowers. Do you send flowers to the residence or to the funeral home? I am not sure which is more formal, or if there is a certain size accepted for funerals. -- Somber, Raleigh, North Carolina
DEAR SOMBER: One of the cold realities of adulthood is dealing with death. There is no one rule to follow. As it relates to flowers, you can send flowers to the home. A floral arrangement that is self-contained, meaning in a pot or vase, is preferable, as you do not want to make any extra work for the grieving family. Be sure to include a personalized message to your friend. Include your address. Family members usually like to send thank-you notes, so it is best for you to make it easy for them to be in touch with you.
If you would like to send flowers to the church or funeral site, find out where and when it is. You should send the flowers the day of event with a delivery early enough for the flowers to be placed before the ceremony. It's best to contact the funeral site to get particulars about where and when flowers can be received. In this case, order flowers for display at the funeral. Often, these flowers are white, typically gladiolas or carnations, although other flowers are also used. Again, you should enclose a card of condolence that states who is offering the flowers. There is a standard size and scale for these flowers. The florist can help you sort that out.
More, be in touch with your friend. Reach out and offer your love and blessings during this difficult time. Ask what, if anything, you can do to support your friend.