My much-loved aunt and godmother died a couple of weeks ago, and the family's request was for immediate family flowers only, but donations to a particular charity would be welcome.
I know I'm probably in a minority, but I always think this is very sad. Flowers are the last thing I can give to (for) my aunt, and a charitable donation just isn't the same. Like everyone else, we give donations to charity, but on this occasion I want to give something just for her; something that shows what she meant to me; and a donation to charity simply isn't the same. Many people think that flowers are a waste of money on these occasions, but if it's my money, and if I want to "waste" it, then surely it's up to me?
When my husband died 19 years ago, we had masses of flowers. His grave was entirely obscured by all the flowers people sent, and I found them both beautiful and comforting. When my mother died, once again, we had flowers, and because she was being cremated, family and friends took the flowers home with them afterwards. On both occasions, there was the opportunity for donations to charity instead, if people wished, but it's interesting how many people really wanted to give flowers. It's the last thing people can do for the person who had died, and it seems a shame to deny them that opportunity.
My aunt's immediate family have been very understanding, and I'm allowed to send flowers for her. And when it comes to my turn, I want lots!