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View Poll Results: Send flowers to a good friend of 40+ years when her parent dies?
You pick up the phone and call your friend. 11 64.71%
You send a sympathy card. 10 58.82%
You send flowers. 12 70.59%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 17. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-12-2012, 03:19 PM
 
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I do all 3. I call, send flowers, and send a card.
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Old 05-12-2012, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
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Of course I would call first, then attend the funeral, if at all possible. If the deceased has close ties to a charity or church, it's always thoughtful to send a monetary gift there in the person's name. Sometimes obituaries even specify "in lieu of flowers, the family would like donations to be sent to XXX." One of my cousins died recently and his wife asked for donations to the local food bank where he did volunteer work. I collected money from all the cousins and we sent a group donation. Not only did the food bank send her a lovely letter, but they sent us one, too, detailing how the food bank used the donation and describing the people assisted by their work.

If I don't know a family's chosen charity, rather than flowers I opt for a gift of a book in the deceased name to his or her local library. Most libraries will put a plate in the front of a book stating, "Donated in memory of XX." Some actually allow you to choose the topic of the book they will buy with the donation. I was once able to donate a book about gardening in memory of a friend's mother who was a dedicated gardener. Larger libraries generally just accept donations to their general fund but send a nice card to whomever you designate announcing the gift. I like a book because it's a tangible object in memory of the deceased and it can be done even if the deceased was a friend of yours and you don't even know his or her family.

One of the nicest tangible memorials I've ever seen is in Ocean Grove, NJ. That town allows people to buy a park bench, which is placed on the beach or the pier, in a person's memory. When I sit on those benches I always read the plaques and think what a thoughtful way that is to honor a loved one. I imagine other towns must do something similar. It's probably beyond the reach of most individuals financially, but it's something a whole family could do. It's an especially thoughtful choice for a person with close ties to their hometown.
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