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What does the lavender flower mean when someone dies?

What does the lavender flower mean when someone dies?

Lavender flowers carry special meaning and symbolism when given at funerals or in memory of someone who has passed away. The soothing fragrance and peaceful purple hue have long been associated with remembrance. Understanding the cultural associations and historical significance of lavender can bring comfort to those mourning the loss of a loved one.

Meaning and Symbolism

Throughout history, lavender has been intricately linked with death and memorial customs. During the Victorian era, lavender flowers were thrown into graves at funerals to represent purity, loyalty, devotion, and serenity. The Victorians used elaborate flower arrangements called funeral wreaths, which often contained lavender, to express sympathy. Additionally, lavender was dried, powdered, and combined with beeswax to create sealing wax for death certificates and mourning envelopes. Fresh sprigs were also placed inside coffins before burial.

Today, lavender remains a popular funeral flower with significant symbolic meaning. It expresses “remember me” or “I’ll never forget you.” The soothing scent is believed to calm the spirit and aid transition to the afterlife. Lavender offers living mourners a sense of tranquility and peace. Its soft purple tones add a touch of uplifting color to funeral flowers arrangements. While funeral wreaths are no longer common, lavender is often included in standing sprays, casket sprays, and sympathy bouquets.

Cultural Significance

Many cultures assign unique meaning to lavender in the context of death and remembrance. In ancient Egypt, lavender was used during the mummification process and burial rituals. Egyptians believed the scent purified the soul and eased transition to the afterlife. Lavender oils were applied to sarcophagi and the herb was left as grave goods. During the Roman era, lavender was scattered across streets to mask odors from public executions.

In England, lavender is considered a royal funeral flower tied to death and farewell. It has been used in royal funerals for centuries. Queen Victoria was a well-documented lavender enthusiast who preferred it for floral tributes. Following her death in 1901, lavender was prominent in the floral arrangements at her funeral.

In France, dried lavender thrown into the grave is thought to protect the deceased from evil spirits. Fresh sprigs scent the coffin or funeral bier. It is tradition in southern France to prepare a wreath of dried lavender to hang at the head of the deceased’s bed while awaiting burial.

Mexicans celebrate Dia de Los Muertos with lavender marigolds. Called “cempasúchil” in Mexico, the flowers symbolize death and guide spirits back to their altars. Europeans have long planted lavender around gravestones, as they believe the herb helps guide souls to peaceful rest.

Color Meaning

The light purple color of lavender also carries significance. Lavender purple combines tranquil blue with mystical purple. Throughout history, shades of lavender have been associated with royalty, spirituality, and ceremony. Lavender purple brings to mind spring blooms and the first buds on wisteria vines. It speaks to fresh beginnings and the beauty of nature.

At funerals and memorials, lavender purple provides a soothing focal point amid grief and turmoil. It has a calming, ethereal quality that eases heartache. The color lavender also symbolizes the wisdom that comes with age, experience, and a life fully lived. Light purple blooms comfort the heart and refresh the senses when saying a final goodbye.

Using Lavender Following a Death

Lavender remains a popular choice when honoring someone who has passed away. Here are some appropriate ways to incorporate lavender:

  • Send a lavender funeral wreath or standing spray.
  • Select an all-lavender casket spray.
  • Include lavender in sympathy flower bouquets.
  • Place fresh lavender sprigs inside the casket.
  • Dry lavender to include in memorial cards and stationery.
  • Create lavender sachets as memorial favors.
  • Plant lavender bushes in memory of the deceased.
  • Scatter dried lavender buds across the grave.

Lavender is a fitting tribute that speaks to the spirituality of death while providing solace and beauty. It whispers “Remember me” in its soft, nostalgic fragrance. Keep lavender close through memorial events and grief rituals to invoke peaceful memories.

Combining Lavender with Other Funeral Flowers

Lavender beautifully complements flower arrangements that honor someone who died. Consider pairing it with these meaningful funeral flowers:

Flower Meaning
White roses Purity, innocence, spirituality
Pink carnations Remembrance, admiration
Purple hyacinth Sorrow, regret, forgiveness
Purple irises Wisdom, respect
Purple orchids Reverence, dignity

By thoughtfully combining lavender with other purple and white blooms, you can create an arrangement that speaks to remembrance, spirituality, and tranquility.


With its soothing scent and serene purple blossoms, the lavender flower is an appropriate and meaningful way to remember someone who died. For centuries, lavender has been intricately woven into burial customs and funeral traditions across cultures. It speaks to the spirituality of death and the hope of peaceful rest. During grief, lavender whispers “Remember me” while eliciting nostalgia and comfort. A heartfelt arrangement of light purple blooms brings the solace of lavender to funeral tributes.