Death in neighbour's family

42 posts in this topic

What would be an appropriate small gift for a family who have lost an older relative in an accident? What flowers are traditional here? Anything to avoid? Help appreciated.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would send flowers or a card of condolence.

 

But I do not know the german rules about which flowers are appropriate versus to cheery ect.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd give a live plant (flowering or not) instead of flowers. Depending on how well you know them, you could ask them if they need any help (watching the house, collecting mail, etc.).

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe a live plant with a small card saying something like 'Herzliches Beileid und viel Trost' ? Would there be any plants to avoid? Don't want to offend or deepen the sorrow.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah something like that, in English I would say, "our heartfelt condolences are with you during this time of sorrow, or something to that effect.

 

I think a green plant would be best, you don't want to show up with something to bright. YOu never know how people take things. Or maybe a green plant that will later blossom would be nice.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good point Gen. Most flower shops, at least the small private ones, are always super helpful. Maybe not so much in the grocery, so I would try a small shop.

 

best of luck.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think a condolence card would be a nice gesture, you could write it in English, too, if German is too difficult. I'm not sure if it's common to give flowers. If you went to the funeral, some take flowers to throw them into the grave, and there are wreaths, but this is done by people who were close or have an "official" status.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Maybe a live plant with a small card saying something like 'Herzliches Beileid und viel Trost' ?

 

The Germans go for such cards with a black frame or on grey paper. I think I still have a could of the cards/notes that people sent when my father passed away several years ago (including one from a Nobel prize winner who lived in Munich - since passed away).

 

If the family were some distance away the just the card would do but seeing that the OP's case is close by then the appropriate flowers (rely on florist's advice as suggested above) would probably be appreciated.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kaufhof has some card with a suggested phrases sheet in them, so you can copy that into your card.

Which was very handy the other week.

 

After the last Bavarian bank holiday, I had to pick up a parcel from a neighbour, an elderly Bavarian lady, she's lovely. Anyway, she told me that our Vermieter had died. She'd been to the funeral that morning.

Apparently the son has gone around the building and told folk and because I was out, he missed me.

So I felt really sad.

He's a nice bloke is my Vermieter. I would have certainly have gone and paid my respects.

 

I went to Kaufhof and bought a card and left it in the letterbox of our Hausmeister - the Vermieter's sister and brother-in-law that live on the ground floor.

The text was copied off the crib sheet and I left the dead man's name off the card to be polite.

 

Fast forward to yesterday.

There's a call on my ansaphone. It's from beyond the grave... yes, it's my Vermieter.

He's ALIVE.

 

Thankfully I managed not to say "Hurrah you're not dead" when I saw him yesterday. I did think it.

 

It was actually the brother-in-law that had died, I found out later.

To be honest, I was less gutted about that as he'd been ill a long time. When I got my knee fixed and came home on crutches he came home from the hospital on the same day - with no legs. Diabetes, i think it was. And his wife is an absolute cow.

But I digress.

 

Make sure the person you think is dead actually is dead before you shop.

The end.

9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i was in the same situation a few months back...we went to a small flower shop ( i can give you a link if you like) and we explained what the flowers were for and she was very helpful in making a bouquet. we also bought 2 separate single flowers for the actual funeral as it is fairly common after the service to throw a flower in the grave. we also wrote a card that went along with the bouquet that we gave them.

 

i also cooked the family dinner and brought it over to them 2 times and the mother (who had lost her mother) was very appreciative b/c the last thing she felt like doing was cooking.

also, i offered to help move furniture out of her mother's apartment which she took me up on since it was hard on her to do it personally.

 

i think, other than the flowers and card, generally being supportive is enough, but i'm pretty close with all my neighbors so, you're mileage may vary.

6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd also actually recommend cut flowers instead of a living plant -- a plant is an additional obligation, a thing you have to take care of. Cut flowers just get disposed of later.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My father passed away last month.

We did not receive any flowers.

Only condolence cards, however, many of them contained money.

Between 10 and 50€.

For me it looked quite strange to include money in the cards.

Times are changing.

 

Imagine the bereaved get 50 flower (pots). I don't think, they would like that.

For me a condelence card (with or without money) seems to be ok.

A flower or a wreath would be ok if you plan to attend the funeral.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I would be offended by money.

 

Not that I do not like it, but it just seems really odd and insulting. Here is cash now feel better.

 

I would rather have 50 plants, shows me how many people care.

 

In general, I do not like cash gifts.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found this website to be very useful

 

http://www.trauerspruch.de/formulierungen.htm

 

you can click on the various stages of the message (1 to 5) and pick out what you feel expresses what you wish to say.

 

I used to recently to write some nice, correct German sentences of condolence to my god-mother, whose mother had died. She rang me up to thank me for them.

 

Personally, I avoided the religious ones and the too flowery ones as that's not me. But what I did pick out I could live with.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My condolences, AnswerToLife!

 

I suppose someone who is in acute grief doesn't really have eyes for flowers in that moment, so although giving flowers is well-meant, I'd almost say it's not really appropriate. Obtuary notices often explicitely ask not to give flowers ("Von Blumenspenden bitten wir abzusehen") and instead ask for donations for a cause that was important to the deceased person.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Or instead of a bunch of flowers, an arrangement. That way, they don't need to worry about whether they've got the right kind of vase for the flowers.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe send a card with a brief personal message. That's what I did when my elderly neighbours died. I sent the card to their daughter and, although I didn't actually know her, she replied and seemed to appreciate the card.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is interesting. I belong to a teaching association here and last year it was decided that when one of our members dies (which hasn't been too often, thank goodness), we should send a card and 50 Euro. I was shocked at this and voted against it, but a couple of our committee members insisted that it's quite normal here to send money to the family to help with funeral expenses.

 

I would be intereested to know if this is the case, as I had never heard of it before.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In our building someone comes around to collect donations for a wreath. Ask the janitor.

But a card, no matter which language, is always welcome. I tend to send a card with a picture of flowers in preference to a mourning border.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now