Purchasing or making bereavement gifts for the family or friends of a loved one who has died doesn't have to be a daunting task. Most times, something simple that gives the individual or family a sense of peace or comfort is usually the best choice.
About Bereavement Gifts
There are many kinds of sympathy or bereavement gifts you can give. What you choose depends on your relationship with the person who died, as well as his or her family. The closer you were, the more personal the gift should be. Sympathy gifts can be:
Bereavement gifts can also range from inexpensive or pricey to homemade or special-ordered, depending on what you are looking to buy or create. These presents can also be bought at a store, ordered online or made in the comfort of your home. There really isn't protocol to follow except for the fact that your gift shouldn't be tasteless or inappropriate. If you aren't sure, then it may be best to ask someone close to the family or friend for whom you are giving the bereavement gift. If you are still unsure as to what is proper, here are a few ideas.
Types of Bereavement Gifts
Take your time when selecting a sympathy gift as it will not only be an emotional time for you, but for also the person on the receiving end.
There are many material items you could purchase as a sympathy gift. They include:
- Jewelry: Mothers rings, cremation necklaces, charm bracelets, birthstone earrings, cross necklaces and lapel pins
- Art: Statues, figurines, paintings, murals, plaques and photographs
- Angels: Pictures, figurines, ornaments and garden statues
- Items for outdoors: Garden benches, wind chimes and stepping stones
- Books: Collections of prayers, Bible, self-help, bereavement, blank journal or poetry
There's a reason why comfort food was invented. Here are some ideas for edible sympathy gifts:
- Sweets and treats: Chocolate, gourmet nuts, baked goods
- Meals: Prepare a few freezer-ready meals that the family can just pop in the oven or microwave. These can include casseroles, lasagna, meat and potatoes, pancakes or rolls for breakfast, or even a dessert or two.
- Gift certificates: Restaurant (including carry-out) or grocery store gift cards
- Gift baskets: Fruit, sweets, baked goods, cheese and nuts
Flowers, plants and other greenery make a wonderful, long-lasting sympathy gift. Specific types used to symbolize grieving and peace include:
- Flowers: Longiflorum lilies, roses, carnations, gladioulas and orchids
- Trees or saplings: English Oak, Scottish Pine, Silver Birch and Mountain Ash
- Bushes: Rose, Pussy Willow, Flowering Quince, Mountain Laurel and Lilacs.
Musical or Visual
Creating an everlasting musical or visual memorial as a bereavement gift may not cost a lot of money, but can take some time to put together. This type of present is also very healing to the recipient as well as the presenter:
- Musical: Favorite CD or artist, as well as collaborations of funeral music, comforting songs or spiritual selections
- Visual: A video montage (with or without music), scrapbook, photo album, DVD of favorite home movies or photo collage
Where to Purchase
While many of these items can be purchased at a variety of stores, a few places online allow you to shop for bereavement-specific gifts:
- The Comfort Company sells everything from personalized stepping stones, tear bottles and condolence lamps.
- Gifts.com offers many bereavement gifts including jewelry, memorial trees, remembrance photo frames and angel figurines.
A Final Note
You really can't go wrong with a sympathy present. As long as it's given with genuine sincerities, the individual receiving the gift will be most grateful.