Knowing what to say and do for someone who is grieving is always hard. Often we find ourselves at a loss because we are afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing and causing further pain to someone we care about. It is natural to want to show support and concern and often we want to do this by sending a small token that will let that person know someone is there, caring about them, thinking about them, and sharing in their grief. Sending condolence cards is a wonderful first step that conveys this message quite clearly. Deciding what to send as a gift can be a little more difficult than choosing a condolence card, but there are many options to choose from.
Flowers or plants are the most popular sympathy gifts; a nice floral arrangement sent to the funeral home or home of the deceased's family is always a thoughtful gesture. Food gift baskets or other food items are always a source of comfort and will send the message that you are concerned for the well-being of those grieving. You may even find baskets specifically called bereavement baskets that seem to have just the right mix of comfort foods. However, some people prefer to send something more personal and lasting.
Very popular nowadays is a lasting gift of remembrance such as a tree that can be planted in memory of the deceased or a keepsake or memory box for photos and cherished trinkets or mementos. Inspirational books and journals are thoughtful gifts that will help with the grieving process. Photo albums or frames already filled with pictures of their loved one will surely be treasured.
While not a gift, sending a greeting card from time to time, such as Thinking of You cards, can also be a nice way to show that you care. As time passes after a funeral, friends and co-workers eventually move on and get back to their normal routine. But for the person who suffered the loss, it can take a very long time before any sort of normalcy returns to their life. A phone call or written note are caring gestures of sympathy that let a person know they are not alone and that they are still cared for.
The actual gift you choose to send will depend on your relationship with that person or the deceased. Most important to remember any sympathy gift that comes from the heart and is meant to comfort the grieving or commemorate the deceased is always appropriate and will convey your sincere care and concern. Whatever you send, your true gift to them will be that of your empathy and friendship.
Back to Sympathy Etiquette
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