When you are feeling the loss of a loved one, it seems inadequate to show up to a funeral or memorial empty-handed. Even though the long-standing tradition is to drop by with a casserole dish or dessert, consider an alternative way to show your support with personalized, thoughtful sympathy gifts. Whatever you choose to give, make sure to include a sympathy card written from the heart and filled with personal details.But how do you come up with the right condolence gifts that convey your compassion and support? Our team has put together a comprehensive list of sympathy gift ideas – making it easy to select the right funeral gifts:
Best Sympathy Gifts for Anyone
The most important thing to keep in mind is to choose personalized sympathy gifts. This gesture might seem small, but it can speak volumes about reaching out to empathize with a grieving friend or family member. Common sympathy gifts include:
- Sympathy Gift Baskets: Choose sympathy baskets with gourmet food and snacks that can be comforting in a time of loss. The best sympathy gift baskets include the person’s favorite foods such as fruit, dried meat, cheese, crackers, chocolate, and more. Another option is to choose a basket with self-care items, such as spa bath salts, lotion, and candles.
- Flowers: Floral arrangements can be beautiful to display at the funeral or memorial service. Or, you might send a bouquet for the family to enjoy at home. Online retailers such as Teleflora offer same-day delivery to locations throughout the United States.
- Meals: We know we said that meals may be forgotten, but if you’re a great cook, have at it! A home-cooked meal can be comforting and satisfying. Or, you might consider a gift card for a local restaurant or a pre-made meal delivery service to keep the family fed in the coming weeks. A gift of Kosher fruits and sweets makes a wonderful gesture of sympathy and care.
- Engraved Jewelry: Not only can a beautiful piece of jewelry be a good way to remember someone (look at this lovely bracelet from Baublebar), but a custom touch can be added by including monogrammed initials or even the handwriting of the person who passed away. Jewelry is common for sympathy gifts for loss of a child, parent, or close friend.
- Memorial Bird Feeder: A small, personalized bird feeder provides a reminder that life continues. Each time the birds land on the feeder, it offers a comforting way to carry on the memories of the person who died.
- Scrapbook: A handmade scrapbook or digital photo book is the perfect solution for gathering your favorite photos into one convenient place. Scrapbook.com is a great resource for ideas about how you can personalize the memory book.
Best Sympathy Gifts for Loss of Mother
Losing a mother is a challenging experience, especially for people who share a close relationship with their mom. Memories of mom might include delicious homemade meals, bedtime stories, and other cozy family activities shared over the years. Look for a sympathy gift that reminds the individual of the happy moments. Here are a few ideas:
- Willow Tree Figurine: These charming figurines come with a variety of designs, showing the love between a mother and daughter or a mother and son.
- Pie Pan with Recipe: Did the mother you're honoring love to spend time in the kitchen? Design a memorial pie pan with a handwritten recipe printed on the inside of the dish.
- Picture Frame: A personalized poem collage picture frame can be the perfect item to set on a desk, bookshelf, or mantle. Select a picture that includes the person who died as well as the family member who will receive the gift.
- Keepsake Box: A special box can be the perfect solution to store personal items. This keepsake box can hold mom’s jewelry, letters, and other daily things that they’ll want to keep for years to come.
- Candle or Lantern: Lighting a candle can be a soothing way to help someone honor their mother. Choose a decorative lantern or a personalized candle with a custom photo printed on the jar.
Best Sympathy Gifts for Loss of Father
What are the most poignant memories of a father through the years? The right sympathy gift can remind a person of sage advice and fun adventures together on family vacation. Look for sympathy gifts that make it easy to hold the memory of dad close to home.
- Wall Hanging: Sympathy gifts for men should include details that showcase his personality, hobbies, and interests he enjoyed. One modern option is a tiled wall hanging with several photos of memories created together over the years.
- Memory Pillow: The father’s favorite shirt can be sewn into a pillowcase to help a loved one feel that he is nearby. This gift is a great option for men who served in the armed forces or local law enforcement.
- Leather Journal: A stylish journal provides the perfect place to write down emotions and feelings about the loss.
- Custom Keychain: Print dad’s handwritten note on a stylish custom keychain, giving family members a small reminder of their loved one every time they turn the key. This small item can be carried wherever they go, with a personalized message engraved on leather or metal.
- Memorial Bench: Where do you go when you are searching for advice from dad? An outdoor memorial bench can include a quote or personalized engraving to remind the family of the wisdom he shared over the years. If you live near a favorite park, you might also contact your local parks association to see if it’s possible to commemorate a bench in a father’s honor.
Unique Sympathy Gifts
A generic gift may quickly be forgotten and may not express your heartfelt sympathies, which is why it is important to think outside the box. If you are looking for a unique way to express your sympathy, then you might consider these options:
- Wind Chime: Hanging a celebration of life wind chime on the porch can be a comforting way to remember the loved one throughout the day. Personalize this wind chime with the name of the loved one. When the wind blows, the gentle sound is a small “hello” from the other side.
- Ornaments: A small, personalized ornament is a great way to remember a loved one during the holiday season. Design an ornament with a message or photo of the person who has died, as well as any other personalized details you would like to include.
- Gift Cards: A certificate for a massage, spa day, or food delivery might be the perfect way to give the person a pick-me-up when they need a little TLC in the coming weeks. It is common for grief to come in waves, and a gift card allows them to benefit from self-care when it is needed the most.
- Memory Tree: Planting a tree can be a beautiful way to honor the memory of a cherished family member. Provide a sapling to plant in the yard, acting as a symbol of strength and healing.
- Charity Donation: If you want to give something that can’t be wrapped in a box, then a charity donation can be a great way to honor the memory of a person who has passed away. Global Giving allows you to select a charity of your choice and make a donation on behalf of someone.
Personalized Sympathy Gifts
How can you customize each gift to hold tight to the memory of a loved one? Here are a few heart-touching items that are great to use as sympathy gifts:
- Keepsake Jewelry: Design an heirloom quality memorial diamond ring or pendant forged from a loved one's ashes. Or consider fingerprint jewelry, an engraving with their name, or jewelry that contains a small bit of the cremated ashes.
- Memory Journal: These small notebooks include writing prompts, making it easy to record the memories from many years of life together.
- Memory Photo Blanket: Select your favorite photo of the loved one, including any pictures with family and friends, to create a cozy custom photo blanket. This lap blanket can provide warmth and comfort for years to come.
- Garden Stone: Engrave a personalized garden stone with a poem, scripture, or quote. Include the name of the person you are honoring, as well as any other details to highlight their unique character traits.
- Coffee Mug: A customized mug can make for a daily moment of remembrance. Print the person’s name and dates or a favorite saying of the person who has passed. A great photo mug can be a sweet reminder of happy memories.
Whatever you send or give as a condolence gift, remember – it’s not the price that matters. Whether your sympathy gift is homemade, custom crafted, or store bought, it’s the personal touches that show you care enough to create something truly special.