When someone passes, most people immediately jump to send flowers. And, while flowers can send a variety of messages to people, they aren’t always the best gift to give someone. While some people have allergies to flowers, others prefer other types of gifts. Plus, flowers eventually die, and they can be a lot to try and maintain while people take care of their loved one’s final affairs. Here are some other sympathy gifts you can give that last longer than flowers!
1) A memorial stone. If they have a garden or outdoor area, consider getting a set of personalized memorial garden stones to honor their lost loved one. Whether they lost a furry friend or a close family member, they can cultivate a space for them in a garden or outdoor area. You can craft a special message, put one of their loved one’s favorite quotes or even just their loved one’s name on the stones as a way to memorialize them.
2) A custom urn. Did they decide to cremate their loved one? A custom urn might be a great sympathy gift for your friend or family member who just lost someone close. While they can sometimes choose their urn while making funeral arrangements, sometimes it’s nice to know that they can have an alternative place to put their loved one’s remains. If they’re choosing the urn during the funeral arrangements, you can consider asking if they’d like for you to assist in paying for it as your gift to them. It’s a sweet gesture they most certainly aren’t expecting!
3) A candle holder. Order them a custom glass memorial candle holder as a way for them to honor their lost loved one. Many like to light the candles on the anniversary of their loved one’s death, on important holidays or any other time they’re thinking about their loved one. Use this as a way to take a burden off your friend or family member and let them know that you care. For religious people, candles are a great way for them to remember their loved ones.
4) An ornament. Ornaments are great sympathy gifts to give, especially for pet remembrance. Losing a pet can be just as tough as losing a friend or close family member, especially for people who don’t have children. Many people consider pets part of their family, which means they deserve to be remembered just as well as the other members of the family. Just because they have four paws and a tail doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be remembered! An ornament is a great option for pet owners, as the holidays can be particularly hard for them. They can spotlight their lost pet (or human!) on their tree with a photo ornament or an ornament that depicts something about them.
5) Meal trains. While traditionally neighbors and family members often sent over a variety of casseroles, many people today set up meal trains, where friends, family and neighbors all take a day and provide a specific meal for the grieving family. This is especially helpful because the days after a person’s death are frantic. From funeral expenses to tying up loose estate ends, many people struggle to do basic daily activities, like cooking for themselves or their family. A meal train is a great way to show support for a family who just lost a loved one. Whether you choose to participate in one or organize one is entirely up to you. They’ll just be grateful for your gift.
6) A bracelet. Jewelry is always a good sympathy gift idea. Consider getting them a charm bracelet as a sympathy gift. They can wear it on important holidays, or whenever they’re thinking about their lost loved one. If they lost a pet, you can get one that has a paw print on it. Sometimes, you can even find photo bracelets they can use to put pictures of their recently deceased loved one as a way to memorialize them. You could add birthstones, anniversary stones or anything else you think will be relevant. They’ll love that you took the time to get them something so thoughtful.
7) A set of essential oils with a diffuser. Losing a loved one is a stressful time, and an essential oil diffuser can be just what they need to help them relax. Lavender is considered one of the best natural relaxers around so be sure to get them some additional lavender scented things to help them create a space full of calm in the days after losing their loved one. Whenever they start to feel stressed, a burst of lavender can really go a long way to making them feel calm and peaceful, even when the world around them is going crazy.
8) A set of wind chimes. Wind chimes are a great sympathy gift. Some people believe that when the wind blows and wind chimes sound, it’s the spirits of their ancestors stopping by to say hello. While no one knows for sure if this is the truth, wind chimes can be an important part of someone’s healing from grief. There are many different types of wind chimes out there. Some are made from glass, others from metal and others from wood. Each produces a different sound, and having different types of wind chimes can really create a unique sound effect outside their home. Consider getting them a set of wind chimes for them to use on their front or back porch as a way to memorialize their loved one.
9) A recurring massage appointment. Since losing a loved one is so stressful, sometimes the best gifts are ones that happen over and over. Consider setting up a monthly massage appointment for your friend or family member for the first year after they’ve lost a loved one. While it might seem like a large investment at first, they will be incredibly grateful for your thoughtfulness and generosity. There’s a lot of evidence that shows recurring massages help to reduce stress and anxiety, which people can definitely feel in the immediate aftermath of losing a loved one.