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See below for other posts in our sympathy gift guide:
What Is an Appropriate Sympathy Gift?
When a person is going through a difficult time, they aren’t necessarily looking for big gifts. The best gifts are thoughtful and personalized; condolence gifts that make it clear the giver thought carefully about the person in question and their specific needs.
Maybe a friend was recently diagnosed with cancer. Perhaps someone you know lost a member of their family unexpectedly. You probably wouldn’t give the same gift to these individuals. The situation should affect what type of gift you give them. That’s why it’s so important to figure out the appropriate, thoughtful sympathy gifts you can give.
Online Gift Delivery
Once you’ve found the right sympathy gift or gifts for the people in your life, the next step is purchasing them. Today’s world provides many convenient options for ordering gifts, especially for sympathy baskets of fruit or other goodies online. It’s important during this step to find a quality online ordering you can trust to deliver your gift on time and without damage.
Personalized Sympathy Gifts (Besides Flowers)
When someone is going through a hard time and receives a thoughtful, unique gift, tailored to the person and the situation, it can lift spirits and make that person feel loved. Imagine how someone might feel when receiving personalized sympathy gifts like these.
- Memorial Jewelry: A piece of jewelry can be a beautiful reminder of a lost loved one.
- Commissioned Portrait or Photo: A framed photo or commissioned portrait of a lost loved one can serve as a way to remember them.
- Spa Treatment: Going through difficulty often leads to lots of built-up stress and tension. A spa treatment is a thoughtful gift to give to help your grieving friends or loved ones relieve some stress.
- Memorial Plant: Maybe you give them a tree sapling or a different type of plant they can nurture and care for. Plants are wonderful gifts that symbolize life and can be used to memorialize a loss.
- Books on Grief: Feeling hurt or pain or grief is OK, and many books can help.
- Professional Housekeeper/Organizer: Undergoing a stressful, hard experience can leave people less able to care for themselves or other dependents. Hiring a professional housekeeper or organizer to help clean and tidy up is a great sympathy gift.
- Charitable Donation: Donate to the grieving friend or loved one’s fundraiser and make a meaningful contribution.
- Toys or Games: If your friend or loved one has younger children, new games and toys can be a perfect gift to keep them occupied.
You can also check out other ideas for unique gifts besides sympathy flowers here.
Sympathy Gifts for Loss
Losing a family member, family pet, friend, or anyone else is one of the hardest things we can experience. The tricky part is figuring out how to give a gift to someone who has lost someone or something they loved, because everyone deals with loss differently. Below are some suggestions based on certain types of loss.
Loss of Spouse (Husband or Wife)
Losing a spouse is heart-wrenching. When someone you know loses one or the other, they’ll likely feel like a piece of them is gone. A good way to help them is to just be there, be available to sit quietly or talk. You can also get them remembrance gifts, such as:
- A portrait or photo of him/her
- A sympathy meal
- A journal to write down memories of their time together
- A keepsake box to keep the other remembrance gifts in
- Time for themselves by providing housekeeping, child care, or other help
Pet Loss Sympathy Gift
Pets can hold a very special place in our hearts When someone loses a pet, consider the following gifts:
- Commemorating pet art such as a pet portrait
- Custom keychains owners can carry around with them
- Keepsakes like framed paw prints
- A memorial service
- A memorial wind chime with the pet's photo in the center
- A keepsake box to hold collars, tufts of fur, or other things related to the pet
Loss of Job
Losing a job can be a demoralizing and scary experience. If your friend or loved one lost their job, consider the following gifts:
- Gifts for children: Parents with young kids are going to have lots to juggle if one or both of them have been laid off. Getting toys for their kids will really mean a lot, particularly because all unnecessary expenses went out the window with the job.
- Help job searching/finding job recommendations.
- A movie night with pizza (this is a great way to help friends without jobs take their mind off the stress and pressure they’re most definitely experiencing).
- A friend: Someone who can just sit and listen or be there silently supporting means a lot. You can even send them something that reminds them that they’re on your mind and you’re thinking of them.
Loss of Parent
Growing up means our parents get older too. Sometimes they leave us a bit earlier than expected; other times they pass after they’ve lived a full life. Either way, it’s not an easy thing for children to experience, whether they’re young or grown up themselves.
Children Who Have Lost a Parent
A good sympathy gift for a child who lost a parent (or any grieving child) is simply being there. Listen to them. Let them cry. An item like a stuffed animal can also be a great idea because it gives them something to hold onto.
Young Adults Who Have Lost a Parent
A young adult who has lost a parent will cope differently than a child would. Consider getting them a memorial piece of jewelry that commemorates their parent, or some sort of self-care gift that helps them remember it’s important to take care of themselves, such as sympathy meal deliveries.
Adults Who Have Lost a Parent
Losing a parent will hurt, no matter your age. If you’re trying to find the right gift for an adult who’s lost a parent, consider a condolence gift that reminds them of all the good times they had with their parents. This can look like a photo album book or slideshow presentation. A traditional gift basket could work well too.
Sympathy Baskets & Food Gifts
Food can be one of the most thoughtful sympathy gifts because a grieving person often forgets to eat. If the person in question is ill, getting them food while they themselves are incapable of doing so is also a good idea. You can consider food-based gifts such as:
- Gift cards to restaurants
- Meal delivery plans
- Gift baskets (see above list of some recommended ones)
- Caring package for people with cancer
What to Write in a Sympathy Card
Sometimes it’s easier to write out the things you want to say. A sympathy card makes a great sympathy gift. It also makes a great addition to any sympathy gifts you might give someone.
Examples of Sympathy Cards
Sympathy cards can be tailored to fit different situations. Think carefully about the message you want to send, one that would be most appropriate for the given situation. This can look like messages that express:
- Condolences: Express the sadness you feel.
- Appreciation: Tell them why you love and appreciate them.
- Offer help: Let them know you’re there to help if/when they need you.
- Following up: Send this type of message when you want to check up on someone.
Things to NOT write in a Sympathy Card
Situations involving grief and other intense emotions are best handled delicately. Try to avoid statements similar to the following:
- I know how you feel: Everyone processes pain and grief differently. Don’t assume you know how they feel.
- This happened for a reason: Trying to put a positive spin on a devastating situation isn’t the best option. Instead, let them feel what they feel.
- “You should” or “You will” statements: Don’t try and push people to feel or behave differently than they do.
Sympathy Gifts with Spoonful of Comfort
Spoonful of Comfort offers unique, tailored gifts for the people in your life going through tough times. We mail comfort in the form of soups and cookies that are sure to brighten people’s days and let them know you’re thinking of them. Take a look at our variety of thoughtful, unique sympathy gifts today.