Inspiring Sympathy and Memorial Gifts to Comfort


Sympathy and memorial gifts can promote grief and healing. A thoughtful gift can comfort a grieving friend or relative and let them know that you care. There are so many options available, here are some ideas for you.

Sympathy Gift Ideas for Grieving Families

You can put together a custom photo book that will be a treasured keepsake.
It’s easy to create a photo book at Anybody who has suffered the death of someone close can attest to treasuring beyond all other possessions each and every photograph of their departed loved one.
A while back, a reader shared that when her father-in-law passed away she and her sisters collected pictures of him throughout his life and put them all together in a photo book. They gave out copies to each member of the family as memorial gifts. I found a website that helps you do this. It would get expensive to make a lot of memory books this way, but it looks easy.

You can also be creative and make your own memorial gift. I have heard of families buying a special journal and passing it around to each member of the family. Each person records their favorite memory of the loved one and when it is finished it can be presented as a memorial gift.

  • Send a gift basket with snacks and fresh fruit.
  • Prepare meals or have meals delivered through a service like Blue Apron.
  • Give a memorial tree that can be planted in honor of a loved one.
  • Send flowers or a potted plant.
  • A personalized tapestry afghan, pillow or blanket. You can find out more about sending personalized sympathy gifts here.
  • Inspirational gifts like framed poetry or wall hangings.

Sympathy and Memorial Gifts for Children

A family at our church has just lost their daddy. I really liked the idea the mom had for her children. She asked some of the ladies at church to sew a special memorial quilt for the kids, made out of all of their daddy’s old t-shirts. I thought this was a great idea.
It can be overwhelming to find a sympathy gift for a child, but they really need to not be overlooked. Especially, if the child has lost a parent or a close grandparent. How others respond to them in their grief will affect the rest of their lives.
Here are some other ideas of sympathy and memorial gifts for kids:

  • A memory box for them to keep special belongings from the loved one.
  • A sympathy teddy bear. I’ve seen bears that have a clear pocket to insert a photo of a loved one.
  • A locket or other piece of memorial jewelry that has a photo of the person in it.
  • Snuggle blankets or soft fleece blanket with their loved one’s name embroidered on it.
  • Framed pictures or other photo keepsakes.

Sympathy and Memorial Gifts for Men

It can be difficult to find sympathy gifts for men. Here are some ideas:

  • An engraved memorial ring or pendant. There are actually many options for memorial jewelry for men.
  • A canvas print made from a picture of a loved one.
  • A digital photo frame with pictures uploaded of his loved one.
  • Music, especially harp music or soothing classical guitar. Find out more about bereavement music here.
  • A memorial tree or potted plant.
  • A nice leather bound journal.
  • Make a scrapbook or memory book.