Sympathy Gift Ideas


Do you need to send a thoughtful gift to comfort a grieving loved one? Let me share some ideas with you. First of all, it’s important to know that the key to giving a truly helpful gift is remembrance.
Sympathy gifts can give hope when there are no words to express your heart. For all other occasions, we give gifts to cheer up making people happy, but during loss, we give gifts of remembrance that promote the grieving process.

We are doing a good job with grief when we are crying our eyes out and making the whole world nervous in the process. Grief is not an enemy to be avoided- it is a process that leads to healing.
~ Doug Manning

Also, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to give a truly comforting gift. Some of the best gift ideas are actually quite simple and inexpensive.

Ideas for Making Your Own Sympathy Gifts

You might already have the supplies to make some of these gifts ideas.

  • Print off a sympathy poem on to decorative paper and place in a picture frame.
  • Circulate a journal among friends and family to record favorite memories and to write comforting messages in.
  • Laminate the obituary and make it into a bookmark using pressed flowers.
  • Buy a shadowbox and gather several small items that celebrate the departed loved one’s life, such as: Military badges, cigar boxes, rings, scarfs, etc…
  • Buy a white pillar candle and decoupage a poem onto the candle.
  • Make Your Own Sympathy Gift Basket or Care Package

You can also put together a food basket, gift basket or care package to bring to a grieving loved one. Here are some ideas for what to include (many of these items are available at the local grocery store).

  • a book of poems
  • a nice photo album
  • a lap blanket
  • small kleenex packs
  • herbal teas
  • soup packets
  • candies
  • dried fruit
  • specialty chocolates
  • a bottle of wine
  • assorted fruit

Food as a Sympathy Gift

You could also bring over a home-cooked meal or even order one through a sympathy food service. Food is just a practical gift that can really help a family get by. Many mourners will forget to eat and they certainly won’t feel like cooking for a while. Meals can make a big difference, especially in families with young children.
I have some tips here {and printable} to help you in arranging meals for others.
Find out more here: Sympathy Food & Tips for Bringing Meals to the Bereaved

A Few Unique Sympathy Gift Ideas (beyond flowers)

There is nothing wrong with sending sympathy flowers, but if you want to give a memorial gift that will last forever and be unique here are some new ideas.

Memory Glass– Memory glass creates pendants and glass globes for beautiful memorial gifts and keepsakes. This is similar to blown glass artwork but uses cremation ashes to created completely unique and personalized art.
Quiet Heart Music– This company specializes in personalized piano solos. You can listen to the sample of the music on their website and select music to create your own playlist as a gift.
Lifegem Diamonds– This company specializes in cremation diamond keepsake jewelry. They have a patented process for creating a diamond from a specific carbon source (a lock of hair or cremation ashes). I saw a special about this company on the news and just had to look it up. It was the most usual thing I had ever heard of. I highly recommend checking out their gallery to see how beautiful this diamond jewelry is.
• Memorial Trees & Stones- You can purchase a memorial tree or simply give a gift certificate to the recipient so can pick their own. This is a wonderful and long-lasting gift of remembrance. I purchased one recently for my mother from The Comfort Company.

Sympathy Gift Ideas for Kids

Sometimes children get left out or shielded from the grief process. It’s natural to want to protect kids from pain and grief, but they can end up feeling isolated. They shouldn’t have to deal with the wide range of emotions involved with grief alone.

sympathy gifts for kids

A sympathy gift that allows them to remember and reflect on their loved one can let them know that their emotions are valid and okay.
Art and play have also been known to help children process grief and to promote healing.
A simple idea to help out a bereaved family: Giving a gift certificate or paying for art classes such as painting, ceramics or music lessons.

• Coloring books
• Art supplies like markers, paints and modeling clay {easy to include in a care package}
• Stuffed animals with photo frames
• Journals, sketch pads or diaries
• Make or give the child hand puppets

There are many more sympathy gifts ideas for kids and tips on helping a child deal with grief here.