Dealing with death is hard, especially if it’s someone close to you. And sometimes, finding the right words to help comfort grieving friends or family is difficult.
In such cases, gifts might be a thoughtful option. An appropriate gift can go a long way to bring a smile to someone who has recently suffered the loss of a loved one. It lets them know that you are thinking about them and you’re there if they need any help.
However, not all gifts are appropriate. Some may remind the grieving person about the gravity of their loss. Others are downright out of place. For instance, buying flashy gifts for a grieving person could come across as insensitive. Your gifts should be thoughtful and sensitive to the times.
Let’s look at some of the most appropriate gift ideas for honoring a loved one’s life.
Sympathy flowers are not the same as funeral flowers. Funeral flowers are usually large bouquets or wreaths sent to a funeral home for display during a funeral. On the other hand, Sympathy flowers are generally small bouquets sent to the home or office of the grieving person.
Common sympathy flowers include lilies, gladioli, chrysanthemums, orchids, carnations, and roses. You can send a personalized message with your sympathy or condolence flowers.
Appropriate messages include:
- “My thoughts are with you and your family.”
- “I am praying for you, and my thoughts are with you.”
- “I’m sorry for your loss.”
- “My deepest sympathies and condolence.”
You can also send your custom message to the grieving person based on your relationship. A call before or after the flowers are delivered can also be appropriate, unless the grieving person has chosen not to receive calls. Check out this website to get more information on how to order sympathy flowers for a loved one.
A Helping Hand
One of the more common signs of grief is lethargy and a feeling of extreme tiredness and boredom. If you’ve ever grieved before, you know how the hurt makes you feel like not doing anything, and your daily routine suffers.
That’s why offering gifts of help to people who are grieving is another thoughtful gesture. For instance, a grieving person likely has no energy or motivation to clean their house. But they certainly need a clean house because of visitors and others who are likely to drop in.
Lend a helping hand by paying for a cleaning service to give the grieving person’s home a thorough clean. This move will ease some of the burdens on the grieving person. You can also volunteer to help with other activities such as shopping, cooking, and child care.
For the most part, people often say to a grieving person, “Let me know if you need any help.” The problem with such statements, however, is that the grieving person needs to ask first. Not to mention, they may not even know what help they need. Be proactive and do something thoughtful.
A care package helps a grieving person without that person having to ask. A care package could include non-perishable food such as nuts, granolas, and canned foods, as well as comfort gifts such as blankets and bath bombs.
One of the most thoughtful gifts you can give someone who has recently suffered the loss of a loved one is a book: not just any kind of book, but a book that they’ll find helpful.
To start with, if the grieving person is a bibliophile, the gift of a book can mean a lot. It can also help them through the grieving process as they’ll have something fulfilling to do. Find the kind of books they like, pick a few of the best titles in that genre, and send them their way.
What’s more, give the grieving person a book that can help through the grieving process. For instance, therapist and loss survivor Megan Divine wrote a book titled “It’s OK That You’re Not OK (Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand).” That book has helped thousands of people through their hurt and loss.
Many other such books are perfect for anyone going through a tough time recovering from a loss. Look through various book sites, review various topics, and select the book that best fits. More often than not, the best books on grief are those written by people who have experienced a loss themselves.
That’s why memoirs by people who have suffered loss are excellent books for anyone currently going through a grieving process. Those books offer something more than the usual steps to heal from a loss. In reading a memoir, the one grieving takes a journey, and by the time they put the book down, they’ll feel like someone else understands their pain.
Journaling has long been proven to help people process their thoughts, gain clarity, and heal. Lisa Shulman, a professor of neurology, experienced the power of journaling first hand. In the years following her husband’s death, Lisa wrote a book titled “Before and After Loss: A Neurologist’s Perspective on Loss, Grief, and Our Brain.”
One of the key things she points out in that book is that journaling was a helpful part of her healing process. She said in an interview with Brain and Life, “My entries became a kind of therapy. I looked for meaning in the words I chose and the themes I described.”
She further wrote, “Sometimes I remembered something I had totally neglected in telling the story. I would ask myself, ‘Why did I emphasize this and neglect that? Why did I leave out this whole part?’ Each of these steps was a formative step toward healing and emotional restoration.”
That’s the power of journaling, and that’s why giving someone who’s grieving a journal is a great blessing. Find a beautiful journal and package it with Shulman’s book for your loved one. You can add a short note of condolence along with the gift.
Think About the Kids or Family
For the most part, people don’t think about the loved one’s children or immediate family. To give gifts to children of the grieving person shows that you are truly concerned about their welfare, too.
Gifts for kids could range from coloring books to fancy clothes. Such gifts would keep them busy and active. You can also choose to send the children out to a theme park as a way of distracting them from the grieving around them.
The Gift That Keeps Giving
Not two people are the same. The way one person processes grief is likely to be entirely different from the way someone else does. So, be sensitive in choosing your gifts. Draw on your knowledge of the grieving person and choose gifts that you know they’ll genuinely appreciate.
Ultimately, the best gift you can give someone who feels the loss of a loved one is your presence and support. That’s the gift that truly keeps giving.
Let the grieving family know that you are there to lend a helping hand and to provide any support they need. While flowers, money, and letters can go a long way to help, nothing makes a difference, like your presence.