One of the most meaningful ways to show support to a grieving loved one is to provide your support. Being there and offering words of encouragement are just two of the numerous ways you can comfort someone who is mourning. You can also bring a funeral gift (sympathy gift) to the service to further demonstrate your condolences.
There is no easy way to help someone cope with the death of a loved one. Sending funeral flowers for the service or funeral gifts to the home are traditional ways to offer your sincere condolences when words fail you. Below, Funeral Caring USA has some suggestions if you don’t want to show up empty-handed and want to express your support at a time of loss with a funeral gift.
In Lieu of Flowers
Occasionally, families have already indicated what you can do, and it’s customary to abide by the family’s requests when attending a funeral. To learn if the family has included a recommendation for “in lieu of flowers,” check the obituary, call the family, or call the funeral home. In lieu of flowers means instead of flowers.
Funeral Gift Ideas
If the family doesn’t indicate which sympathy gift they would prefer, here are some ideas:
Pick sympathy baskets full of delicious snacks and treats that the recipient can enjoy in their time of mourning. The most thoughtful sympathy gifts are baskets filled with tasty treats like the recipient’s favorite fruits, nuts, cheeses, crackers, chocolates, and more. Another choice is to select a basket filled with self-care products like candles, lotion, and bath items.
While it may be awkward to bring a gift, sending a sympathy card with a message telling the family that they are in your thoughts and prayers can be very comforting. In the years following the death of a loved one, many people revisit the sympathy cards they received. Most thoughtful notes are usually those that are handwritten from scratch. Check out our blog post What to Write In A Sympathy Card.
Photo Album or Scrapbook
If you are a close friend or extended family member, you probably have pictures the immediate family doesn’t know about. If so, you might put together a scrapbook or digital photo album with pictures of the deceased that the family does not already have. They’ll probably appreciate having as many photos as they can as the weeks and months go by.
A gift certificate for a day at the spa, their favorite store, or food delivery could be just what the person needs to feel better in this difficult time. It is normal for feelings of grief to come and go, and a gift card will help them take care of themselves when they need it the most.
Donations to a charity, rather than flowers or gifts, are common requests bereaved families make. You can mention in a sympathy card that you honored the family’s wishes to let them know of your gift.
Food is a typical gift to send as an alternative to or in addition to flowers. However, we advise doing so with caution, as people often find themselves with an abundance of food after a death in the family. Since people typically send dishes the week of the death, giving food will likely be much more appreciated a few weeks following the death. If you have a knack for the kitchen, a warm and hearty meal created from scratch will make a wonderful gift.