When a friend or family member loses someone close, sympathy is a natural and immediate response. Traditionally flower arrangements are sent as gifts of support and sympathy.
Flowers are a beautiful visual expression of emotion and respect. However, if someone very close to you has experienced the loss of a loved one you may feel that flowers do not say enough on their own.
Here are some of our favourite ideas for thoughtful sympathy gifts.
Sending flowers to a person who has lost a loved one is an expression of thoughtfulness that brings comfort and beauty to a sad occasion. Flowers symbolise the feelings and emotions we share. Traditional funeral flowers like lilies, roses, orchids, chrysanthemums, carnations and hyacinth are chosen because of the meanings they embody. Remember to include a short message on your floral arrangement like a statement of how the bereaved individual is in your thoughts.
A plant is a long-lasting alternative to flowers. This is an excellent choice for those that wish to stick close to tradition. You can be quite creative with plants, think about a plant or flower that the reminds you of that person. If the family has space for a tree or shrub, you could choose one that would make a nice memorial. If you’re not sure if they would have the room, succulents are beautiful indoor plants which are easy to care for and can brighten up a room.
Giving your friend a selection of photos they or the family may not have seen is a perfect gift. You can have photos printed into a book, put in a lovely photo frame, or a memorial album. As the weeks and months pass by they will be glad to have as many pictures as possible to remember their loved one by. Make it personal and include a memory you treasure or a funny story to go with the photo.
Jewellery can be a thoughtful gift to remember a loved one and is often a very appreciated and treasured sympathy gift. A necklace, bracelet or ring can have a beautiful inscription, or you could include the birthstone of their loved one. Remembrance jewellery is a lovely way for family members to keep their loved ones close, as the grief starts to lift.
Many people now opt to make a charitable donation and sometimes the family may have a designated charity, if not you can pick one that would resonate with them. Some ideas may be a local hospice, cancer society, animal shelter or a community organisation the person was involved with. Call and see if a donation can be made in the person’s memory, most places will send an acknowledgement to the family that a donation was made.
Sending a basket of baked goods or a healthy alternative like a basket of fruit can be a great sympathy gift. Be sure to include a heartfelt condolence message. Cooking dinner or dropping off some groceries when someone passes away is always helpful, as thinking about food is often the last thing on their mind. If cooking, a clever idea is to keep it simple and packaged in single size portions that can be frozen and heated up easily.
A self-care gift is a good idea for a sister, bestie or co-worker. During grief a little bit of comfort can help, a gift of a cosy throw blanket, luxurious bath set, candle, massage voucher or a new book are a few thoughtful ideas. Always consider the person who has experienced the loss and what might be appropriate for them. These gift ideas are a nice gesture that will help them take time to care for themselves.
If you would like some help or have any questions, your Osbornes funeral director can make you aware of what type of sympathy gift is suitable for the service you are attending.