Bereavement Gifts That Touch the Heart

Flowers are a traditional way to express sympathy, but there are times when you may want to send something more distinctive or need to find a gift that reflects a certain cultural tradition.

If you’re looking for unique ways to express your condolences, here are some creative ideas for bereavement gifts.

What to give as a condolence gift

A gift to express sympathy, comfort and sincere condolences for someone’s loss can be anything really—so long as it’s given from the heart. One impactful idea: a memorial tree. An appropriate choice for most anyone, a tree planted in honor of a loved one lost is a living legacy.

Other suggestions for different situations:

For someone who’s lost a parent or grandparent

A memorial wind chime is a tender gift for those coping with the loss of a parent or grandparent. Whenever there’s a breeze, this musical gift will bring a welcome reminder of a loved one. A houseplant may also be good gift in this situation, especially one that’s hardy and easy to care for. For an added touch, choose a decorative container that reflects the personality or passion of the person who passed.

For a parent who’s lost a child

Losing a child is the hardest thing a parent could ever deal with, and words can feel like they’re just not enough. A thoughtful gift like a custom silhouette or an engraved charm will be a reminder of your support and love, as well as a lifelong keepsake celebrating the child’s memory. Another idea: Send the parent a small gift on the child’s birthday to say you’re holding them in your heart.

For someone who’s lost a spouse or life partner

When looking for a condolence gift for someone who’s lost their partner, you might want to balance being meaningful and being too sentimental. This is especially true when the loss is very recent. Practical presents, like a gift card for a cleaning service or grocery delivery, may be appropriate in this case. Another option is a journal and a pen set, so the person who’s grieving can write about their feelings as they work through their pain and sorrow.

If you want to do even more to show you care, consider sending a small gift, like a candle or flowers, on Valentine’s Day or their wedding anniversary.

For someone who’s lost a close friend

Sympathy gift baskets are always appreciated, especially if they’re loaded with snacks. A meal delivery service is a step above and saves your loved one from having to worry about cooking or grocery shopping for a day or two—just be sure to consider dietary restrictions. For example, if you’re putting together a basket for a Jewish friend who keeps kosher, include only kosher foods.

For someone who’s lost a pet

Saying goodbye to a pet is painful, and losing a constant companion can take a lot of time to process. The best bereavement gifts are those that help preserve the pet’s memory, like a garden stone engraved with the pet’s name or a coffee mug with the pet’s photo and a bag of your friend’s favorite coffee. Many people also donate to a pet rescue group in the pet’s name.

What to write in a sympathy message

When you send a bereavement gift, you'll also want to include a sympathy message. Finding the right words can be difficult, and you might struggle to say the right thing without saying too much. What’s most important to remember is that even if your words aren’t perfect, they’ll still convey to your friend or loved one that you care. Be kind and sincere, and let them know they’re not alone. Here are some starting points to use as inspiration:

  • I’m deeply sorry for your loss. I’m here for whatever you need, and I’ll check in on you soon.
  • My heart goes out to you. It’s hard to find the words, but I want you to know that you’re in my thoughts. I’m here if you need me.
  • Thinking of you and your family and sending all my love.
  • We are holding you and yours close to our hearts in these difficult times.

Finding the perfect gift

Bereavement gifts are tangible ways to show you care, and they can mean a lot to someone who’s just lost a loved one. If you want to send something special, you’ll find unique bereavement gifts all over the internet, at gifts shops, bookstores and more. A Dignity Memorial provider can also help.