When it comes to life, we all have one thing in common: we all leave this world eventually, and hopefully we’ve left it a little better than we found it. At least that’s our wish.
Oftentimes, talking about death — at least in America — is somewhat taboo. This makes it even harder to know how and when and where to grieve even though death is something we all must grapple with.
It could have been sudden and tragic, a long time coming, or far too soon. Whether it was a closer-than-a-brother friend, an old schoolmate, or an office acquaintance; finding the right words (and the perfect gift) can be very difficult and rather overwhelming.
How do we choose a memorial gift? What’s better: a handwritten sympathy card or a home cooked meal? Should we linger at someone’s deathbed or quickly say our goodbyes? There are so many frustrating, uncomfortable, and sometimes awkward questions when it comes to the end of life.
We think it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. Keep the conversations going (no matter how difficult or awkward). One of the best ways to spark that conversation is with beautiful and meaningful “in memory of” remembrance gifts.
10 Best “In Memory Of” Gifts
Let’s start out with some of our favorite memorial tributes. Take a look and see if any of these “sing” to you.
1. Memorial Cardinal Birdfeeder
2. Hear the Wind & Think of Me Windchime
3. Memorial Voicemail Sound Wave
4. Raise a Glass in Memory of Bottle Opener
5. Create a Memory Jar Filled with Stories & Tributes
6. Remembrance Ornament
7. Loss of Loved One Photo
8. Memorial Shadow Box
9. “Goodbyes are Not Forever” Memorial Slate
10. In Loving Memory Personalized Candle
Remembrance Gifts for Loss of Father
The loss of your father is something we all know we will experience, and yet what a blow it is. My dear father-in-law passed away this year and, while we’ve known it was coming since 1990(!), it still rocked our world.
He was a Vietnam veteran, the proud owner of only one leg, an avid fisherman, and the Granddaddy of Dad Jokes. Losing your father — not to mention your children’s grandpa — is like losing a part of yourself, and nothing ever really prepares you.
He never liked being the center of attention unless it was for the aforementioned dad jokes (insert groans here). So for our family we remember him out loud the most when we’re fishing. Especially when we get “skunked!”
11. Custom Made Memorial Bears
12. Our Angel in Heaven Keepsake Jar
13. I Miss You Dad Candle Holder
14. Remembrance of My Beloved Father
15. Personalized Photo Necklace
Remembrance Gifts for Loss of Mother
If you are blessed to have a wonderful mother, then you have a little bit of heaven right here on earth. Mothers are our built-in best friends, guidance counselors, advice givers, hair brushers, home chefs, chauffeurs, and our most enthusiastic cheerleaders! Losing her is like losing a hundred women in one.
Remember how she forgave you when you sneaked out? When she “believed” you when you said you were just holding that cigarette for a friend? How about when you picked out your wedding dress together, or she helped you choose the exact right engagement ring?
Mothers simply cannot be replaced, and it’s foolish to even try. Instead, think of her often, talk of her everyday, and find a little something that you can hold that will make the memories flow.
16. I Call Her Mom Memorial Plate
17. My Mother’s Eternal Light & Love Tea Light Candle
Related: 65 Best Bereavement Gifts
18. I Miss You Mom Candle Holder
19. Memorial Pocket Coin
20. Handwritten Family Recipe Memorial Cutting Board
Remembrance Gifts for Loss of Son
You’re not meant to outlive your children. But, sadly, there are far too many times where that is the case.
After the fog lifts enough (which will take some time), it can be helpful in the healing process to find a little trinket or memorial gift that reminds everyone who sees it of that wonderful light that was extinguished too soon.
When I lost my foster son to suicide six years ago I found myself wandering into a Hallmark store. It was getting near Christmas, and Eddie’s birthday had been on Christmas Day.
I came across an ornament that was shaped like a sand-dollar (we had been at the coast when we found out about his death), and it said “Remembering you.”
Chills went up and down my spine. Of course I purchased it right away. To this day, that special ornament gets the best spot on our tree each winter.
21. Missing You Memorial Poem Plaque
22. My Son Fishes with Angels
23. Plant a Tree in Remembrance
24. Engraved Fingerprint Necklace
25. Letters to My Son in Heaven
Remembrance Gifts for Loss of Daughter
Losing a daughter is like losing a part of yourself — and it’s the best part that has disappeared.
Never feeling her hand in yours again, never hearing that tinkly laugh or watching her eyes sparkle with mischief, the peanut butter and jelly kisses, the late-night phone calls… it’s a grief that cannot be measured.
And that grief… Did we mention it’s a sneaky thing? Grief prowls around like a patient lion, ready to pounce — usually when you least expect it.
Whether sudden or after a long illness, there is no cure for your own sadness and sorrow after losing a daughter. The things that perhaps provide the most comfort are helping others navigate their own ocean of grief, and finding ways to treasure and celebrate the memory of your beloved daughter.
26. Memorial Butterfly & Heart Garden Stake
27. Remembrance Angel
28. Personalized Birth Flower Locket
29. Enchanted Remembrance Rose
30. Daughter’s Hug
Remembrance Gifts for Loss of Brother
He was there when you kinked up a good old knot in the hose so he’d spray himself in the face (CLASSIC!). Maybe he was there when you lost your first tooth, when you climbed your first tree, or when you had your first crush.
And whether older or younger, he most likely he did ungodly things like drooled/farted/belched on you as much as possible!
Ugh, why are brothers so gross?
Someone who shares so much of that growing-up-together sibling history can never be replaced or found again. That’s why the loss of your brother is so very profoundly felt.
When you go through life as a team, how do you go on as a team of one?
31. Brothers Willow Tree Figurines
32. Memorial Love Knot Pendant
33. Hug in a Mug From My Brother Up Above
34. Personalized Fishing Memorial Tumbler
35. A Brother’s Love is Timeless Memorial Clock
Remembrance Gifts for Loss of Sister
Older or younger, smaller or bigger, shorter or taller, there’s no one like your sister.
A built-in best friend (except for those middle school years, but let’s not talk about that), a confidante, the keeper of secrets, the instant alibi, and the key to all your shenanigans, your sister was one of a kind.
Losing her is like losing a little bit of you.
Whether you’ve lost your own beloved sister or know someone who has, finding something to bring her to mind in all the best ways can be healing, useful, and therapeutic. The best remembrances will bring a smile to your face — even through all those hot tears.
36. Loss of Sister Remembrance Light
37. Handcrafted Personalized Remembrance Plaque
38. My Sister, My Angel Keychain
39. Personalized Sister in Heaven Illustration
40. Now She Flies with Butterflies Remembrance Tumbler
Remembrance Gifts for Loss of Husband
Till death do us part… Back in the day, we didn’t give much thought to that part of our vows, did we?
And yet, there comes the day where we find ourselves members of this club we never wanted to join: the widow’s club.
Speaking about him (and even to him when you feel his presence — who cares about the strange looks you might get) will move us towards healing and acceptance of this deep loss.
Whether you were married for two or fifty-two years, losing your husband leaves a huge hole in your heart and soul. Not to mention the giant hole in your daily life.
Surrounding yourself with memories and photographs of the good times — and even the bad times, too — is so important. Talk about him often and don’t censor yourself!
41. Forever in My Heart Engraved Photo Locket
42. Fishin’ in Heaven Memorial Hook
43. Creatively Classical Portrait
44. Memories of You Personalized Journal
45. Missing You Personalized Photo Frame
Remembrance Gifts for Loss of Wife
Losing that better half of you is devastating. People get awkward and don’t know what to say. And the casseroles? What is up with all the casseroles?
Maybe it was a sudden and unexpected loss that left you reeling. Perhaps it was a long, drawn-out illness. No matter. The physical cause isn’t as important as the gaping hole she left behind.
The house is too quiet, the meals are too bland, the conversations too stilted… will life ever be the same?
The answer is no. It won’t ever be the same. But different isn’t always worse; it’s just different.
And someday, when you can see through the mist and the fog once again — all the way to the light and the sunshine — you’ll catch a glimpse of her. And she’s smiling.
46. Forever in My Heart Personalized Photo Mug
47. Custom Photo Memorial Ornament
48. Cherry Blossom Tree Memorial Paver Stone
49. Handwritten Memorial Photo Keychain
50. I Never Left You Photo Wall Art
Grandpa Remembrance Gifts
There’s no one like a grandpa! They’re like the dad you almost had, but your dad was always too busy… well, too busy being a dad.
Grandpas are the fixers, the talkers, the jokers, the gnarled hands and age-spotted face, the toothless grins, and the “putterers.” Take them away and the world is so much more bland, uninteresting, and dull.
All you have now are the memories, so keep them alive with “do you remember” questions and conversations, and some items that will always and forever make you think of that un-caped superhero: Grandpa.
51. Remembrance Pillow Made from Grandpa’s Shirt
52. Gone Fishing Memorial Plaque
53. Personalized Photo Keychain
54. Sailboat Memorial Beach Artwork
55. Memorial Golf Bird Feeder
Grandma Remembrance Gifts
How come Mama didn’t have the patience of a saint, like Grandma did? Well, probably because Mama won’t earn that quality until she becomes a grandma!
Grandmas know all the secrets: dessert is always first, sugar isn’t THAT bad for you, the best storybooks get read a billion times without long-suffering sighs, songs are meant to be sung loudly and off-key, it’s totally okay to splash in a tub full of extra bubbles… And Grandpa better take his muddy boots off before he comes into the kitchen!
My two grandmas were characters in their own rights.
One was a tiny little Southern lady, tanned and creased with wrinkles like used tissue paper. She smoked a pack a day, drank sweet tea, couldn’t cook a lick, and had a shaky voice kind of like Katherine Hepburn.
The other was overweight, which made her hugs and cuddles all the better because of so much softness. She read Harlequin romance novels and watched soap operas all day. She collected goofy singing stuffed animals, and liked nothing more than a rousing fight with my grandpa.
I miss them.
56. Cardinals Appear When Angels Are Near Garden Stone
57. Remembrance Photo Book
58. A Hug from Nana Memorial Blue Jay Throw
59. Sound Wave Memorial Photo Wall Art
60. Personalized Cardinal Lantern
More Personalized Remembrance Gifts
Whether it’s a painting, a pressed flower, a coffee mug, a flannel shirt, or a set of dishes; finding the perfect something to remember your loved one by isn’t just a good idea, it’s a necessity.
Hold it in your hand when you can no longer hold theirs; you’ll find it helps stitch your broken heart back together again.
No, it’ll never be the same. But a slightly patched-up, tear-stained, and tumble-dried heart is better than none at all.
61. Floating Tea Light Vase
62. Memorial Car Decal
63. Engraved Garden Stone
64. Memorial Shirts
65. Remembrance Garden Cairn
66. Photo & Angel Wings Rearview Mirror Ornament
67. 3D Crystal Memorial Photo
68. Planted in Memory Of Garden Marker
69. In Loving Memory Coasters
70. Flower Seed Memorial Cards
71. Those We Love Personalized Remembrance Vase
72. Memorial Moon Lamp
73. Engraved Planter Box
74. Loss of a Loved One Photo Necklace
75. Create a (Free) In Remembrance Website
More Ways to Remember & Memorialize
- Decorate your loved one’s grave.
- Plant a tree in their memory.
- Commission a memorial portrait.
- Create a special keepsake using their cremated ashes.
- Scatter their ashes in a meaningful location.
- Make and/or collect donations for a special cause that was close to their heart.
- Start a grief journal.
- Turn their ashes into a diamond.
- Make a memory jar and fill it with written stories, photos, and remembrances.
- Designate and personalize a memorial wall in your home.
- Light a candle in their memory.
- Observe the anniversary of their death each year.
- Celebrate their birthday each year.
Melyssa Williams is the author of four novels and a collection of short stories.
An accomplished professional writer, having been on staff for magazines and online publications such as Mary Jane’s Farm, Home Educating Family, and All Gifts Considered, Melyssa is known for being able to write about even the most traumatic and serious topics with sensitive humor and wit.
Melyssa resides in Southern Oregon with her husband, kids, and her noble sausage dog, Tripp. Learn more (and read more of her work) at MelyssaWilliams.com.