Sympathy gifts provide you with a way to send a tangible expression of your love to someone who is grieving. Today, we’re going to show you there very best bereavement gift ideas.
And really, there is no reason you shouldn’t do both. Send a card along with your gift, or send a gift and follow it up with a note or text a week later. When you reach out with tangible expressions of your condolences, it sends a message to the grieving person that their grief matters.
So here are some of the best sympathy gifts for someone who is grieving. As always with our lists of memorial ideas, we try to showcase the best of everything from around the web. This way you may be inspired to get one of these gifts, search out something similar but just a little bit different, or create your own memorial gift idea.
50 Sympathy Gifts for Someone Who Is Grieving
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1. Goodbyes are Not Forever Memorial Slate
A personalized print on a long-lasting piece of slate, with a custom message on one half of the display and a gorgeous photo print of the loved one on the other. This combination of a personalization tribute and a photo frame on durable material allows you to remember the departed fondly as often as you look at it.
2. Personalized Bird Feeder
These cedar wood bird feeders are made in the USA and custom laser etched in your choice of design. Includes “in loving memory” inscription of name and dates, plus more than two dozen themes. This is a wonderful sympathy gift that will last long after the funeral flowers have wilted.
You can also get these bird feeder sympathy gifts completely customized. Write a special message, a Scripture verse, a poem, an image or other personal artwork.
Lastly, any bird feeder can be customized on the back side for a more complete and personalized sympathy gift idea.
3. Memorial Flower Planter Gift Box
While flowers fade, a flower planter box personalized with an “in loving memory” inscription will endure for many years of beautiful display. This wood box includes personalization and three antiqued mason jars to hold flowers.
4. Raise a Glass Bottle Opener
This wall mounted bottle opener is handcrafted in the USA and custom engraved with your loved one’s name and dates. Includes an encouragement to “raise a glass in memory of” the departed loved one.
5. When Someone You Love Becomes a Memory Garden Stone
“When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.”
This popular sympathy gift quote is etched into a lovely garden stone to place in memory of a loved one.
6. “Here for You” Compassion Package
One of our newest favorites in sympathy gifts, these care packages communicate pure thoughtfulness to your grieving friend.
The recipient will get a box filled with household essentials to help them through the tough times, but with a personal touch. You can choose various items to include along with a personalized message in a lovely sympathy card. A wonderful and compassionate gift idea.
7. Butterflies Appear When Angels Are Near
Vintage style distressed wood plaque that reads, “Butterflies appear when angels are near.” A lovely and affordable sympathy gift sign, available with choice of background color and plaque size.
8. Memory Gift Tree
Give the gift of life to help honor and respect the passing of a loved one. Not everyone has the green thumb to foster and care for plants, but that’s not the kind of sympathy gift this is. It’s a memorial tree, which they can plant in the name and memory of someone they cared for deeply.
Over the years the tree will grow in strength, stature, and beauty, just like the memories you treasure.
9. Cremation Necklace
Cremation jewelry is becoming more popular along with the rise in cremation as the final disposition method of choice. When so many families bury or scatter the remains after cremation, it makes sense that they may appreciate a sympathy gift of cremation jewelry.
These sympathy jewelry pieces hold a tiny amount of cremated ashes as a keepsake, and are available as necklaces, bracelets, or rings.
Read here to learn everything you need to know about cremation jewelry.
10. Custom Engraved Memorial Candle Holder
This custom laser etched sympathy gift holds three candles and includes a condolence message along with personalization of name and dates. Choose one of six classic sympathy quotes to go above the memorial inscription.
11. Personalized Memorial Stone
A personalized garden stone sympathy gift that can be placed in the yard, garden beds, beside a pathway, and more in honor of a loved one. Small and simple yet weighty and durable, this is a long-lasting memorial tribute personalized for someone you love.
12. Personalized Wind Chimes
A personalized wind chime can sing out with the tune of “Amazing Grace” or other popular melodies. Find a wind chime that includes customization of name and dates to create a treasured sympathy gift. Shop custom memorial wind chimes here.
13. “Peace” Personalized Floral Print Sympathy Sign
Send the gift of peace and a healing blessing with this floral print sympathy plaque. The stunningly printed satin photo comes in a wooden frame with a message of peace to encourage healing in the midst of sorrow.
It also comes with additional space for a name and other personal message to add to the comfort that the message conveys.
14. Willow Tree Sympathy Figurine
This figurine, from the popular Willow Tree Collection, is perfectly titled, “Surrounded by Love.” Send one to a grieving friend to show your love.
These beautiful figurines are highly collectible, so we’ve shortlisted ten more designs for use as bereavement or sympathy gifts here.
15. Personalized Memorial Necklace
Sometimes an elegant necklace that can be worn close to the heart is the perfect sympathy gift. This necklace is lightweight and affordable and can be personalized with up to 22 characters.
16. Memorial Photo Framed with Distressed Wood
Here is a nice gift idea that combines traditional memorial photo frames with contemporary vintage chic quotes. The quote reads, “When someone you love becomes a memory, those memories become a treasure.”
Includes customization of name and dates across the bottom.
17. Personalized Memorial Bottle Opener
Perfect as a sympathy gift for the wine lover. Open a bottle and raise a glass to the treasured memories of a loved one. Customized with the text of your choice, ideal for name and dates or “In Loving Memory” and name.
18. “Those We Love” Heart Bowl
This hand-crafted bowl is shaped like a heart, and reads, “Those we love don’t go away, they walk beside us every day.” A lovely little decor accent to go on the bedside table, on the kitchen counter, or on an end table in the living room.
19. “Cardinals Appear” Memorial Photo Frame
Here is an elegant photo frame sympathy gift for the bird watcher and nature lover. The 8×7 frame holds a 4×6 photograph and comes with the picture of the cardinal as well as the thoughtful quote, “Cardinals appear when angels are near.”
Also, check out some more inspiration for the similar quote, “When a cardinal appears in your yard, it’s a visitor from heaven.“
20. Dozen Succulents Sympathy Gift Box
A very rustic yet colorful sympathy gift, this planter box comes filled with twelve lovely succulents. These plants survive with minimal care, and will last much longer than the traditional funeral flowers sympathy gift.
Grown in the USA, selected by hand and assembled to order.
21. Echeveria Succulent Living Memorial Wreath
Another wonderful succulent gift idea, this wreath is grown and crafted by hand in Oregon. Perfect for decoration on a table or hanging on a wall, door, or fireplace mantle.
Succulents last for a very long time and take hardly any effort to keep, so this is a long-lasting “living memorial” sympathy gift for someone you love.
22. Personalized Memorial Coasters
Coasters are a wonderful little sympathy gift that are attractive yet unobtrusive and will be used often. Laser engraved a loved one’s name, “In Loving Memory” message, dates, and more on a set of customized coasters and you will have the perfect memorial gift.
Each set includes four spacious wooden coasters, free inscription, and a matching coaster holder.
23. I Am Always With You Memorial Bird Feeder
For those who are no longer with us who had a fascination with nature, this bird feeder comes with an embossed message of “I am always with you” to remind your grieving friend that even though their loved one is not there to personally feed the birds, their love for nature can still be honored in life.
24. “A Piece of My Heart is in Heaven” Sympathy Gift Keychain
Sympathy gifts don’t have to be large to be meaningful. Sometimes a small token like this sympathy keychain is the perfect thing. The recipient will be able to take it with them wherever they go.
The small charm has a custom initial on it, while the larger heart shape says, “A piece of my heart is in heaven.”
25. Round “In Memory” Tea Light Holder
This round tea light holder sympathy gift reads, “In Memory of a Life so beautifully lived.”
26. Gone Yet Not Forgotten Remembrance Candle
This thoughtful ceramic vessel has the thoughtful quote “Gone yet not forgotten, although we are apart, your spirit lives within me, forever in my heart.” along the front. They will remember their beloved every time they light this candle.
27. Sympathy Message Jar
This sympathy gift message jar includes 31 condolence messages, one for each day of the month. Available in several colorful styles.
Also note that you can easily DIY this sympathy gift by using a glass jar and writing out a series of personal notes.
28. A Limb Has Fallen From the Family Tree…
This light up framed box comes with wooden frame and heart shaped space to place your beloved’s photo within the tree limbs. The sympathy gift sign reads,
A limb has fallen from the family tree
That says grieve not for me.
Remember the best times,
The laughter, the song,
The good life I lived while I was strong.
29. Forever in Our Hearts – Woven Heart Sign
This light wood sign stands out with the woven heart, which symbolizes the message that the loved one will live on, “Forever in our Hearts.”
30. Beautiful Sympathy Flowers
Flowers are still one of the best sympathy gifts. People can say what they will about how the flowers die and how that is such a sad reminder, etc etc, but the reality is that you won’t go wrong by sending a beautiful bouquet of sympathy flowers. Include a heartfelt condolence message and choose your flowers from the very best in the business and your gift will be much appreciated and remembered.
We recommend The Bouqs, an organization that works with local farmers in your area who engage in sustainable, eco-friendly farming practices. These flowers are grown locally and cut the day you order them. [Read our review of The Bouqs here]
31. Custom Fingerprint Necklace
There are a few things in life that can be used to prove who we are. Every person’s fingerprint is unique. They are as irreplaceable as the life attached to them. Another thing that is very personal and self-identifying is our handwriting. The way we write, naturally, without focusing on being neat and readable, is just as unique to each of us.
Combine the two on a piece of sterling silver with a fingerprint pendant, using the print of your loved one, as unique and irreplaceable as them, with a short message written in the closest approximation of their own handwriting engraved by experts.
32. In Loving Memory Personalized Keepsake Box
For those who already have a collection of things to remember their loved one by, you ought to have a place worth keeping them. This keepsake box comes with a customized memorial message on the lid along with name and dates. Made of maple wood, the inside is velvet-lined to keep even the smallest or most fragile keepsakes safe from movement.
33. 3D Crystal Photo
Preserve a photo of your loved one behind a prism of clear, crystal protection. These crystal works of art come in a variety of many shapes, including hearts, arcs, portraits and diamonds. A photo is professionally printed in 3 dimensions within the piece, so that a favorite picture of their loved one can be preserved with crystal clarity for ages to come.
34. Hummingbird Memorial Ornament Wind Chime
If you wish to remember your loved one every time the wind blows, a memorial wind chime gift is perfect. This rustic wooden wind chime has a hummingbird figure on it holding a bell which gives a soulful sound whenever the wind moves it. It also comes on a card with watercolor painting and a meaningful sympathy message.
Each one is handmade and unique, just like the life it is intended to commemorate, and crafted from sustainable materials.
Related: Hummingbird Memorial Gift Ideas
35. Celebration of Life Personalized Clock
A clock on the wall helps remind us of time, the time we spent and the time that’s still ticking down. This clock has a wood finished face with laser engraved numbers and message. In the middle you can place a message letting a loved one know that the time they once spent is still with them, and the time they have to look forward to is worth it to remember the life that was lost.
It’s also a silent running clock, with a key slot hole to hang on any wall so it can be seen from anywhere.
36. Memorial Photo Ornament
Here’s a sympathy gift for the holidays when a loved one is no longer there to celebrate. This ornament comes with a high-quality print of a loved one in a favorite picture with their name, made from their signature – provided by a loved one in their honor – and a simple message to show they are forever in the hearts of the living.
Your gift will enhance the Christmas Tree or any other celebration where ornaments are hung with care.
Related: 35 Best Christmas Memorial Ornaments
37. Forever in Our Hearts Personalized Photo Cross
A wall-hanging memorial cross with a photo in a round frame in the middle. The cross has a rustic look like treated granite but hangs neatly and easily on any wall.
At the top is a message in loving memory of the loved one, and on the left and right arms are the dates born on and at rest. The bottom shaft of the cross has the longest space capable of having a customized message.
It also comes with pre-chosen verses, meaningful passages from the Bible to bring a feeling of peace. A perfect gift for someone who faithfully turns to God for comfort.
38. Remembrance Comfort Box
This Remembrance Comfort Box contains only the things that best comfort someone who is going through loss. It comes with a soft comforting shawl that can “hug” your grieving friend in the absence of their loved one, and a Willow Tree sculpted figure made by artist Susan Lordi meant to be a piece all about memories.
39. Those We Love Photo Lantern
Bring light into a dark world to remind others that the light of life lives on even after death. This photo lantern is a four-sided metal and glass electric lantern with LED bulbs and can even come with waterproofing so it can light the night outside.
One side has a full photo frame stand to show your loved one and another side has space for a custom embossed and uniquely lettered message to that loved one, and those who will read it after. These inserts can be swapped out and changed at will, with the remaining two sides being blank slates that allow the light to shine through.
40. Personalized Memorial Flowerpot
Give a green-thumbed friend the gift of a memorial flowerpot so they can keep tending to life with the memory of those who have passed on close at hand.
Use it as a planter for the flower or plant that was nearest and dearest to one who has passed on, so their image can support new life even after they have gone.
41. Personalized “Memories of You” Journal
Keep a writing of all your loved one’s best memories so they will always be with you. This journal comes with 112 lined pages for journaling and has accustomed engraving on the front. It’s made of water resistant faux leather and comes in teal, gray or brown, allowing it to look more natural.
This is an excellent gift for someone who does journaling, or who may need an outlet to work through the feelings associated with dealing with a loss and need a place to write down all their thoughts around the event without spilling over into other writing.
42. Glass Sympathy Frame
This elegant sympathy picture frame boasts a loving message etched into pure glass beside a photo of the departed loved one. The image is protected behind strong, durable glass in a concave frame which stands on its own without a need for any additional backing.
The glass is hand-blown, uniquely made for every frame, with gold-plated trim.
43. Memorial Garden Stone Paver
For those who lived in and loved their garden, commemorate their favorite place with a garden stone planted to celebrate the life of a loved one.
This outdoor accent is weatherproof with hand painted accents featuring a loving and lasting message. It’s a meaningful way to mark a life well lived. Plant it alongside their favorite plants, or create a commemorative corner of a garden that’s easier to visit than going to the burial site itself.
44. Memorial Sympathy Scroll Box
If you can’t quite find the right words of sympathy to give to someone, this box may help. This weather-treated wooden chest comes with 36 comforting quotes to assist someone going through grief.
Quotes from historical figures, from great speakers, from beloved poets and others all meant to help guide and comfort someone going through the grief of loss. The box itself can also be re-used as a keepsake holder.
45. Your Journey Prayer Bracelet
Prayer bracelets can help bring people meaning and symbolism in their daily lives. This bracelet is all about Your Journey, the one that continues now, day by day, and is meant to commemorate those whose journeys have ended by reminding those still living what time they have left to live.
The keepsake is made of seven interlocked bracelets with natural stone beads in bands along with a cross that covers the main knot tying it all together – showing that God and faith are at the core of daily life.
46. Sympathy Cookie Bouquet
Everyone can use something sweet to offset the sour taste and feel of losing a loved one. This cookie bouquet comes with a variety of cookies baked fresh and shipped soon in a custom tin with beautiful arrangement.
These are big cookies, big enough to write on, showing one’s deepest sympathies in icing along with a variety of unique designs. Bring it to a reception dinner or send it to someone to enjoy on their own.
47. Custom Signature Necklace
This custom pendant comes with a handwritten message from your loved one – based on their own handwriting, replicated and engraved by the artisans experienced in sending messages.
Seeing a loved one’s own handwriting can be very meaningful, but for those who never took much time to put their words onto paper, a sample of their handwriting or signature can be used to copy their style, so it looks like their message is being printed directly onto gold or silver.
48. Forever In Our Hearts Personalized Afghan
The Forever In Our Personalized Afghan is a cotton blanket embroidered with a message of “forever loved” along with the name of a loved one.
A perfect gift to help warm and comfort ailing hearts with a high quality, thick and natural colored cover for any occasion. Makes a great shawl or ornament that’s soft to the touch and covers a loved one’s favorite seat so they can always be close by.
49. Dedicated Memorial Tree
Give a gift that keeps on giving: a living, growing tree. Memorializing a tree for a loved one guarantees that their name will be attached to something that continues to grow and provide life for others in protected forest land.
This gift will connect a loved one’s legacy with nature, and the tree planted and protected in their name will become a living monument, to be honored and respected for many decades to come.
More info: How to Plant a Tree in Memory of a Loved One
50. A Journal for Grief “How to Carry What Can’t be Fixed”
This book by Megan Devine highlights the journey of a woman in her path through grief, how she moved on with it, and how other people can learn to embrace their grief and deal with it their own way, in whatever manner is healthy and honorable to the one they’ve lost.
For those who need some extra help moving on, or are looking for advice but don’t know who to ask or where to get it, sometimes they need the voice of someone who’s gone through it all and can find comfort knowing there are still questions they will be left with.
FAQs – Sympathy Gifts
When Should I Send a Sympathy Gift?
Knowing the right time to give your gift isn’t the easiest thing to figure out. Too early and it can seem like an empty gesture. Too late and it may seem like you forgot.
The best time may be on or around the date of the service. Funeral services often come a few days or even weeks after the date of death. The service takes time to prepare, time is needed for everyone related to gather together. And of course, it takes time to prepare and dress the body.
All this gives you plenty of time to get the right gift, or at the very least arrange for it to be delivered soon thereafter. Showing up is the most important thing. Ask those directly involved whether they are receiving gifts, and if not, save the gift for a later date.
Who Do I Send a Sympathy Gift to?
Send the gift to the grieving family member you knew best.
But what if I don’t know the family, only the deceased? Well, you can get to know them. It’s awkward, yes, to say you were a friend, but uniting in the memory of someone who has passed on is a good reason to engage with their family.
You can use the sympathy gift as an opportunity to open up conversation about the person you, too, are grieving. Discuss what services will be held and if you can attend. If it’s a closed ceremony only for immediate family, you can ask for an address of the funeral home to send your gift, or meet up after the wake and give it over with your sympathies in person.
What Sympathy Gift Can I Give at the Funeral?
Consider the person who you’re mourning. And consider the family or loved ones they left behind. Who will be receiving the gift is just as important to answering what that gift is. It should be something they like, but can also easily symbolize the memory of the person who has passed on.
How Much Money Should I Give for Condolences?
Some may interpret this question as “what value do you place on a human life?” Giving cash money can be seen as a cold gesture, but the fact is everyone needs money. Funerals and other burial expenses can add up.
As with any act of charity and sympathy, give only what you can afford, and give it in the hope not of calming the wound of losing a loved one but to help cover the costs of the procedures which can put them to rest. The real gift you should give is your time to those in mourning.
Learn more about funeral donations here.
Is a Gift Card Appropriate for a Grieving Family?
A gift card is often seen as a last-minute sort of gift, something only usable in a specific scenario or place. However, it’s not necessarily a callous thing.
Suppose the one you are remembering in memoria with this gift had a favorite place, one where you and them, and their loved ones, made and shared many memories. It could be a restaurant or some other place that is personal to their life story.
Giving a gift card for a loved one’s favorite restaurant or venue helps remember them and the things they enjoyed, and allows their surviving family to enjoy those same things in a loving memory. General gift cards, for super stores or online places like Amazon, should be avoided. Make sure it’s personal.
What Do I Say When Giving a Sympathy Gift?
A gift given to share sympathies with someone should not carry a reminder or a repetition over the loss you are both dealing with. Don’t apologize or show guilt. Focus on the positives.
Let them know what this gift reminds you of – a special time or event that it’s meant to encapsulate, a good time that you will both remember well. Say you hope their memory will be honored with this gift, that you picked it out while thinking of one who has passed and, even then, it made you happy to remember them.
Here are some more ideas on what you can say when someone dies.
Read Next: Words of Comfort After Loss