Helpful Sympathy Gift Ideas to Send in Difficult Times

Sympathy gifts provide you with a great way to send a tangible expression of your love to someone who is grieving. As I’m sure you know, there are limitless ideas when it comes to finding (or making) thoughtful gifts for loved ones who passed away. But sympathy gift ideas that are truly helpful, practical, and above all, meaningful, are what we’ll be focusing on today.

While you can send a sympathy card along with your gift, when you reach out with tangible expressions of your condolences, it sends a message to the grieving person that their grief matters…and that you care.

So here are some of the best unique gifts to remember a loved one with. 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 condolence gifts, search out something similar but just a little bit different, or create your own memorial gift idea…all with sincerity and quality in mind.

Top 10 Sympathy Gifts for Those Grieving

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"Memories of You" Journal
  • Personalized Gift
  • Fast Shipping
  • Water Resistant Faux Leather
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When it comes to gifts to remember a loved one by, journals are high on the list. Because writing of all your loved one’s best memories means they will always be with you. This journal comes with 112 lined pages for journaling and has custom engraving on the front.

It’s made of water-resistant faux leather and comes in teal, gray, or brown, giving it that nice, natural look.

This is a thoughtful yet practical gift for someone who does journaling, or who may need an outlet to work through the feelings associated with dealing with a loss.

It’s a place to write down all their thoughts about the event without spilling over into other writing.

Grief Affirmation Cards
Comes With:
  • 20 Cards
  • 3 Optional Add-Ons
  • Gift Message Card
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These grief affirmation cards are a helpful gift idea for someone who is grieving.

Printed with short, thoughtful, and helpful messages, they are meant to aid the grief process on a day-to-day basis. Great as gifts to give someone who lost a loved one, or as an addition to bereavement gift baskets.

You can also create your own grief affirmation cards. Simply use stock paper and your own artistic (or digital) abilities, and you may be surprised at what you can come up with.

The Memory Book: A Grief Journal for Children and Families
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03/27/2024 05:22 pm GMT

The Memory Book is a sweet book that was written by Joanna Rowland. It has a unique write-in format that encourages children and families to process loss together.

Its approach is through gentle prompts and ideas for journaling, drawing, and talking through grief together in a way children can understand.

This gift idea is practical as well as tasteful (literally). Go ahead and give your grieving loved one the gift of some tasty homemade treats. This could mean cookies, cobblers, gelatin salads, pies…you get the idea.

Whatever you think they would enjoy most, and would bring them the most comfort, is the way to go. Pair your confections with a pint of ice cream for an extra spoonful of comfort.

For a classic cookie recipe, we highly recommend Natasha’s Kitchen’s take on Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Beautiful Sympathy Flowers
  • Multiple Floral Arrangements
  • Perfect for Long-Distance Loved Ones
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Along with food, flowers remain a tried-and-true sympathy gift. People can say what they will about how the flowers die, how that is such a sad reminder, etc., but the reality is that you still can’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. Your thoughtful gift will be much appreciated and remembered.

Related: Meaning Behind Flowers at Funerals

Sympathy Picture Frame
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03/27/2024 05:26 pm GMT

Just like flowers, photos also still prove to be a thoughtful sympathy gift idea. For someone in mourning, it may help to see once more the smiling face of the person they loved, in happier and healthier times.

Set in a beautiful photo frame, a memorial photo can provide a sense of comfort, time and time again, whenever passed by.

Sympathy Gift Baskets
  • Printed Ribbon
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Nuts
  • Chocolate
  • Cookies
  • and So Much More
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This wonderful sympathy basket full of fresh fruit and gourmet snacks might be just what your loved one needs.

The time after the loss of someone special can be extremely busy and stressful, and your loved one may not always be able to make time for full meals…or even remember to eat.

In that case, it would be extremely helpful to have tasty and healthy snacks on hand like those included in this great gift.

Sometimes the best thing you can do for someone grieving is to provide for basic needs like hot meals, running errands, watching the kids, etc.

Giving the thoughtful gift of a home-cooked meal or staple food items is a beautiful way to show your love and support for them in this time of grief.

If you like this idea, here are some other helpful resources to check out:

Dedicated Memorial Tree
How It Works:
  • Order Your Tree
  • Ordered Tree is Planted
  • Photos of Tree are Posted Online
  • You Have Access to Tree Location
  • Forest is Re-Growing
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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. You can use a professional service for this, or you can DIY the project.

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. 

DIY A Knit Weighted Comfort Blanket
  • Chunky Tube Yarn
  • This How-To Video
Watch How

These chunky and trendy knitted blankets are way easier to make than they look, and would make a super comforting gift.

Because of the nature of the bulky yarn, these blankets have a natural, weighted quality. Weighted blankets are proven to promote relaxation and deep, healthy sleep.

Common Sympathy Gift Questions

Here are some of the more common questions (and answers) regarding sympathy gifts and how to give them.

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, and 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.

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. Remember you are giving it in 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.

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 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 meaningful to their life story.

Giving a gift card to a loved one’s favorite restaurant or venue helps honor their memory and the things they enjoyed. It also allows their surviving family to enjoy those same things in remembrance.

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

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1 thought on “Helpful Sympathy Gift Ideas to Send in Difficult Times”

  1. Thanks for sharing these gift ideas, I really loved Memory Gift Tree and I will put a white flower inside it on Uncle Ben funeral because the white flower was his favorite.

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