The death of a loved one is a traumatic occasion, and expressions of sympathy require special sensitivity. Aside from straightforward expressions of condolence, those expressions can be special reminders of the person who passed away, talismans of philosophical comfort or simple gifts that comfort the bereaved during the initial period of intense grief.
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When you can't be there for the funeral, a food-and-gift basket with a sympathy card might be just the thing. Tailor the basket to the recipient or make multiple baskets for multiple survivors. Character-themes work for kids, useful gifts for men and perhaps bath accessories for a woman. Non-perishable, gourmet foods or comfort food sweets can be combined with simple votive candles. Always include a handwritten note of condolence.
Some who mourn begin to listen to the wind for whispers of lost loved ones. Wind chimes are a fine sympathy gift. Every time a breeze blows when a survivor is sipping tea on the deck or porch, a bell-note or two ringing out is a reminder -- one that says as long as the wind blows, the loved one will be remembered. Many sympathy wind chimes are also inscribed with memorial poetry, and special, personalised inscriptions can be made, too.
If the ones who mourn have a little land, there is a way to bring life from death as a memorial. Plant a tree in memory of the one who has passed. Trees are a living legacy. The size and species of the tree will depend on many things. Dwarf trees are available that are already fully bloomed. Some might want to plant willow or sycamore, which grow rapidly in wet soil and quickly house birds. Perhaps the deceased had a favourite tree you could give.
Photos and Statuary
For older survivors who are housebound, or for anyone, some memento that can be places on shelves of mantles might be best. Framed photographs with memorial poems in the frames, photo albums of the deceased and her family, or angel statues with etched memorial prayers are all appropriate expressions of sympathy. Memorial angel statuary can also add a bittersweet accent to a favoured garden.
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