Sympathy Gifts for the Death of a Mother

Losing a parent is seldom an easy thing. Many of us like to acknowledge the loss with a card, flowers or a small gift to let the grieving child know that we care. If you don't send a card or flowers, you may wonder what kind of gift is appropriate to honour the memory of the deceased and the surviving family.

Memorial Donations

Send a donation in memory of the mother. If you know what her favourite charity was, you could send the gift there. This might be especially appropriate if she actively served in the charity. Sometimes the family will select a charity for donations, so check with a family member or close friend to see if any arrangements have already been set up.

Charities will often send a card to the family to inform them of the donation. You could send a note of your own to ensure the family received notification of the gift.

Star Registry

Contact the International Star Registry and name a star after the deceased woman. You can select the constellation the star appears in or allow them to choose based on several key factors such as whether the star is visible where you are. The gift is a unique way for the family to have a visual reminder of the departed.

Plant a Tree

Purchase a tree as a memorial gift. The family may want to plant the tree at a location special to the mother or in a location where the family can see and enjoy it. Parks, school campuses and municipal locations may also appreciate the gift of a tree in memory of a loved one.

Choose a tree that is sturdy and will grow well in the area. You may want to choose a tree that has more than a couple of growing seasons behind it so it will be large enough to enjoy. You may want to include professional assistance to plant the tree and make sure it is securely and properly installed.

Live Plant

Live plant gifts are popular with some. Flower arrangements die quickly, and a live plant may survive and thrive quite well if the family member takes care of it. You may want to check with a friend or family member to see if the recipient has a green fingers or a black one.

If the recipient doesn't grow plants well, you may want to select an outdoor plant like a rose bush or ornamental shrub. Some cemeteries will allow family members to plant a small bush at the grave site.

Cash Gift

Funerals are expensive and families may not be prepared for the expense. A gift of cash may help ease the burden of final arrangements. If you are concerned about the sensitivities of the family, you could make the donation anonymously.


The period immediately following the death of a family member can be hectic. Homemade dinners that can be easily prepared may help provide both physical and emotional support to the family.

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About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.