Grieving gifts

Updated July 18, 2017

Choosing gifts to comfort bereaved friends or family members can be a delicate task. Give yourself ample time to decide on a gift, remembering that your love and its expression plus the time you give to comfort those grieving are the best gifts you can offer. Tangible gifts that offer support for healing loss and grief include sympathy gift baskets, inspirational books and articles, and various personalised memorial keepsakes.

Sympathy Gift Baskets

A sympathy gift basket is a good choice for extending your sympathy to an entire grieving family. You can order one ready-made with quality chocolates, cookies and snacks artfully arranged in a basket with a book of blessings and consoling words included.

You can also choose a sympathy basket filled with savoury gourmet foods for the family to use at a gathering. Include a photo of yourself with the deceased enjoying a happy time and a comforting and inspiring quote from a religious or spiritual book.

Sympathy gift baskets are also available for the specific loss of a baby or family member. There are also gift baskets for grieving children suffering the loss of a parent or grandparent or sibling. These baskets contain a sympathy memory bear dressed in a T-shirt that says, "I Miss You," plus a grieving child's book and grieving colour books. This can be a good way to encourage children to process their grief in a healthy way.

Inspirational Books and Articles

A wide variety of books dealing with grief and loss are available in bookstores and online as e-books. Choose one or two that are appropriate to the bereaved, such as a book dealing with the loss of a child or a baby or a spouse. For relatively little cost such books can bring sustained inspiration and help in the healing process.

Another idea is to gather numerous articles on grieving from the web, focused on the specific loss suffered. Many of these are free and they can provide insight and much-needed guidance for those who are grieving. Print these a collection and make them into a personalised book.

Personalised Memorial Keepsakes

A memorial keepsake adds a personal touch. For instance, a music box that plays a hymn with a photo of the deceased on the lid can be a positive reminder of the lost loved one.

The holiday season is a time when lost ones are dearly missed. Offer a personalised memorial tree ornament with a photo of the deceased. Some memorial ornaments have inspiring words and others are tear-shaped or made of transparent glass and etched with quotes. Also consider a large photo vase, a sympathy angel statue or a candle with a picture of the deceased.

For the elderly who grieve, a memorial tapestry throw rug or scarf might bring warm comfort throughout the year.

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About the Author

Francine Juhasz has a doctorate in clinical psychology and is a Qi Gong and yoga teacher, health and nutrition freelance journalist and featured self-help and life-skills speaker. For more than 30 years she has conducted programs, workshops, seminars and private counseling sessions in emotional, mental, marital and sexual health and fitness in universities, elder-care communities and community centers in both the U.S. and Europe.