There are few things worse in this world than losing a loved one. No matter what you do, nothing quite seems to ease the pain of that person no longer being in our lives. However, sometimes, if you see someone in your social circle in pain, you want to reach out with a gift to let them know that you’re thinking about them.
So, how do you choose a gift that’s going to send all the right messages, without looking like you’re just trying to distract someone from their grief? That can be easier said than done. Usually, you’ll need to take some time to think about your loved one’s sensibilities, and what kind of things would be moving. However, we have some tips to help.
Start with the Card
In most cases, when you’re still not sure which gift to buy, it pays to start with the card. Think about what kind of message you want to send to your loved one. This could even inspire you and give you some ideas of what your gift should be.
Start shopping for a card as soon as you hear about the passing. You’ll need to send that and the gift as soon after the funeral as possible. If weeks have passed since the funeral, you can still provide a gift, but it might seem like a painful reminder at that point.
Remember, the key to success here is reminding your loved one that you’re thinking about them. A hand-felt note written in the card is a good place to start.
Thoughtful Gifts are Best
Thoughtful gifts are always the top choice for any occasion. It doesn’t matter how much you spend on the thing that you’re giving; what matters is the meaning that goes into the purchase. For instance, if you’re sending a gift to a grieving widow who has children to look after, paying for someone to clean her house for a few weeks might be an excellent way to take some extra stress off her plate.
If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, you can do the chores yourself, or bake some meals and take them over to the house so your friend or loved one doesn’t have to think about food. Food-based gifts are often a good choice for people suffering through grief, as they often find it difficult to shop for and cook food themselves.
Think Beyond Flowers
Flowers are a common sympathy gift to send when someone loses a loved one. However, this can sometimes just give your grieving friend something else to worry about. They need to focus on looking after the flowers and getting rid of them when they die. A better option might be to give a donation to a charity that your friend or family member is devoted to.
Other comforting items can be a lot more meaningful than flowers too. For instance, a frame or a photo album where they can store pictures of the person that they miss might be a great way to keep that person close.
If a child loses a family member and you want to give them something too, remember that something soft to snuggle up to is usually a good idea. Even blankets can be helpful during times of grieving.
Get Some Advice
If you’re not sure what the right option is for your friend or loved one, the best option might be to talk to the rest of their family. Get some insights into the kind of gifts that they’re going to be giving, and if there’s anything that you might need to avoid. If you’re not very familiar with someone’s culture, then you could accidentally send something that rubs them the wrong way.
Sometimes, family members might be able to let you know if a group of people are all joining in on a bigger gift for the person in question. It might be easier for you to go in on a group gift than to purchase something on your own.
Keep it Simple
When all else fails, it’s often a good idea to keep gifts relatively small and simple. You don’t want to spend too much on an item that the grieving person is going to feel obligated to you for. Instead, you need to focus on making sure that the person who is grieving right now feels loved and supported. Even the smallest present, like a picture you had framed, can make a world of difference.