Occasions 365

Sympathy Gift

Show your love and support with a sympathy gift

Sympathy gifts are often the hardest to choose because it can be difficult to know exactly what to give and when. People deal with loss in different ways, so it's important to choose a gift that will provide comfort and support in a way that is meaningful.

Choosing a sympathy gift is often a very personal choice, as well, particularly when you yourself may have been close to the person who passed on. There are many pre-arranged sympathy gifts that are thoughtful and tasteful, but you may also want to add your own personal touch to show the person receiving it that you care.

Common Sympathy Gifts

If you're concerned about what to give as a sympathy gift, there are a few options that are considered both appropriate and thoughtful:

  • Gift baskets. Sympathy gift baskets are a common gift. Typically, they include food and drink items, but may also include items to provide comfort, such as poems or candles.
  • Charitable donations. If your loved one has lost someone to a disease or medical condition, you may want to make a charitable donation to groups working to find a cure. You may also just want to make a donation to a charity that was close to the person's heart -- for example, make a donation to a local kennel or the ASPCA if the person was an animal lover.
  • Flowers. Flowers provide a little bit of colour and cheer during a time of grief. While many people send flowers on or around the time of a funeral, in the time afterward, sending a bouquet is a great way to show your loved one they are in your thoughts.

Unique Sympathy Gifts

If you want to give something a little more personal, it's important to get a good feel for what the grieving person might be comfortable with. A few unique sympathy gift ideas include:

  • Time. Just being available for someone who is grieving as a shoulder to cry on or a friendly ear can be a big help during a difficult time.
  • Help. Often, specific chores can be neglected during times of grief, so popping over to help out with chores like cooking, laundry and dishes may be much appreciated.
  • Fundraising. You can make a longer-term or larger-impact gift to a charity by signing on to do fundraising. Organizing a team or committee that can help raise funds for a particular event or simply taking up a collection with friends or coworkers and making a one-time or yearly donation is a great way to show you care.
  • A scrapbook or memory book. Working with family or other close friends, you may want to put together a book of photos and shared memories about the person who passed on, to share with their closest loved one.
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