Every loss comes too soon. It’s hard to understand the whys and scary to think how life will be going forward. Many who grieve are searching for meaning and trying to find ways to keep their loved one’s memory alive…and that’s where a good friend can come in.
Here are some meaningful sympathy gifts that are beautiful ways to honour a life:
- Send a lovely flower arrangement or plant with special meaning. Look up the symbolism of flowers and colours to find blooms that fit your friend’s situation and the personality of the deceased. You can even add a plant stake with a touching message to a potted plant. If there are pets in the home, make sure you send something that isn’t poisonous. The ASPCA has a toxic and nontoxic plant list for pets.
- Find photos of the deceased. Put one in a frame that matches your friend’s style. Or make an online photo collage through a private Facebook group or Instagram page in memory of your friend’s loved one. Offer to add approved friends and family to the account so they can share photos, too.
- Pass on a treasured heirloom or gift the deceased once gave to you. Maybe it’s a piece of jewelry you can give to their daughter, a good book you can offer to their parent or a baseball mitt that can tell a thousand stories. Attach a note to the gift to share what it meant to you and especially what their family member meant to your life.
- Order a personalized piece of jewelry with the deceased’s handwriting customized into the piece. Old cards and letters can help you find just the right word or phrase.
- Give something that reminds them of their loved one’s interests. How about a guitar pic with their name or initials? Or a bookmark with their printed photo? Maybe it’s a donation to their favourite philanthropy or place of worship.
- Write a poem, song or a memory of their loved one. Put inside a frame, scrapbook or simply email. If you’re comfortable with performing your song, send them your video through a private video link or just text a recording from your phone.
- Pick out a pretty stained glass suncatcher. An angel, flower, star, heart, butterfly, feather or dove are all beautiful choices.
- Share a cardinal figure with your friend. Cardinals symbolize many things, from inspiring us to take good care of ourselves to reminders that a loved one is saying hello.
- Buy a brick with an engraving of the deceased’s name or a meaningful quote. Many universities and organizations will make these to raise money for their institutions, which becomes a donation and a piece of history.
- Plant a tree in the loved one’s memory. You can conduct a ceremony in your yard or your friend’s, depending on their preference. Hiring a local arborist is a great way to make sure it’s planted correctly and safely. Trees have meaning, too, so check your plant zones and find something that’ll memorialize that special environmentalist or nature lover.
- Gather a group of friends and dedicate a beautiful park bench to the deceased. Agree on a favourite location. This is a great way to pool your money together and go in on something meaningful.
- Name a star after that bright soul you loved. This is nice for a spiritual person or nature enthusiast.
- Virtually adopt a pet, a child in need or an acre of land to save endangered wildlife. Many organizations will send you a memory card, and share how your gift is helping others.