10 Best Gifts to Send Instead of Flowers When Someone Dies

It's hard to know what to send when someone dies instead of flowers. Although many people opt for ordering flowers for death online, there are many other unique sympathy gifts to show you care in lieu of flowers. We've gathered up ten funeral gift ideas, so you know what to send instead of flowers.

These suggestions on what to send instead of flowers will help you know what to send for condolences that makes you feel like you're having an impact. 

Some of the best sympathy gifts are the easiest ones to send.

1. Ideas for meal help after a loved one dies.

People who are grieving generally don't have the appetite or energy to fix meals or eat fresh food after a loved one dies. Dropping off smaller portions of frozen meals such as soup or casseroles are practical gifts and a good idea for someone who needs to be nourished with a home cooked meal.

Setting up a meal train, so friends can drop off meals they have made for the family saves time and the energy of cooking when they are grieving.

Not up to bring food? Gift cards for restaurants and meal delivery services is also another great idea for a grieving family. They are a unique sympathy gift, easy to purchase, never expire and can be used when someone is having a difficult time nourishing themselves in their time of need.

Close friends can contribute gift cards in different amounts and create a sympathy gift box with a personalized message to go along with it. 

Edible arrangements also make nourishing sympathy gifts instead of sending flowers for grief. It's a gift that the whole family can enjoy with their loved one.

If there are children involved, give a gift card to Dairy Queen or Baskin Robbins, or someplace uplifting where the family can go for a joyful break is a good option when the kids feel overwhelmed. Being thoughtful of offering support to the kids is important.

Sympathy Meal Door Dash                         

2. Donating a memorial book to a library.

If you are looking for non-traditional sympathy gift ideas instead of flowers to memorialize a loved one, consider donating a book in their memory to a library. This is a wonderful way to keep their memory alive.

You can donate any type of book, but it's especially perfect gift if it is a book on something their loved one was passionate about. For example, if they were an avid gardener or writer, donate a book on that topic in their memory to the library.

If the bereaved is a grieving friend or family member, you'll be able to select the perfect book to honor their life. Most libraries allow you to add a personal message or handwritten note to the front of the book making it a remembrance gift that lasts much longer than grief flowers.

Best Book on Grief


3. Housekeeping Service

Hiring a housekeeping service for a one time clean up or on a regular basis for a limited period of time can be a thoughtful way to gift to help the family grieving. This allows the family some time to focus on grief and healing instead of handling the daily tasks that can seem overwhelming.

Arranging a housekeeping service with mutual friends is the perfect gesture if you don't want to send flowers.

Another idea of what to send when someone dies is to create a sympathy gift basket with toilet paper, paper plates, facial tissues and other household items that will be used more quickly when there are visitors at the house. 

4. Gift Card for a Spa Service

If you know that a grieving person is tired from lack of sleep or all the emotional demands, in lieu of flowers, consider sending them a gift of services to SpaFinder for a spa service so they can take some time for self-care and to relieve stress.

For example, an aromatherapy massage can be very soothing and relaxing after dealing with death and loss. An aromatherapy gift basket with a bath bomb, scented candle and other wonderful things for a DIY spa experience makes a welcome gift.



5. Grief Support Book

There are many supportive books available on grief support, the grieving process and radical self-care while grieving. A sympathy gift book is a great way to start the healing process and can be kept and read as often as needed.

Daily devotional type books are great ideas during the first month after loss. Attention span is often limited, and short readings can be helpful. Remembering with Love: Messages of Hope for the First Year of Grieving and Beyond is a wonderful companion to someone who is grieving. We've sold this book for years and recipients love it.

Consider giving an Amazon gift card is the perfect way to allow the bereaved to select a book a few months after the loss of a loved one and they may be feeling overwhelmed with their new normal. Gift cards make perfect sympathy gifts other than flowers. They have no expiration date and maintain their value until the card is used.


6. Journal for Grief

A beautiful journal is another great way to practice self-care and start the healing process. Each day, your bereaved friend or family member can write down thoughts and memories of their loved one as it helps with processing grief.

Sometimes it can be so much easier to express feelings, and document special memories in writing. This can also be shared in future years when you want to look back on good times together or share stories with friends about their life.

A journal can also be used as a way to let friends and family record a special message about the person who has died. It can be left open at the funeral home or memorial service, inviting attendees to leave a sweet message for the family members.

Healing Through Grief Journal


7. Memorial Candle

A memorial candle is a thoughtful gift to send to someone to help them remember their loved ones. It can be lit on special occasions, such as their birthday or the anniversary of their death and will provide comfort each time it is used.

Aromatherapy candles can bring a sense of calm, encourage self care and reflection and make a unique gift which can be included with other sympathy gift items for a gift basket. Instead of flowers when someone dies, a candle offers soothing relief to their nervous system.

Memorial Candle with Box


8. Thoughtful Memorial Ornament

A memorial ornament is a loving tribute and thoughtful bereavement gift to remember a loved one during the holidays. It can be hung on the tree each year and will bring comfort as you reflect on happy memories of times spent with them.

Our memorial ornaments are a keepsake that can be sent any time, not just for the holidays.  Our ornaments arrive with a suction cup for year-round display, lasting much longer than funeral flowers.

9. Give them Your Time

Perhaps the best way to support someone who has recently lost a loved one is to simply give them a warm hug and your time. Spend time with them, listen when they want to talk and don't push if they aren't ready.

Spending a few hours of your time each week to help out a grieving friend or immediate family member and let them know you are there for them can make a big difference and provide much needed support.

After the funeral service, offer to go to appointments, grocery shopping or even to visit the cemetery with them. These concrete actions are examples of sympathy gifts other than flowers and go a long way in reminding someone they're not alone. Sometimes the best sympathy gifts cost nothing but your time.

If you need gift ideas on a budget, offer to help write thank you cards, write letters to close accounts, commit to sending a sweet message by text each morning or evening before bed.

There are so many gift ideas that are free, but very valuable in terms of providing support to people whose loved ones have passed away.

Memorial Garden Art Pole

10. Give a Gift of Hope - Memorial Garden Gifts

Many people feel a sense of hope in being able to care for something living. Creating a memorial garden gives a hope for the future.  

There are many lovely memorial gifts to create a peaceful place of remembrance: wind chimes, memorial stones, a memorial bench, a bird feeder or the even planting their loved ones favorite flowers help keep memories alive.  

While flower arrangements are beautiful the moment they arrive, one of the best things you instead of flowers when someone dies is send a gift they can enjoy over time.

Final Thoughts 

Grieving a loved one can be a very difficult process and there is no right thing to do for a bereaved person. If you are looking for gift ideas of what to send as an appropriate sympathy gift instead of flowers, these ten suggestions for can be a great help in a time of loss.

Grief Resources

Free Sympathy E-Cards

Our FREE sympathy cards are a great way to send a little comfort or let someone know a gift is coming.

Browse Sympathy Quotes

Browse our sympathy quotes and messages for find inspiration when you're looking for the right words.

Best Books on Grief

Here are some of our favorite books on comfort, loss and grief. Many are recommendations from our customers.