10 Perfect Alternatives to Sympathy Flowers
Many people send sympathy flowers when they are grieving, but there are many other ways to show someone that you care. Below are ten funeral gift ideas instead of flowers.
These suggestions on what to give instead of flowers will help you to share your condolences in a meaningful way. 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 great ideas 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 not feeling up to cooking. 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. 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 when the kids feel overwhelmed. Being thoughtful of offering support to the kids is important.
2. Donating a memorial book to a library.
If you are looking for non-traditional sympathy gift ideas 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 fitting if it is a book on something their loved one was passionate about. For example, if they were an avid reader 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. You may be able to add a personal message to the front of the book making it an even better thoughtful gesture.
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 perfect go 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 sympathy gift idea is to create a gift basket with toilet paper, paper plates 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, consider sending them a gift certificate 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.
Consider giving an Amazon gift card so the bereaved can select a book a few months after the loss of a loved one and they may be feeling overwhelmed with their new normal.
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.
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.
8. Personalized Memorial Ornament
A personalized 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.
If you're able to grab a favorite photo from social media, creating a custom ornament is a special way to honor a loved one.
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. Donating a few hours of your time each week to help out a grieving friend or 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 practical sympathy gifts of caring go a long way and are a comforting reminder that they are 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.
10. Create a Photo Album
Creating an album with photos the family may have never seen of the person who passed away is another great option. If the family is going through a hard time, they may be grateful to add more meaningful pictures to those they already have.
See if you can organize an effort to collect photos from multiple sources to create a thoughtful keepsake with sweet messages. Every photo the family receives is a new memory they've not had of their loved one before, making it an even more meaningful keepsake.
Grieving a loved one can be a very difficult process. If you are looking for gift ideas of what to send as an appropriate sympathy gift instead of flowers, these eight suggestions for practical gifts can be a great help.
From donating a memorial book to a library to sending them for a self care spa service, there is sure to be a thoughtful gift option that will fit the needs of the grieving friends and family.