Through different eyes and unique sympathy gifts, the burden of grief can be released with the intention of sharing the hurt or feeling of loss.
Until we have our own experience with grief, we can't even guess the turmoil one's heart will go through when someone they love dies. And although we can sympathize with them, we still do not know how deep and cutting the loss can be.
Still, our hearts tell us we need to do more to help those who face grief.
Our hearts tell us we need to bear the burden with them by offering something of ourselves to be strong against the sorrow.
Our hearts tell us that as we remain, we need to tell all who live that we too remember the lost loved ones, will remember them always.
Our hearts tell us that we need to give something more than ourselves, something that will show those who are grieving that we honor the occasion of the deceased's passing.Sympathy gift ideas.
Our hearts tell us. We want to give something as a gesture of assistance, but what sympathy gifts can we give?
Remember. We are all so individual in our grief.
No one knows how long we hold onto it to let it go it's course or how quickly we send it away to continue on with our lives.
However, by being one in helping to console those who have lost someone dear to them, you can lighten the load with your personal touch in your sympathy gifts. Those who are mourning appreciate it. At times, their hearts can be so heavy; all they need is the support to carry them forward.
Your personal touch should say what you feel in sharing the burden of their death but also have the high consideration for how they feel. So depending upon how well you know the bereaved, your actions of sympathy, albeit in sympathy gifts, should and will have a great calming and healing effect.
Sometimes you may feel that you want to give more than you already have...
Sympathy gifts. Gifts that promote healing. Memorial gifts that uplift the spirit and bring comfort. What can you give?
Unique condolence gift ideas are a start but FIRSTLY....all you have to do is remember. This person or family who is now struggling with their loss, do you know, do you remember, as they do, something about the deceased? What is it that will now stand the test of time to be a true marker or tribute to that person who has passed from this earth, and what sympathy gifts can you give that will act as testimony for them?
What do you remember about the deceased? What memory needs to be told to the survivors so they too will hold it in their hearts?
What can you give that will keep the memories alive as time passes by? What unique condolence gift ideas, what unique sympathy gifts will extend your message of caring?
Sympathy Gifts and Ideas
The Written Word - do you have a favorite passage that celebrates life? Do you know any poetry that would make those who are grieving aware that the burden of their sorrow is also held in your heart in hopes it will ease even the smallest part of their grief?
Sympathy Cards - there is always a large selection of sympathy cards in department stores with appropriate condolence messages, but by adding thoughts in your own handwriting your card will be filled with extra comfort. This shows you are considerate for those who are grieving; keeping your distance as they start their journey of mourning yet making yourself available in their thoughts when they have time to read the card.
Thoughts such as:
'Please know I'll be keeping you in my thoughts and in my heart and wishing you all the strength you need today and in the days to come', or
'It seems the deepest feelings are the hardest to convey, but I'm hoping you'll understand that even though words can't say...my thoughts and prayers are with you', or
'The one (or name) who you loved so much is safe within God's care, and we're keeping you safe within our love because we care so much for you.'
Cards can be unique sympathy gifts all by themselves, particularly if they are handmade. Be it hand drawn, or a collage of memories specific to you and the deceased (pictures, ticket stubs from a play, receipt from a major purchase, etc.), this may be a connection that would have otherwise never been known.
Tear Bottles - a small delicate bottle, something to represent and symbolize the tears shed during the period of grief and reminder of how fragile life really is. Effective as memorial gifts they can be used to capture actual tears, and history tells us that when the tears evaporated from the bottle, the mourning period came to an end as well.
For the Loss of a Child
It is unimaginable. Whether you are a parent or not, the loss of a child resonates as time moves past a life unfinished. The order in which life is supposed to flow is now in an upheaval. Assumed life events are now only fragmented wishes that will never be...
Sympathy gifts for the loss of a child can be your way of showing the bereaved parents and family that you recognize and also feel the loss. Giving a gift in memory helps in sharing the burden of grief, to make each tomorrow a day closer to resolve and coming to terms about the loss.
Because you have and know your history with the bereaved, walk with them on their road to recovery. It may simply mean giving them a gift tomorrow, a year from now, or 4 years from now. Show them that you care and that you think about them, because the loss of a child never, ever, leaves a parent's heart; they will appreciate your lasting support.
Flowers for a Funeral - sent as condolence, flowers given by you can portray the sentiments you may not be able to express in words. The ritual of giving flowers has strong history, with the flowers themselves carrying meanings. Here is a list:
Dark Crimson Rose.....mourning
Immortal flowers.......unfading remembrance
Red Poppy...............eternal sleep
Tea Rose................I'll remember always
White Carnation.......honor deceased Mother
White Rose..............honor deceased Father
Zinnia.....................in memory of a dear friend
Death can bring forth a flood of emotions that we may never expect. If the death of someone makes you feel blackness, then share this feeling as your burden by giving a Laburnum arrangement. If you want only to comfort the family, then give White Poppies. Your relationship with the deceased and the living will define the extent of your sentiment, which flowers will memorialize the deceased, and which sympathy gifts you can give.
Before you decide which flower will best suit your situation, call your florist for availability.
Another consideration about flower giving is the arrangement of the flowers themselves. The
Sympathy Flower Shop
website offers wisdom on the etiquette involved in giving flowers to the bereaved as well as a "Frequently Asked Questions" page.
Once the arrangement is chosen and made, ensure your attached card explains to the survivors the reason for the choice of flowers. Or write it in a sympathy card. Or just tell them. This sentiment and your attention to even this detail will be greatly appreciated.
Quilted Memories - we know there is little that can be done to ignore the depth and length of grief. But there comes a time however, for those who hold dearly to the physical objects - especially clothing or favorite home accessories that distinguished the deceased, to let this past go. That can be a difficult process. Yet, when they are ready to do so, why not take bits of these items and make a memory quilt, a grieving quilt that offers solace in solemn times of missing their loved ones. A favorite blouse, a cap, a mitten, the funny pants they wore for Halloween, the curtains in the kitchen, the cloth bag that held their penny collection - all these can be stitched to emotionally hold the story of the lost loved one. Unique sympathy gifts such as this become heirlooms.
First Year Death Anniversary - the week or two leading up to the anniversary is an opportunity to show love and caring to a bereaved friend or family. They have made it through a year of "firsts" and the wound of death is opened again to be soothed. Once again, sending flowers with a specific meaning, along with bereavement gifts that immortalize the deceased, would be welcomed.
Create a Shrine - what best memory of the deceased would lend itself to a sacred place where those who loved them could revisit the days of their life?
Temporary Grave Blanket - sometimes it can be months before the earth settles on a grave site. The barren, cold earth can be too harsh as a reminder of the death. Why not soften this reality for the family by putting a temporary cover to "warm" the resting spot? Sometimes sympathy gifts such a this will also warm their hearts, regardless of when you give them.
There is always time for remembering; it is the first part of expressing sympathy - any time following the death of loved ones.
Traditionally, grave blankets are made from live pine branches, ribbons, and bows. They were used to decorate grave sites in the winter when flowers either weren't available or it was too cold, and at one time they were a popular Christmas tradition. A florist can help you create or design; personalize it to honor the life of the deceased - a hobby, a talent. Choose your materials according to the time of year (to withstand wind/snow/rain) and also to represent the family's tastes. Many families visit the grave site of their lost loved ones...have the blanket made and placed on the grave either with a weather-proof note attached from you or have a letter delivered letting them know you're thinking about how they're coping with their loss.
Why not just use a "blanket"? Canvas, polyester, indoor/outdoor carpeting with a singular word stencilled and cut out. Hope. Hero. Son. Love.
*Note: It may be necessary to check first with the groundskeepers of the graveyard as to what is allowed for grave decorations as memorial gifts.
Solar Memorial Lights - can have a calming effect at grave's side. Give them in the deceased's favorite color, or if possible, find lights that represent a portion of the life of the one who has passed.
Personalized Sympathy Gifts - such as a memory box to hold sympathy cards or even cherished personal effects.
Make the memory box even more valuable in sentiments by using wood that embraces the history of the deceased person - the box featured here was made from pieces of wood saved from the original homestead of the grandparents of the deceased.
Plants - Perennials planted and adorned with a stone marker where the deceased was known by many to spend most of their life, or grave stone embellishments (be they plant or material) could also be taken into consideration for memorial or sympathy gifts.
A person's handwriting is very distinct, just as unique as fingerprints. More so, their personal signature can be something that is instantly recognizable. Have the deceased's personal signature embossed, engraved, lasered, or cut by scroll or coping saw into wood or metal.
Create a Memory Cloth - For the tears of their sorrow, embroider the deceased's name and the date of their death on a handkerchief. Or use the memorial card from the funeral - it's information can be transferred and printed onto the cloth or linen you choose. Either of these could be well received as sympathy gifts.
Design a Mosaic Photo or Picture - what better way to preserve some of the personality of a lost loved one. Gathering photos from all aspects of their life or even one main theme that is recognizable and defines that person and then having a mosaic photo designed can make for unique sympathy gifts.
The "Forever in our Hearts Memory Box." This acid free box will insure that anything you store inside will not tarnish or discolor from coming in contact with the box. Click on the photo for more details.
Keep their memories alive with this wall frame which measures a generous 11 1/2" square and holds a 5" x 7" photo.
It can be adjusted wall hanging or makes a perfect addition leaning on a shelf for display. Click on picture for more details.
A personalized pocket token. So distinctive. Just another way to keep their memory close, it can be slipped into a vest pocket or even hang it from a chain. Worth a look - click on the photo for more details.
A Jewelry Locket - although small, a locket can hold an entire lifetime of memories for someone who is grieving. And the contents can remain close to their hearts.
Glass Cremation Urns in the form of nuggets and pendants - Similar to cremation urn lockets except a sprinkle of ashes is mixed into a melted glass mixture that is then formed into a glass style nugget or pendant that can be worn.
Memorial Tablets or engraved Patio stones or Garden Rocks - Design your own message to the deceased which allows you to memorialize their life in your own special way.
The Eulogy - can be a very moving tribute to the deceased. If you know the individual who presented their memoirs, take the Eulogy to a printing shop and have a specialized booklet or print for framing made up to give to the survivors.
A Personal Journal for grieving - with a cover which fits the personality of the deceased and/or the survivor. You can start the journal with how you feel about the loss and invite the survivor, at their own time, to begin and describe their journey of loss.
A Park Bench - with your personal message inscribed or engraved on a plaque and mounted is also a wonderful way to pay tribute or homage to a special someone.
The Comfort Company has a highly unique, one-of-a-kind selection of keepsakes & sympathy gifts - some of the ideas I've mentioned on this page. This company has made a name for itself - they've been seen in publications such as the "Chicago Tribune" and "Good Housekeeping Magazine", and have been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show.
Click anywhere on the photo to go directly to their site.
Sometimes knowledge and the gift of Thinking may be just what is needed in helping someone reconcile their loss. With the tragic loss of my brother (2000) I found myself desperately needing to share with his wife that we felt the same about our loss, that if there was any way to keep his memory alive, we would find it.
In the strangest of coincidences, by simply having a desire to read to my children about the planet earth, this is what I learned. And I wrote the following to become sympathy gifts that moved each of us:
The Air That We Breathe
We know that the air we breathe has oxygen but we never give it another thought. But somewhere, some time ago, some scientist discovered there were other components to air, one of them being a gas called argon.
Although it makes up not even 1% of air, in one breath that you exhale there are over 30 million atoms of argon. In a few minutes, the atoms you have just exhaled will travel through your house, down the road, through the neighborhood, and eventually they will make their way around the world; a year from now some of them will be right back where they started – in you. And not just in you but in the birds cheeping in your back yard, the dog next door, your friends, people closest to your heart…
These argon atoms are extraordinary . They never change and they never die, they stay around forever. Think of the multitude of earth’s creatures that have used and shared argon as we again use and share it today – the dinosaurs, mammoths, John F. Kennedy, Elvis…
This air that we breathe joins all of us together for eternity; while we go about our own personal journeys and beyond, we are still together. While we feel the love of those who share the grief of our loss with a warm embrace, tears or thoughtful words, we are joined together.
And you know, if only for the briefest of moments, here and there, I know our sorrow will be calmed because I know we are, and will still be, sharing the air of our loved one’s breath.
-with much thanks to "You Are the Earth" (1999) by David Suzuki and Kathy Vanderlinden. (paraphrased)
Please feel free to use this passage for your sympathy gifts if you feel it represents your own sentiments.
Sympathy Gifts, Unique Condolence Gift Ideas and Memorial Gifts bring Extra Comfort for the Grieving
Keeping memories alive is what your sympathy gifts will do. The state of sorrow over the death of a loved one gradually spreads itself on the living as a dark heavy burden. A gift which captures a moment in the deceased's life warms grieving hearts and sends a message that says, "you are not forgotten".
Keep checking back for more unique condolence gift ideas.