Gift-giving is a thoughtful way to show someone you appreciate them. It’s even more meaningful and special to give a present to a friend or loved one who has experienced tragedy and loss. A sympathy gift tells that person that you acknowledge and empathize with their suffering. A study found that 85% of consumers sent flowers as a sympathy gift. Although flowers are an obvious choice, they aren’t the only things we can give to those in grief.
This article talks about appropriate sympathy gifts and gift-giving etiquette during such a difficult time in someone’s life.
When are sympathy gifts appropriate?
Sympathy gifts are not required. For some, a phone call, text message, sympathy card, or homemade dish is enough to share your condolences. However, sending a sympathy gift shows that you have gone the extra mile to make the person feel supported and remembered. If you were in the same situation, you would be greatly comforted knowing that someone made an effort to reach out to you.
The only time when giving a sympathy gift may be inappropriate is, for example, when certain customs in that person’s religion go against it. If you’re offering food, ensure that the dish falls within the recipient’s dietary restrictions
What gift should I send based on the relationship?
The kind of gift to send also depends on your relationship with the deceased or the family. If the deceased is an immediate family member or close relative, funeral standing wreaths, standing crosses, and casket flowers are ideal. You can also opt for a more personalized present, such as a framed photograph, memorial jewelry, or any other keepsake that honors the deceased’s life.
If you don’t know the person or the family well, it’s best to stick with flowers or gift baskets. Colleagues and coworkers usually pitch in to buy a group gift to show support. Bringing food will provide the deceased’s family temporary relief from the stress of cooking while coping with their grief.
What are other unique sympathy gifts?
Are you thinking of going above and beyond traditional sympathy gifts? We’ve listed some one-of-a-kind and creative gifts that will show your friend or loved one that you’ve given much thought to the kind gesture:
A memorial plaque displays the deceased’s name, birth and death dates, and an illustration or design of your choosing. It can also contain a heartfelt message or quote.
Lighting a candle to honor the memory of those who have passed has been a tradition for centuries. Candle lighting may have different meanings and significance across various religions and cultures, but one thing is the same: it helps us connect with the deceased’s spirit by creating a serene and solemn atmosphere.
Keepsake Book or Album
A keepsake book or album contains messages of hope and comfort and photos of the deceased’s most precious moments while they were still alive.
Is giving money customary and proper?
While cash or cheque may seem like a more effortless gift, it is considered the most valuable and dynamic. A monetary donation goes a long way and gives the family the freedom to decide where to spend it. Funeral expenses can take quite a toll on the family’s finances, especially if the person that passed away was the breadwinner. Any amount would be of great help.
The key is to place the donation inside a sympathy card or envelope discreetly.