Watching a friend go through the grieving process can be very difficult. Unfortunately, there is no way to speed up the process and individuals must work through the stages of grief in their own time. As a friend and observer, it’s natural to want to do something to make their life easier.
Finding the perfect memorial gifts ideas is always difficult. You want to give them something special and memorable, but you don’t want to be too morose. It needs to be upbeat, lifting and comforting. So, what exactly should you buy in this situation. Whether you’re looking for a specific occasion like a birthday, or you just want to give them a small token to let them know you’re thinking of them, the following are some of the best sympathy gifts you can offer.
Memorial jewellery is the ideal gift for someone close to you. It is designed to contain the ashes or hair of their loved one, so they can always keep their spirit close. Memorial jewellery is available in many different styles, including rings, pendants, earrings, bracelets, cufflinks and more. You can also choose to have the jewellery engraved with a special
message. Memorial jewellery is very tactile, so it can bring a lot of comfort to someone who is grieving a loss.
Flowers and plants
Perhaps the most popular gift following a death is flowers, but plants are another excellent option. If you know the person will be planting a memorial garden, giving them flowers to add to the garden is an incredibly touching gift. Roses and lilies are a popular choice for memorial flowers. It’s also possible to customise a rose and have it named after their loved one, which would be a wonderfully fitting tribute.
A tree is also a great choice for a memorial gift, as it will provide a special place for the surviving family members and friends to enjoy a quiet moment of reflection. This would be an ideal gift if you know the person likes to spend time outdoors.
Sometimes the best gifts are small but incredibly useful. If you want to give the person a small token to let them know you are thinking about them, something like fluffy socks, a warm blanket or even a hot water bottle would be ideal. These are all inexpensive gifts that will bring a lot of comfort.
Other ideas for comfort gifts include books, DVDs, candles, face masks, notebooks, magazines, pillow spray, coffee mugs and fancy chocolates. You could create a gift basket of goodies to help your friend cope while they navigate the greiving process.
Sometimes the best gift is one that you can experience rather than touch. Experience gifts are the perfect choice for a grieving friend as they will encourage them to get out of the house and enjoy some much-needed distraction. You could get them tickets to a gig or their favourite sports team. You could also give them tickets to popular attractions like the zoo or an aquarium.
Experience gifts might not be appropriate for immediately after a death, as this might seem insensitive, but if you want to let them know you are thinking about them, it could be a perfect choice. Many people who are going through the grieving process find that support comes in thick and fast in the beginning, but people soon drift away and it can become quite lonely. As a good friend, this is when you can swoop in with some much-needed distraction.
Portrait or artwork
Another touching gift idea for a friend would be to commission a portrait or artwork of their loved one. This would be ideal for someone who likes to be surrounded by reminders. They might not be ready to hang this up right away, but once they have passed through the hardest stages of grief, they might find it incredibly comforting to have a beautiful portrait of their loved one in their home.
A more abstract artwork, or a landscape painting of somewhere special might be more appropriate if you know that your friend would struggle to see their loved one’s face every day.
A home-cooked meal
You don’t have to spend a lot on a gift to let someone know that you care. Something as simple as a home-cooked meal can be the ideal gift for a close friend. Grief can make it difficult to do the everyday things that we often take for granted, including making a nutritious meal. Giving your friend a hand with some freshly-prepared meals can be a simple way to support them and let them know you care.
Think about batch-cooked meals that can be heated up and then portioned up for leftovers. This could include meals like lasagna, curry, pasta bake and tagine. You could also give the gift of sweet treats like cupcakes or homemade granola bars.
Your time and support
Alongside physical gifts, there is also a lot to be said for giving your time and attention. Being a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear is often the best gift a friend can give. Grieving can bring up some challenging emotions and it helps to be able to talk through these feelings with a trusted friend. Remember that you don’t have to give advice or guidance. In many ways, it’s more helpful to just listen and give them the space they need to process their grief.
These are just some of the gift ideas you could consider for a close friend. When choosing a gift, remember to pick something that is meaningful to you. Speak from the heart and think about what your friend would find most useful or supportive as they navigate this new stage in their life.
A gift doesn’t have to be expensive to be meaningful or useful, you know your friend best, and you know that something as simple as a pair of fluffy socks could be just the thing they need to be reminded that they have people around them who care.