Tis soon the season to be giving right?
We all know in the funeral community how difficult it can be in the winter months for those who are grieving. Grieving alone, grieving with family, grieving at work, grieving during Christmas and now grieving in COVID times where even if we WANTED to we can’t reach out for a hug or call into an elderly neighbour.
I often get asked what makes for a good GIFT for someone who is grieving and, honestly, the person grieving will adamantly say the greatest gift would be their loved one’s return but sadly we can’t do that so we can do the next best thing which is to show our support in some shape or form. I have compiled a shortlist of unique sympathy gifts that might help you to help your own individual grieving communities.
1 - A Memory Tree/Plant: Planting a tree/plant can be a beautiful way to honour the memory of a cherished family member. I know some companies that are eco-conscious already provide this but dropping off a small sapling or seed kit to someone’s door to plant in their loved one’s honour is a beautiful symbol of strength and healing. Once dropped off, you could follow up with a video call explaining your reasoning and offer to help them to plant it when they have chosen the resting place of the tree.
2 - A Charity Donation: Small or large, money typically does not matter when it comes to grief and/or charitable donations. It is the thought that counts. A charity donation can be a great way to honour the memory of a person who has passed away. If the family needs help with setting up a foundation or a fund in honour of the deceased, you could offer assistance there too. Pledgeling is a great company to help with this.
3 - A handcrafted wind chime: A beautiful addition to anyone’s porch or back door are chimes and they can be crafted in many forms which could be personalized using the materials, decoration and sounds. How beautiful to wake in the morning to the sound of chimes that remind you of your favourite person while you enjoy your morning coffee or tea.
4 - Starting a neighbourhood memory book: Purchasing a beautifully bound book with empty pages begging for stories and photos and memorabilia from the neighbourhood and/or community of the deceased. It starts with you, includes a letter with instructions and once complete send it off to the next person. Once it returns to you, have it wrapped and presented to the family or loved one you had in mind. What a treasure.
5 - Trinkets, Ornaments or Frames: Depending on the deceased, a small trinket or ornament or particular frame might be perfect to show their family you are thinking of them. It is a perfect one for this time of year to remember a loved one during the Christmas season. Newbridge Silverware do beautiful small ornament frames that hold a passport-sized photo, Farewell Celtic Ashes offers personalized ornaments that house the ashes of the deceased (pet/human) or paperweights with the deceased’s photo inside. I worked with a family whose mother adored angels and fairies of all kinds so each year they receive one to decorate their Christmas tree in her memory from a family friend.
What a true gift that friend is!
Stay safe and take care of each other is the greatest gift you can give.