When tragedy and sadness strikes, everyone wants to help. Frozen lasagna and homemade cookies are great, but what happens after the meals are eaten? Where do you turn when everyone goes back to their daily lives? What can you do if you see a friend hurting, and you want to let them know you care, above and beyond treats and time?
Check out these simple, but sure-to-please gifts that will help a grieving colleague, friend, or relative know you care. In addition to letting them know you care, these gifts can truly help sustain the relationship that they’ve lost.
The 5″ round Comfort Candle consists of a unique terra cotta candle holder with copper lid. This simple gift will bring remembrance, beauty, and comfort to someone who is grieving. Available with a variety of messages, words, and inspirational quotes on the outside, the inner tea light can be replaced as often as necessary. The candle comes packaged in a loving “ready to gift” box, and is built sturdy and strong, much like the love that still exists for the person who is deeply missed.
WHY IS THIS A GREAT GIFT: Because there are a variety of inscriptions available, there are endless options to allow you to find the perfect one for the person on your mind. In addition, it is an affordable way to show someone you care while giving them a keepsake that they can truly use for many years.
HOW TO USE: Light the candle and place on the family buffet during holidays, family reunions, birthday parties, and more. A simple but subtle look at the flicker of the flame will warm the hearts of those feeling like the right people aren’t in attendance.
WHERE TO PURCHASE: Amazon
can have your Comfort Candle delivered in a flash – Either directly to you, a funeral home, or an address of your choice.
Angel Catcher Journal
The Angel Catcher Journal is an easy to use, self-paced journal filled with prompts, letter starters, and inspirational quotes. In the past decade, it has helped thousands find meaningful ways to overcome the despair of losing a loved one. This is a journal for all ages, for all losses, and for all denominations of faith including those without a religious genre. There is also a kids’ version that is specific to young children dealing with heartache and loss.
WHY IS THIS A GREAT GIFT: This journal is more than meets the eye. Because of its self-guided prompts, it takes the work away from the broken hearted. It also lends itself to a lot of “flipping for the right page” as opposed to following a linear pattern. The Angel Catcher truly lets you reflect and journal at your own pace, letting your emotions steer the wheel. Additionally, this is a great journal even for the person who doesn’t typically like to write their thoughts down.
HOW TO USE: Flip. Read. Reflect. Write. Repeat. The grieving can allow their in-the-moment thoughts to guide the page they turn to. There are no rules, no rights or wrongs, just a guide to allow you the freedom of exploring your inner thoughts and feelings.
WHERE TO PURCHASE:
You can purchase this item through Amazon
. There is also a kid’s version
Thumbies Fingerprint Charm
Each and every person on earth has a unique fingerprint. Much like a snowflake, no two are alike. This timeless gift will allow a grieving family member to feel the presence of their loved one. The Thumbies personalized print charm uses actual fingerprints, hand prints, or foot prints and can adorn a necklace, key chain, ring, or charm bracelet. Coming in a variety of sizes, you can choose the right size and jeweled accessories to fit your needs. Additionally, a sentiment can be added to the back to further memorialize and add personalization.
WHY IS THIS A GREAT GIFT: The intimacy of a thumbprint is a powerful reminder of the person that is missed. Touching the print is like holding hands with an alternate universe.
HOW TO USE: Wear with pride, touch when necessary, hold onto often, sob hysterically as needed. This gift will bring a barrage of emotions.
WHERE TO PURCHASE:
This particular gift is one that you need to be mindful of early on. You will need to be in touch with the funeral director in order to get the thumbprint needed. Before backing out because this seems like too much work, know that it is absolutely attainable as long as you are willing to put a little stealth secrecy into your week. A phone call to the funeral director will get you started. Most after-life care facilities are already aware of the Thumbprint Necklace, but an online form with pertinent information can be found at the Meadow Hill Corporation website
and can guide the process.
Personalized “Writing” Jewelry
Nothing is more personal than that of handwriting; how a person signs their name, the special words or nicknames they have for a loved one, or a favorite phrase that someone longs to hear. Now imagine opening a box that contains a piece of jewelry with just THAT. With this special gift comes a daily love note from the grave, a chance to feel the power of words and the significance of unique handwriting that is specific to someone that is loved.
WHY IS THIS A GREAT GIFT: Much like the Thumbie jewel, this is a gift of extreme closeness. A gift with this much personalization allows a friend or family member to have a daily remembrance of the person they are missing most.
HOW TO USE: The grieving can wrap their hearts around a special message from a special person. They can also wrap their hands around the actual handwriting of their dearly departed.
WHERE TO PURCHASE:
Depending on your relationship with the person you are wishing to gift this to, some level of sneakiness will need to exist in order to get your hands on a handwritten memory. This is something you would need to attain on your own before heading over to Etsy to check out designs by Caitlyn Minimalist
or Vintage Branding Company
This gift is specific to newborn and/or child loss. These bears are unique and special because they are filled with sand to the exact weight of the child that was lost. Bears can weigh as small as .5 ounce and up to 14 pounds. While these bears would never come close to replacing the child that a family is grieving, holding the physical weight of that child is a special thing that can bring closeness to a world filled with emptiness.
WHY IS THIS A GREAT GIFT: To a parent that can no longer hold the child they long for, what a special gift to replicate the exact size of their little one. To siblings that are still grappling with the understanding of this loss, there is now a physical and tangible item to touch, hold, kiss, snuggle, sleep with, and love.
HOW TO USE: This bear could be cuddled in the darkest hours, held in family photos moving forward, and proudly displayed in a favorite area of the house or bedroom. The possibilities are endless, and the appreciation to the end of the world and back.
WHERE TO PURCHASE:
There are two online options to order these weighted bears, each with their own story and their own names. The Alexa Bear
was created by a family who wanted an opportunity to give back and help families with empty arms. These bears are absolutely free and 100% made with love. Similarly, the Molly Bear
was created when a family experienced the loss of their baby at 34 weeks gestation. Their motto is “An angel baby’s cuddle sent to a family in need.” They only accept a certain number of orders per month in order to ensure they meet the supply and demand. To date, they have shipped out 11,452 bears.
It is incredible what the sight of a certain pattern or print can do to cause a nostalgic memory. What if such a print could replicate feelings of closeness? It can, with a teddy bear made out of the clothes that a departed loved one used to wear. You pick the prints and a designer will create an ever lasting gift.
WHY IS THIS A GREAT GIFT: This is a great gift because it gives you the ability to tangibly touch something that was once touched by someone who is no longer here. There is a deep connection with knowing a teddy bear in one’s home is made out of the clothing that was worn by someone who is loved.
HOW TO USE: This gift is great because whether you decide to sleep with it, place it on a shelf, or display it in a case, you can have a daily visual of a loved one. Adults and children alike will appreciate this token of closeness.
WHERE TO PURCHASE:
There are many options, with this Etsy
shop being a favorite. You could also go through local sewing clubs for this gift.
When it comes to grieving, it is a rollercoaster. There are days that no gift on the planet can help heal the heart. There are other days, when gifts like these will be clung to, cried over, and held tightly. When it comes to watching someone you care about go through unimaginable pain and turmoil, rest assured that your friend will know these outside-the-box gift ideas were lovingly thought about and gifted with care.
Wrap them in hugs, bring them frozen food or fresh baked items, find the perfect personalized gift, call and text them often. Most importantly, be present in their lives. Don’t ask what you can do to help, take it upon yourself to just DO something. These gift ideas are a wonderful start to putting a sentimental spark back into the lives of those who have lost tremendously.
No matter what the season of grief is for your friend or family member, there are resources available. Whether they have lost a pet
, suffered a miscarriage
, said goodbye to a parent, sibling, grandparent, or child, reach out.
Photo credits: Mojitos & Munchkins, Molly Bears