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Gift Ideas: What Gift to Give When Someone Passes Away

December 27, 2022 5 min read

It’s never easy to console someone who has lost a loved one. It’s not easy to put the words together that will comfort them and express that you will be there for them whenever they need your support.

If you’re struggling to find the right thing to say and want to pay your respects, one way is to present them with a sympathy gift. Of course, you cannot do this without a certain level of care and attention. It’s important to ensure your gift is valued and helps uplift the recipient’s spirits. The last thing you want to do is present a grieving friend or family member with something that will further upset them.

Are you finding it difficult to come up with what gift to give when someone passes away? Don’t worry – we have you covered. Below is a collection of meaningful gift ideas that will hopefully inspire you. Whichever option you choose, it will surely become a treasured keepsake for the recipient as they go through this difficult time in their life.

What is a suitable condolence gift?

Grief is not straightforward. It is a complex process that everyone experiences differently. While this can make gift-giving tricky, it’s helpful to remember the importance of taking a personal approach. Ideally, you want to select a gift that reflects the recipient, as well as the person they lost.

There are different angles you can take with condolence gifts. Here are some of the main options people select:

  • Personalized: A personal gift makes a lot of sense. Whether it is a photo book or jewelry, it’s possible to personalize these to focus on the deceased. They help to ensure their memory remains alive, and the bereaved can keep them close to them in a sentimental form.
  • Thoughtful: A thoughtful gift is one that considers the personality and hobbies of both the deceased and the recipient. If the person who passed away enjoyed baseball, for example, an item like a painting could be created to reflect that hobby. Similarly, if the bereaved enjoys gardening, an ornament for the garden could be suitable.
  • Decadent: Fine wine, a day at the spa, luxury chocolate hamper – there are various routes to take with a decadent gift. This shows how valued the recipient is by those close to them.
  • Practical: Not every gift has to be decadent or customized. With so much going on in the bereaved person’s life, where they’re struggling to handle everything currently on their plate, a practical gift can be appreciated more than you think. This could be everything from a basket of fresh fruit to a large pack of toilet paper. Even the simplest, practical gifts can be most useful to the person going through the loss of a loved one.

Tip: Whichever direction you take, ensure your gift is paired up with a condolence card expressing your deepest sympathies and support for the recipient.

Selecting a thoughtful gift for someone who has lost a friend or loved one

If you need more help with identifying specific gift ideas, here are some thoughtful examples to keep in mind.

T-shirt blanket

When someone has lost a loved one, the typical process is going through the deceased person’s clothing and donating these items to goodwill. However, instead of losing these items full of memories, it is possible to preserve them with a t-shirt blanket.

A t-shirt blanket would be a meaningful option if the deceased had a collection of t-shirts pertaining to a specific interest or hobby. For instance, if they collected band t-shirts or sports jerseys, these can be transformed into a beautiful, personal, and practical item that the recipient can cherish.

Every time they wrap themselves up in the blanket made from their loved one’s clothing, they can think of fun memories they had with that special person and feel close to them.

Picture collage

Following the same approach as the t-shirt blanket, a picture collage is an excellent way to honor a lost loved one. A picture collage can be professionally printed, or, if you decide to add an extra personal touch, it could be handmade. Either way, the collage should feature photos throughout the deceased person’s lifetime, including images of other family members and friends.

Food hamper

We all know the importance of taking care of ourselves. At least, that’s the case when we can think straight. Directly after losing someone, the bereaved can be in such a state of shock and depression that they shut down. Often, they simply don’t have the strength or desire to go to the grocery store to purchase food and essentials.

This is why a food hamper can be an appropriate, appreciated gift option. Hampers can be bought premade; however, it is often wise to make your own custom hamper full of items you know the recipient will like. This can include a range of their favorite snacks and drinks. You can also throw in a few extra bits and pieces to give the hamper a personal touch.


When thinking of sympathy gifts, the first thought usually turns to flowers. This is for a good reason. Flowers brighten up a room instantly. They also serve as a subtle reminder of life and its beauty, which helps the recipient reflect in a comforting, hopeful way for the future.

Flowers are also a suitable gift option in two different situations. One: you cannot think of any other gift – although this list should help. Two: you’re not too familiar with the bereaved, and you want to avoid giving something that is too personalized or risky.

Keepsake box

If a loved one passes away, the bereaved may become attached to items they once owned. These items serve as a way to remember those who have gone, and they can include everything from jewelry to little holiday trinkets.

Rather than have these items dotted around, you can purchase or make a keepsake box. This gives the bereaved a place to gather all these mementos, keeping them in a safe spot that they can look through whenever they want to reminisce about old times with their lost loved one.

Garden memorial

There are various choices available for a garden memorial. A plant pot, stone, engraved plaque, or a bench – these are just some of the items that can be personalized to include the deceased’s name, a special quote, or something else that would memorialize their life. Every time the bereaved go into the garden, they receive a regular reminder of the wonderful impact their loved one had on them in life.

Final Thoughts

Giving a gift to a grieving friend or family member after losing a loved one is challenging. With emotions high, it can be hard to know what to give someone and whether or not it will be well received. However, by choosing any one of the ideas mentioned in this guide, you can be sure your gift will be a safe choice – and one that the recipient will love and treasure.

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