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What Should I Get Someone When They’re Grieving? December 21, 2018

It has long been a tradition to give flowers as a sign of sympathy at the loss of a loved one. Through the years, however, more and more families are requesting other forms of recognition in lieu of flowers. In such instances, following a family’s wishes can be easy. All it takes is reading the obituary or calling the funeral home to discover any such requests. What, however, is an acceptable gift if you prefer not to send flowers and the family has made no specific requests? Here are gifts that can be appropriate for someone who is grieving.

Make a Donation

Making a donation to a favorite charity of the deceased is a nice way to honor them. Consider a gift to a college or church they attended. Perhaps they volunteered for a certain organization. A gift to a non-profit dedicated to fighting a disease associated with the death is also appropriate.

If you are not familiar with an organization that they may have supported, choose one that you are comfortable with. Adding a handwritten note letting them know of your donation is a nice personal touch.

A Living Plant or Tree

Some people prefer not to give flowers because they are short-lived. That issue can be resolved by sending a live plant or tree that can be transplanted and kept following final services. Such a gift can be sent directly to the family’s home.

A Memorial Stone

A Memorial Stone that can be placed near a tree or in a family garden can be a heartwarming gift that the family will appreciate for years. These stones can carry an inspiring message or image that may include an angel, rainbow, religious symbol or sunrise. They often can be personalized.

A Self-Care Basket

It can be thoughtful to send a note to a grieving person expressing your sympathy. The note should include how important it is for the person to take care of themselves. Include a “basket” of self-care gifts that may include a massage, manicure or other pampering treatment. It could include a scented candle, weekend getaway or gift card to a favorite restaurant. Depending on your relationship with the person, tickets to a theater performance or sporting event may be appropriate.


There are plenty of tasteful jewelry items that can serve as a perfect gift for a grieving person including a number of pendants and necklaces. You can choose pendants that have religious symbols and images, hearts, an infinity symbol, butterflies and a host of others.

Gift Certificate for Home Services

Gift certificates for house cleaning, lawn services or even childcare when appropriate can be a welcome gift for someone who is grieving. This can relieve them of some of the day-to-day duties following the death of a loved one.

Final services and the traditions surrounding them are constantly changing. It wasn’t that long ago, for instance, many established religions considered cremation taboo, yet today, most final services involved cremation. We have seen a rise in “Celebrations of Life” as opposed to traditional, somber ceremonies. Modern obituaries are frequently more personalized and include insights into the deceased’s personality. We’ve also seen a shift in meaningful gifts that are being sent to a grieving person.

If you would like assistance in planning final services customized for someone you care about or would like to begin pre-planning a unique service of your own, we invite you to contact us at Fares J. Radel Funeral Homes and Crematory. Proudly serving families in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky for over 125 years.

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