Sympathy Gift Etiquette

Following proper sympathy gift etiquette is important after a friend or relative has lost a loved one. However, it can be hard to find a gift that accurately expresses your feelings during a tough time. Are sympathy flowers enough? Are sympathy plants appropriate? These guidelines about sympathy gift etiquette can help you choose a thoughtful gift that will be appreciated.

Religious Traditions
Some religions do not find flowers appropriate as a sympathy gift. Flowers die, and then the mourner has to throw them out, which can be emotionally painful. Instead, a plant might be better because it is alive and will continue on with gentle care. An especially nice idea is to get a plant that can be planted in the yard and thrive for years to come. Then you've sent them a reminder of life, rather than loss. Also, some people request a donation to a charitable cause in lieu of flowers. Make sure you find out if the family has expressed wishes along these lines.

Keepsake Gifts
If you have no guidelines regarding a sympathy gift, you could give a gift of a picture frame or picture album that could hold photo memories of the loved one who passed. Another idea in this category is a keepsake box for the friend or family to put in mementos of the person's life. Some companies will make a necklace out of a picture or other keepsake, and that might be a consideration for a gift if you were close to the person suffering the loss.

Getting Through This Time
Sympathy gifts to help the loved ones get through this grieving period would include a meaningful book or some relaxing music. You could also give tea or other cozy and comforting items. This shows you care about those who are grieving and wish to support them.

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