15 Sympathy Gifts (That Aren’t Flowers) to Show You Care
Everyone processes grief differently. Help your loved ones through their mourning period with these thoughtful sympathy gifts.
Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.
RD.COM, VIA MERCHANT (4)
Losing a loved one is one of the hardest things someone ever endures. But comforting your friend or family member during their darkest times can help them move forward with the healing process. When condolence messages just aren’t enough, these sympathy gifts can communicate your care and compassion in a big way.
From presents inspired by art therapy to journals that can guide someone through the complex process of letting go, these condolence gifts help express love at a time when someone likely needs it the most. After all, nothing says, “I’m thinking of you!” quite like a gift that best celebrates the person they’ve lost. You can’t go wrong with these thoughtful sympathy gifts that can help bereaved friends and family members feel loved and taken care.
For the one who lost a grandparent: Seeds of Life Memory Tree
Planting a Seeds of Life Memory Tree is a beautiful way to remember someone special. When you order it for the bereaved, an oak tree is chosen for the lost loved one that can grow in the area where the mourner lives. Each memorial gift kit has everything you need to grow the tree, and some of these trees might grow to be over 80 feet tall. When offering this gift, you may also want to share the best time to water plants and trees with your loved one.
For the one mourning a partner: Worry Stone Custom Photo Necklace
This custom photo necklace will empower a grieving loved one to express their love by carrying an image of their partner everywhere they go. The worry stone is a symbolic way to soothe oneself, and Leesa Storfer created these necklaces with another layer of comfort: the customized pendant with the photo of one’s lost partner. Consider these best quotes on love that are comforting even after one’s partner has passed.
For a grieving child: Lifetimes: A Beautiful Way to Explain Life and Death to Children Book
Written by Bryan Mellonie and Robert Ingpen, Lifetimes: A Beautiful Way to Explain Life and Death to Children is a wonderful, sensitively written book that is sure to comfort children and parents. It helps kids better understand death and grief, as well as “the stuff in between” birth and death. The lovely text is perfectly complemented by lush, gorgeous illustrations. If you’re wondering what to say to a child while giving them sympathy gifts, read about how to comfort a grieving loved one.
For someone who said goodbye to a pet: Pet Memorial Wind Chime
Dogs truly become part of the family and leave every family member grieving when they pass away. This wind chime is a thoughtful memorial present that can help keep the pet’s memory alive. It has a two-sided drop pendant shaped like a paw with a sweet sentiment about pets on each side. The 18-inch metal cast wind chime has four musical tubes that play soothing sounds. It comes beautifully displayed in a gift box, and you may also want to include a card with words about loss that can comfort the bereaved.
For the one celebrating the memories: Aura Mason Digital Picture Frame
With its capacity to hold and display unlimited photos and videos, Aura’s Mason digital picture frame empowers the bereaved to celebrate many memories of a lost loved one. It’s a lovely reminder that a life was well-lived. With the frame’s video display and built-in speaker, mourners can even see a lost loved one in action and hear their voice whenever they want. Also consider how science could make memories last forever.
For someone who lost their best friend: Han’s Laser 3D Crystal Portrait
Whether it’s sudden or expected after a long illness, the loss of a best friend can hit someone especially hard. Help your grieving loved one celebrate the bond they had with their best friend by giving them a 3D crystal portrait of the two of them taken during happy times. You can also engrave it with the names of the friends or a special message, and it comes in a gift box. When writing the card, consider these quotes on loss that can comfort the heart.
For mourners who need comfort sweets: Harry & David Vegan Cookie Gift Box
Sympathy gifts don’t get much sweeter than this vegan cookie gift box. These treats offer a pick-me-up on a hard day for mourners, and they’re made with plant-based eggs so anyone with a sweet tooth can dig right in. This box includes individually wrapped sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, frosted cut-out cookies and marshmallow chocolate chunk cookies. When writing the accompanying card, be sure to consider these hilarious cookie puns to bring a smile to their face during a tough time.
For those who want to write their feelings: Guided Grief Journal
Created by Stephanie Greer, the Guided Grief Journal offers mourners a safe space to get all their feelings out of their head and onto paper. It’s a safe space to express things they’d be too afraid to tell others, and they can express the full extent of their sadness or frustration about the death of a loved one. It’s also a way to better process those complicated feelings and find a sense of peace. After all, keeping a journal is one of the ways you can keep a positive attitude and feel more uplifted.
For those who need daily support: Healing After Loss Guidebook
Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations For Working Through Grief by Martha Whitmore Hickman is an everyday meditation guidebook for the grief process. It doesn’t promise that things will be great, but it does offer a daily ritual that can be comforting. Simply choosing to meditate—even when they don’t feel like it—can provide a daily structure when mourners feel lost. These breathing exercises for relaxation can also bring a sense of calm within a minute.
For one who needs a getaway: Princess Cruises Gift Card
Sometimes the best way to mourn a loss is to simply escape the pain for a week or so on a cruise. While nobody can outrun grief, they might be cheered up with a break from their day-to-day responsibilities and the constant reminders of their loss. A Princess Cruises gift card lets your loved one choose where they want to go and when they’re ready for their adventure. It’s these thoughtful sympathy gifts that can bring cheer to dark days.
For those with complicated grief: Forgiving What You Can’t Forget Audiobook
In Forgiving What You Can’t Forget, author and narrator Lysa TerKeurst wrote a wonderfully crafted audiobook to help people stop suffering because of what others have done to them. It’s one of those compassionate sympathy gifts for people who are left confused in their grief because of a complicated relationship with a loved one who passed away. Consider also discussing these inspiring stories of forgiveness.
For the griever who’s stressed out: Therapy Dough
While bereavement therapy can be very beneficial while mourners grieve, this therapy dough can provide a distraction for the moment. Modeled after art therapy clay that helps patients cope with stress and negative feelings, this dough smells wonderful because it’s infused with essential oils. It’s made to be reused often, so mourners can simply put the dough back in the jar when they’re done and play with it again anytime they need some comfort.
For the one who is comforted by angels: Angel Remembrance Figurine
Angels are a comforting idea for many people who are grieving. Whether they take inspiration from angels in world-famous paintings or believe that angels can perform medical miracles, this angel remembrance figure can soothe a believer. It’s 9 inches tall and comes in a lovely gift box. The elegant angel statue comes with the “Sending You An Angel” poem card, and you can fill out a dedication about the person who will be remembered with the figurine. It looks beautiful displayed on a shelf or even a personal prayer space.
For those dealing with a sudden death: I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye Book
I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye is a book written by Pamela D Blair, PhD, and Brook Noel for those who must cope with a sudden loss. The authors know what loss is like, and they are compassionate guides through the process. This book will help the mourner cope with sudden grief in those first few difficult weeks, and also offers help for longer-term grief, including the physical effects of it. Here are some more quotes about moving on and letting go that you might share with your loved one.
For those struggling to move on: Remembrance Casting Heart
A simple, yet powerful, thing to do is write a message to a lost loved one. Danyelle M. DeLucia’s beautifully designed clay casting heart kit comes with a paper and pencil so that the bereaved individual can write a message to the person who passed away. Then, they can tuck the message into the clay heart and put it into a body of water. The ritual helps celebrate the life of the person and provide a healing ceremony of letting go.
Stop hunting for the best products and deals—get our expert scoop on secret sales and discounts, gift ideas for everyone and can’t-miss products. Sign up for the Stuff We Love newsletter.