The grieving process can be long, so it’s kind to provide survivors with the right tools to help them through this difficult time.
While there are many options, some are more appropriate than others. Here is a list of tips/best practices to make your sympathy gifts more meaningful.
1. Handwritten notes and cards are a personal touch in sympathy gifting
The chances of your sympathy gift being well-received go way up when you include a handwritten note or card.
The written word should be heartfelt, unique, and meaningful, especially when sent to someone grieving the loss of a loved one.
If you are unsure what to say in your note, simply acknowledge the loss with something like: “I’m sorry for your loss.”
You could also let them know you are there for them and ready to listen if they need to talk about their feelings surrounding the death.
For example: “Please know that I am thinking about you at this difficult time.”
If you are making a donation, adding a brief note in memory of the deceased lets the recipient organization know the reason for the gift.
2. Send your sympathy gift at the right time and to the right place
A condolence gift can be time-sensitive, but ultimately, it’s down to the giver’s discretion.
You want to let the bereaved know you are thinking of them in their moment of need, which begins as soon as the death occurs. However, it can also take some time to think of the ideal gift if you are thorough.
If your condolence will take more than a couple of weeks from the death to put together, consider sending something (like sympathy flowers) out first.
Then you can put more thought into a subsequent gift against another meaningful date like a memorial or anniversary of the demise.
As for where or whom to send your gift, you can address your sympathy gift to the grieving family or the member you know.
Or send flowers for the service to the funeral home if you are giving flowers for the service.
3. Take the recipient’s preferences into consideration
If the family has asked for memorial donations in lieu of sympathy gifts, make sure you honor their wishes.
Donations can typically be made through the funeral home or via a link on the deceased’s obituary page. So be sure to look before leaping to other gifts unless you’re willing to do both.
Likewise, food items can be a wonderful gesture. Just don’t forget to consider any dietary restrictions and allergies the recipient may have.
If a person has an allergy or religious restriction — or doesn’t eat certain foods — you want to avoid sending them something that could harm them.
Whether you are sending food or flowers, taking note of such lifestyle differences is how to be helpful and avoid offending the bereaved.
4. Consider the recipient’s situation
When offering a living plant or similar gift, keep in mind that it might not be convenient or practical to transport or care for the plant.
Ask yourself what type of environment they live? What kind of things would flourish there? Are there any houseplants that could thrive without much attention? Etc.
Sympathy gift baskets are also acceptable, but you might want to prioritize non-perishable items and ship them directly to the recipient’s home.
In all, consider your relationship with the deceased or grieving party before sending anything to them. Call our Loudonville, NY cremation service today for live help getting sympathy flowers and gifts, among other funeral needs.