6 Alternative Sympathy Gifts to Flowers


Offering a sympathy gift to someone who has just lost their loved one is a tradition, but it can be hard to know what is the best thing to give someone who is grieving.

Flowers are evergreen but have become very common and emanate a lack of thoughtfulness. Irrespective of their beauty, flowers also have a temporary lifespan – this alone is the perfect reason to opt for a different present.

To help find the perfect sympathy gift, here are some options that don’t involve flowers:

  1. Online memorial

The internet has become a crucial part of our daily life and it is difficult to imagine even one day without it. With almost all of our activities shifting online, a thoughtful sympathy gift could be joining one of the many sites that help you create an online memorial. Unlike other physical objects that can be broken or lost, an online memorial can be preserved forever because of its digital nature. A memorial page is very easy to create and can include contributions from friends and family. For more details, check Memories.

Starting an online memorial page is as simple as uploading a profile picture, choosing a background, and entering key memories from the life of the deceased. You can add digitized photos, videos, and documents, record messages, and invite those closest to the dearly departed to contribute.

  1. Rosemary bush


Native to the Mediterranean region, the Rosemary Bush has become a universal symbol of remembrance. It’s a small plant, with a rich, aromatic fragrance and beautiful leaves resembling a pine tree. For centuries it has been kept near the tombs of loved ones, with the tradition continuing today.

A rosemary bush can be given in a nice pot to sit near the resting place of the deceased, likewise, it could be kept at home as a sign of remembrance for the dearly departed. The plant’s sweet aroma will also act as a reminder of the deceased everytime the scent is present. The smell could also make it feel like the deceased are still with them.

  1. Candle


Light is a symbol of hope and warmth. When someone loses a person who was close to them, they feel lost and despaired. Lighting a candle at such times is believed to bring a sense of calm to those who have just lost a loved one. Candles are also lit for prayer purposes or to offer peace to a deceased soul – this is the exact reason we light candles in the church on Christmas.

To add a personalized touch, you can also find out what scent the deceased liked and give their loved one a candle with the same smell. This will remind them of their loved one whenever the candle is burning – try getting a few variations for a longer-lasting effect.

Additionally you could get candles scented with lavender and chamomile, as the scents are used to promote relaxation, while floral scents like ylang ylang and rosemary are considered to be soothing

  1. Memory jar


A memory jar is another great gift you can give the bereaved when trying to think outside the box.

The purpose of a memory jar is to offer a place where people can include pieces of paper with memories written on them. You can create a memory jar by decorating it with some pictures of the lost loved one or images that represent their passions – the options are endless.

You can place the memory jar at the funeral and ask everyone attending to add their favourite memories of the deceased. Unlike journals, which can be time consuming, a memory jar is a simple and thoughtful gift. Guests just scribble their best memory with the person on a piece of paper and slide it in the jar.

After the funeral, you can give it to the bereaved. It will give them a great sense of joy wherever they go through the contents. The cost incurred is also minimum as you can easily use an empty jam jar at home and transform it with a few DIY tricks. However, if your budget is not restricted,  you can buy a decorated glass jar from any e-commerce site or nearby gift shop.

  1. Memory quilt


A memory quilt is a very useful and thoughtful sympathy gift for a person who has just lost someone close to them.

Collect some images and create a memory quilt that can take them back to the times they had spent together. You can hire a professional or take out your own sewing kit to give a more personalized touch.

A memory quilt will generate a sense of belongingness and can help remind them of the happy times with the person they’ve just lost. The person grieving the loss of a loved one could also sleep with the quilt, which could make them feel as if the deceased is still close by.

  1. Food for the bereaved


Losing someone is never an easy time, especially for the immediate family of the deceased.

One way to offer sympathy is to offer to cook food for the immediate family of the person who has passed. You could cook a nourishing meal that is easily transportable and non-perishable so they could store it for days if not consumed immediately – we all know organising a funeral is time consuming.

If you are not that great at cooking, you can simply offer a hand at picking up all the groceries. Another option would be to give them a basket of non-perishable snacks they can use for several weeks or a fresh food gift basket to offer condolences.

  1. Offer comfort to the grieving

In such difficult times, the best gift can sometimes be to offer some comfort to the person grieving the loss of a loved one. Lend an ear and listen to them grieve or try to remember the happy memories you all share. Sometimes human interaction is all someone needs.