Do you know someone who has recently lost a loved one? It can be difficult to know what to say or do during such a sensitive, heartbreaking time.
You want to be there for your friend, but normal gifts and flowers seem trite. Thankfully, you can find plenty of meaningful, inspirational tokens of your care and affection.
Today, we’re sharing 10 gifts to remember a loved one, and what makes them so special.
1. Donation to Charity
Was there a cause that was close to the deceased person’s heart? For instance, if they passed away from a disease, they might have been a champion and cheerleader for a cure while they were still living.
Ask your friend about this, and consider donating a small sum of money to the charitable foundation. Do so in the name of the person who passed away, and you can help further their mission. This is a small yet powerful way to help celebrate the memory of a loved one.
2. Commissioned Portrait
Your friend may have hundreds of pictures of their loved one on their smartphone or digital camera. In addition, they may have family portraits hanging on the hallway or living room wall.
However, commissioned portraits are different. These are special paintings professionally rendered from an original photograph. If you have a picture of the person, then ask an artist to paint their likeness on canvas or heavy paper.
Then, frame the dedicated portrait and give it to your friend.
There’s a reason why lockets have remained on-trend for decades. They’re sweet and sentimental and can be worn on an everyday basis.
These necklaces feature a small charm that opens with a simple clasp, revealing two hollowed-out halves. Add a small picture of your friend to one side of the locket, and their late loved one to the other. Think about the type of jewelry they typically wear and try to find a locket in the same metal.
4. Photo Book
Speaking of photos, how many of us have made an actual, physical photo album recently? If we had to guess, there aren’t many hands raised.
We’ve grown accustomed to storing our photos on our phones, and routinely uploading them to social media. While this is fine, it means that there won’t be any tangible albums for our kids and grandkids to flip through one day!
Remedy this for your friend, and turn their digital photos into a one-of-a-kind photo book that they can look at and enjoy! Most major photo companies will offer this service on their app, and you can also find third-party websites dedicated to helping you preserve your memories this way.
5. Tree Memorial
Flowers make ideal memorial gifts and are especially popular at funerals. However, they don’t last forever and the sentiment of the gift can fade as soon as the petals start to wilt.
Why not give a gift that will keep thriving for years? There are some companies that will send you personalized tree seed packets based on your zip code, designed to do well in your specific weather, climate, and soil conditions.
Once you tend to the plant for a short while, you can transplant it outside. Give the seed and small planter to your friend, and suggest that the tree become a sort of living memorial to their loved one. This way, they can enjoy it as the seasons change and think about all of their special memories together.
You can read more about other memorials here, including urns, headstones, and granite vases.
6. Custom Handwriting Towel
There are certain recipes that are just destined to become family traditions. When someone passes away, those recipes don’t have to die with them.
Check your recipe collection for a card written by the person being celebrated. If you can’t find one, then ask your friend to procure one for you, but don’t say why you need it! Then, find a local craftsperson who can make a digital copy of that recipe and apply it to a range of items, from aprons to kitchen towels.
This is a sweet way to preserve the memory of a loved one, and you can rest assured it will get plenty of use in the kitchen.
7. Memory Candle
Candles are another long-lasting gift that won’t fizzle out in a matter of days. You can find lots of different candlemakers that will create custom labels using any image you want. Send the person’s picture to them, and they can create personalized candles that feature their likeness.
Try to choose a scent that you know the person liked, or see if you can custom-mix your own!
8. Photo Puzzle
Your friend might not feel like playing games during these dark times, but this is still a sweet gesture. Most photo companies will help you put an image on a variety of items, from coffee mugs to blankets.
You can also turn a favorite photo into a puzzle! As all of the family members are gathering together to grieve, this could be a way to lighten the mood and keep the littlest members entertained.
9. Personalized Bird Feeder
Whether the loved one was a bird person or not, bird feeders serve as gentle reminders that life goes on, even amid loss. Engrave one with their name, and give it to your friend as a memorial.
Encourage them to hang it somewhere visible, so they can enjoy the feathered friends that visit it each day.
10. Memory Shirt Pillow
Sorting through someone’s closet can be one of the most difficult steps after their death. While your friend may want to do this part on their own, ask if they can spare a favorite shirt or two.
Then, turn those shirts into keepsake pillow covers. This way, they can snuggle with the comforts of home, no matter where they are.
Not sure how to get started? Here’s an easy tutorial to follow.
Try These Gifts to Remember a Loved One
It can be hard to know what to say when someone suffers a loss. You want to support them, but you don’t want to smother them. You want to help them out, but you know they need their space.
This is where these gifts to remember a loved one come in. These presents allow you to show the other person that you’re there for them, and you’ll walk with them every step of the way.
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