Losing a parent is difficult – you’re never prepared for it. Whether you’ve experienced this loss or it’s your first time watching a friend go through it, it always takes a toll on everyone affected. Sometimes, a small sympathy gift can make a huge difference to show support for your friend or family member who just lost their mother. Here are some thoughtful sympathy gifts you can give to help someone who is grieving during their extremely sad time.
Donate to Her Favorite Cause
If she served at a specific homeless shelter every week, take some time out of your day to volunteer in her name. Get to know the people she served with, and talk about your favorite memories of her. If you aren’t able to volunteer because of your work or school schedule, make a monetary donation in her name. The organization and her family will be glad that you cared about her dedication to the cause she loved.
If you know she was an active member of the community and had a large impact on many lives, consider establishing a scholarship or grant in her name. Partner with close family friends and establish qualification criteria. A great way to memorialize her contributions to the community is to have others continue to contribute long after she’s passed. Involve the family in the decisions as much as possible.
Help The Family Out
Death is not only expensive, but it’s also time-consuming during a period when mourners have little emotional energy. There are some different things you can do for the family that will help them as they scramble to organize the necessary tasks that accompany a loss:
- Clean: Offer to clean the house. Whether it’s cleaning the home for an estate sale or the home of a grieving family member, cleaning is one of the many everyday things that falls to the wayside during all of the events that take place. Even just wiping down kitchen counters, dusting the living room or taking out the garbage can make a huge impact. Take it a step further by vacuuming, cleaning the bathrooms or doing the laundry!
- Cook: Even though many people may deliver casseroles and other cooked meals for the family, treat them to a fresh-cooked dinner or an early-morning breakfast. They’ll love the chance to take the night off for a fresh meal instead of reheating something in the oven or microwave.
- Run Errands: Go grocery shopping, pick up the kids from school, babysit – the list goes on. If the family is overwhelmed with deliveries, you can even offer to accept some packages, such as flowers, on their behalf. This will work especially if you live relatively close to them. They’ll be glad to have some more time to dedicate to estate management or funeral planning, especially since those duties can be particularly physically and mentally draining.
Give A Gift – or Two
Even if you focus on providing the family with some assistance in their daily activities after the passing of a mother, you can still provide them with a memorial gift or two. These gifts will hopefully remain in the family for years to memorialize their mother. The goal should be to get the family something that will remind them of their mom during times of the year they miss her most. Focus on something that represents her as an individual – her likes and dislikes, something she was known for or her favorite place to go. Some of the best gifts to give are personalized memorial ornaments because they can hang during Christmas or other times of the year. Attach some hooks to the mantel or to the front of cabinets to hang the ornament once the tree is put away. That way, the family can be reminded of their mother throughout the year. Other unique memorial gifts include plaques, floating candles and picture frames. These gifts are great to use any time of the year. With decor items, look for a gift that fits well inside the house. Try to find neutral tones, such as wood or glass. You will want to give something that blends in and doesn’t look out of place on a bookshelf or hanging on a wall.
Even though losing a mother is one of the most difficult things a family can experience, there are ways you can help to lessen the burden and celebrate her life. Focus on advocating for causes that were important to her and finding unique gifts that memorialize her personality.