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When a friend or relative is dealing with bereavement, it is often a tradition to send flowers to show that you care. However, for whatever reason, sometimes you may not think it is the best way to convey the message. 

Here are some alternative sympathy gifts that may hopefully bring some respite to them during a difficult time.

  1. Food

    When going through the grieving process, many people will not want to cook or even eat. While it is quite common in the United States for people to give their friends or family members food after a bereavement, it is less common in the UK, which could mean that your friend or family member may really appreciate the gesture.

    Make sure to cook something that you know they will like; some comfort food or a sweet treat. You could go for a pie or stew in the winter, a pasta dish or fresh salad in the summer or a tray of brownies or cupcakes if they would rather something sweet.

  2. Charitable donation

    If the deceased was a regular donator to a charity or benefited from the help of a charity before passing away, their loved ones may ask that you make a charitable donation to their chosen charity in lieu of flowers.

    If the person you are commemorating was battling a particular illness before they passed away, donating to a charity which is working towards a cure or further support would be a great way to honour their memory.

  3. Self care gift

    When a loved one has died, your friend or relative may not be thinking much about looking after themselves. This is why a self care gift can be a great gesture since it will remind them to take some time to relax and look after themselves during the difficult time.

    Consider a pampering hamper filled with toiletries, or perhaps putting together a movie night package to allow them some escapism, complete with popcorn.

    If your friend or family member has children, it could be a good idea to get a little something for them too. This could be a teddy bear for comfort, some sweets or a movie that they might enjoy.

  4. Tree or shrub

    Sometimes, the reason people don’t want flowers after a bereavement is because flowers will eventually die and throwing them away can feel like quite a final step and a reminder of why they were given.

    To counteract the fleetingness of flowers, why not consider a tree or shrub? These plants will last, meaning that your friend or relative will be able to appreciate the beauty of it for much longer.

    You could also include a tag of some kind to commemorate their loved one, attached to the plant.

  5. Your help

    Time can help to heal all wounds, so giving your time to help a friend or relative can be a really meaningful gesture. Whether they have a lot on their plate with regards to organisation or admin following the death of a loved one, or they are struggling to muster the energy, a helping hand can be a lifeline.

    For example, if your friend or family member has children, they may appreciate your help with getting their children to and from school. They might also appreciate some peace and quiet, so helping with childcare for younger children may also be an option. Everyday tasks like housework can often feel too much to someone who is grieving, so pitching in can be a practical and invaluable way to help.

    Sometimes, if their loved one has not left a specific funeral plan in place following their passing, your friend or relative may appreciate your help with organising the funeral itself. You could call the caterer or help with selecting a piece of music.

If you are ready to have a conversation about how you would like your funeral, then it is best to speak to a professional who can advise you. At Funeral Planning Experts, we can help you compare funeral providers and funeral plans prices.

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