The Art of Choosing Sympathy Gifts

By Jake Riley, SR Senior Editor

The Art of Choosing Sympathy Gifts


Choosing a sympathy gift is a delicate task. It's about more than just picking an item; it's about conveying your heartfelt condolences and showing your support during a difficult time. This article will guide you through the process of selecting the perfect sympathy gift, providing comfort and solace to those who are grieving.

Understanding Sympathy Gifts

Sympathy gifts are tokens of compassion and care that we extend to people who are grieving. They serve as a tangible expression of our condolences, offering comfort and support during a time of loss. From traditional options like flowers and cards to more personalized gifts, there's a wide range of sympathy gifts to choose from.

Sympathy Gifts

Traditional Sympathy Gifts

Traditional sympathy gifts are universally accepted expressions of condolence. They include items like flowers, sympathy cards, and gift baskets. These gifts are often sent to the bereaved's home or the funeral service as a sign of respect and support.


Flowers are a classic sympathy gift. They symbolize life, beauty, and the transient nature of existence. When choosing flowers, consider the preferences of the bereaved, the symbolism of different flowers, and cultural or religious customs.

Sympathy Cards

A sympathy card is a thoughtful way to express your condolences. It allows you to share heartfelt messages of support, love, and comfort. Personalize your card with a sincere message that acknowledges the loss and offers comfort.

Gift Baskets

Gift baskets for sympathy usually contain food items. They provide practical help by supplying meals during a difficult time. You can customize your basket with the recipient's favorite foods or include comforting items like tea and biscuits.

Modern Sympathy Gifts

Modern sympathy gifts offer a more personalized approach to expressing condolences. These can include items like memorial candles, wind chimes, or books that can provide comfort and solace during the grieving process.

Memorial Candles

A memorial candle is a comforting gift that can be used during mourning rituals or as a daily reminder of the person who has passed away. Each time the candle is lit, it can serve as a moment to remember and honor the deceased.

Wind Chimes

Wind chimes can serve as a soothing reminder of a loved one. Each time the wind blows and the chimes ring, it can be seen as a message from the departed, providing comfort and a sense of connection.


Books that deal with grief and loss can be a helpful resource for those navigating their journey of mourning. They can provide guidance, comfort, and a sense of understanding.

Personalized Sympathy Gifts

Personalized sympathy gifts add a unique touch to your expression of condolences. These can include items like engraved jewelry, custom keychains, or memorial benches.

Engraved Jewelry

Engraved jewelry is a lasting keepsake that can serve as a constant reminder of a loved one. It can be personalized with the deceased's initials, a special date, or a meaningful quote.

Custom Keychains

A custom keychain can be a subtle yet constant reminder of a loved one. It can be personalized with a name, a special message, or a small photo.

Memorial Benches

A memorial bench can be a significant tribute to a loved one. It provides a physical space for reflection and remembrance, making it a meaningful gift for the whole family.

Choosing the Right SympathyGift

When choosing a sympathy gift, it's essential to consider the relationship you have with the bereaved. The gift should reflect your connection with the person and the deceased. It's also important to consider the preferences and tastes of the recipient. A thoughtful, personalized gift can provide great comfort during a difficult time.

Sympathy Gifts for Different Relationships

For Family

For immediate family members, traditional and significant sympathy gifts are suitable. These can include items like flowers, memorial keepsakes, or sympathy care packages. Personalized gifts like engraved jewelry or custom keychains can also be a touching gesture.

For Friends

Friends may prefer more intimate gifts like memorial keepsakes, flowers, or care packages. Offering help around the house, like cooking or cleaning, can also be a great way to show your support.

For Coworkers

For professional colleagues, group gifts are usually the norm. These can include items like standing sprays, sympathy plants, or gourmet baskets. Donations to the deceased's favorite charities and organizations are also appropriate.

Sympathy Gifts from Star Register

Star Register offers a unique and thoughtful sympathy gift option. You can name a star in memory of the deceased, providing a lasting tribute that can be seen in the night sky. This one-of-a-kind gift comes with a personalized certificate, a star map, and an entry into the Star Register.

FAQ Section

What is a proper condolence gift?

A proper condolence gift is one that expresses your sympathy and offers comfort to the bereaved. It can range from traditional items like flowers and cards to more personalized gifts like engraved jewelry or custom keychains.

How much should I spend on a sympathy gift?

The cost of a sympathy gift can vary widely depending on the type of gift and your relationship with the bereaved. It's the thought and sentiment behind the gift that truly matters, not the cost.

What can be sent instead of flowers for sympathy?

There are many alternatives to flowers for sympathy gifts. These can include items like sympathy cards, gift baskets, memorial candles, books on grief, or personalized keepsakes.

What are thoughtful gifts after bereavement?

Thoughtful gifts after bereavement can include items that provide comfort and support. These can include personalized keepsakes, books on grief, memorial candles, or even offers of help like cooking meals or cleaning.