It’s seldom easy to know what to say or do to comfort someone who’s suffered a loss as profound as the death of a loved one. It’s a process, and everyone grieves differently.
For some, the best thing you can do is talk about the recently deceased, and for others, that’s the very last thing they feel like doing.
While you’re learning how to help that person in the best possible way for them, it’s never a bad idea to send a small token of love and comfort. In this post, we’ll show you some sweet sympathy gift baskets and condolence gifts that’ll help you do just that.
We’ll also answer some common questions about the etiquette behind sending condolence gifts and sympathy cards.
Sympathy Gifts Etiquette Q&A
When choosing a gift for the bereaved, take their daily, practical needs into consideration.
For instance, when my best friend lost her father, her mother was left with the task of figuring out what to do with all of the beautiful flowers she received, and she had to give most of them away. (On an upside, she gave me a gorgeous potted peace lily she received that went on to grow like crazy and live a long, long life. I like to think my friend’s dad had a little something to do with that.)
If the loss has left the household struggling to keep up with the chores, think about helping out by sending practical gifts. Send them a delivered meal or two, or if you know them well enough, even a cleaning service to help relieve some of the pressure.
Meaningful gifts like a photo album full of great memories or a shadowbox with a few keepsakes are always a good idea too, as are donations to a beloved cause in the name of the deceased. Head over to our article on condolence and bereavement gifts for more ideas.
A sympathy gift basket including comfort food (dietary needs considered), a warm candle, and a cozy throw blanket is a welcome surprise for those in the process of grieving the loss of a loved one. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like herbal tea and cookies. Just sayin’.
Of course, you can make things easier by choosing from one of the condolence gift baskets we’ve showcased in this article! You’re welcome.
Sympathy cards should be sent as soon as possible after you’ve heard of the individual’s passing.
If you knew the deceased but not the family, it’s appropriate to send the card to the closest next-of-kin, such as the widowed spouse, eldest child, or remaining siblings.
For someone you know who’s grieving for a loved one you weren’t acquainted with, sending the card directly to them is the thing to do.
It’s hard to nail down exactly what to say, but it’s less tricky to pinpoint the things you shouldn’t.
When I lost my grandfather last year (we were very close), I heard stuff like “time heals all wounds,” and “He’s in a better place,” and “It sounds like it was just his time.” Blech. No Bueno.
So when writing a condolence card to a grieving person, sincerity and warmth is the name of the game. Beyond a simple (but always appropriate) “I’m so sorry for your loss,” here are some examples:
-I hope your thoughts of __________ bring you some light during these dark days.
-May the fond memories of ________ sustain you and bring you some comfort.
-I wish I could take away your grief, even for just a little while, to help you find some peace during this difficult time.
-Know that whatever you’re feeling and however you want to express that, I’m here for you.
-If you feel like you need to talk about _______ and what they meant to you, I’m all ears.
Want to hear from a professional? Check out this post for a bereavement counselor’s suggestions for supporting a grieving friend or family member.
Comforting Gift Baskets For A Little Bit Of Solace
1. Sympathy Cookie Basket
I’d love to say that cookies make everything better, but that’s not always 100% true. That said, they certainly don’t make things worse. This soft woven basket includes 22 cookies for all tastes, from fruit to chocolate to peanut butter, all wrapped up in a pretty hand-tied ribbon.
2. Sympathy Care Package
While cookies are fantastic, sometimes they’re just not enough. That’s where this care package comes in! Not only does it contain six cookies in your choice of seven delicious varieties, but it also includes:
- A cozy throw blanket
- Three types of comforting tea
- A little jar of raw honey with a wooden dipper
- A mini-book about healing after loss.
3. Grief Affirmation Gift Box
by Etsy: Twelvehawk
The grief affirmation cards and potted succulent that comes with this gift box would make excellent bereavement gifts on their own. Throw in plantable paper hearts containing wildflower seeds and a beautiful agate worry stone, and you’ve got something truly special.
4. Sympathy Basket Select
This sympathy gift basket contains a little bit of everything to snack on, held snugly in a pretty reusable woven handled basket. Like really, everything.
- Assorted fresh fruit
- Raw cashews
- Cheese straws
- Sharp cheddar cheese and water crackers
- Garlic sausage and champagne mustard
- Chocolate covered cherries
- Chocolate chip cookies
- Sea salt caramel cookie straws
- Almond, cashew, and pumpkin seed clusters
- Blueberry and pomegranate trail mix
- Wile blueberry jam
- Sea salt caramel sauce
5. Heartfelt Basket With A Cozy Blanket
This is comfort in a gift box wrapped up with a bow – seriously. It contains everything perfect for those times when self-love is the order of the day:
- Snuggly blanket and hand-poured candle with a sympathy message
- Fuzzy socks
- Chicken noodle soup and crackers
- Chamomile tea
6. Thinking of You Gift Box
The ultimate box for those who turn to tea when they’re feeling low! This box contains:
- 11 oz mug
- lip balm
- 3 oz Herbal Tea of choice
- Tea Strainer
- 5 Tea Filters
- 4 oz Lotion
- Personalized card
- 5 oz Soy/Coconut Candle
The box may also include a gift note with a personal message from you if you wish.
7. Comforting Herbal Tea Basket
by Etsy: TheRedDates
A gift box full of homemade biscotti and tea goodies is a great way to send your condolences, too. This comforting herbal tea basket comes in regular, deluxe, premium, and ultimate sizes. Depending upon the size you choose, the contents will vary. Check out the offered sizes and descriptions for more details.
8. With Sympathy
A gift tower can bring smiles even in the darkest of times. This one has five tiers of sweet treats to brighten someone’s day, even if just for a few moments. It includes:
- A white chocolate bavarian pretzel
- Cinnamon yogurt pretzels
- Chocolate chip cappuccino cookies
- A French apple crisp cookie
- Lindt chocolate truffles
- Assorted milk toffees
- Chocolate caramel peanut butter popcorn
- Himalayan Chips
9. Thinking of You Succulent Gift Box
by Etsy: SweetBasilCo
Self-care gifts are a great option to give to a grieving friend. Often, when we’re feeling our most vulnerable, some pampering helps the most.
This gift box was curated with that in mind. In addition to the pretty potted succulent, this box beautifully packed box contains:
- One 4 oz scented soy candle
- Safety matches in a decorative corked glass bottle
- All-natural soap in your choice of seven scents
- All-natural bath bomb in your choice of two scents
- All-natural lip balm
- A personalized greeting card
- Succulent care instructions
10. The Comfort Basket
It’s hard trying to console someone from afar, which is why sending a gift basket can be helpful. Sometimes, however, it just doesn’t include everything we’d like to give.
Well, this extra-large gift basket is eight pounds of ALL your bases covered. It includes:
- A grief book full of helpful anecdotes from spiritual leaders and grief counselors and a grief journal to record their thoughts and feelings
- Two plushie bears for serious snuggling
- Two ceramic coffee mugs
- Gourmet coffee and cocoa
- Butter toffee pretzels
- Chocolate chip pecan cookies
- Butter tea cookies
- Key lime white chocolate cookies
- Caramel corn
- Dried fruit and assorted nuts
- Honey cinnamon almonds
- Smoked almonds
- Gourmet snack mix
- Parmesan bruschetta crisps
11. Sending Sympathy Taster Basket
It may be understated, but that’s the charm of this sophisticated and tastefully curated gourmet gift basket. Inside you’ll find:
- Mini farro crackers
- Olive and parmesan tapenade
- Sea salt and pepper pistachios
- Salted almond crisps
- Black mission fig jam
- Orange pistachio shortbread
- Chocolate sables
12. Tough Times Care Package
by Etsy: RoamHomegrown
A soothing soak in a warm tub does wonders for the body and soul – that truism is what these care packages are built on. They come in three size options:
- The spa day gift box, including a candle, matchbox, face mask, bath salts, and lip balm
- The deluxe spa gift box, including everything the original spa day box contains plus a 2 oz body oil and aromatherapy mist and an intention-setting guide to encourage emotional grounding
- The self-care box, including everything in the deluxe spa box, except for the aromatherapy mist
Ideas For Building Your Own Sympathy Gift Basket
A pre-arranged gift box or basket is a lovely sympathy gift idea! But if you’d like to assemble your own for a more personalized touch, there are a few things we happen to think are essential ingredients for a great DIY gift basket:
- Books or journals
- Gifts for mental and emotional self-care
- A cozy throw blanket
- Stuffed animals
- A framed photo
- A keepsake
- Seeds for the Garden/Memorial Garden Decorations
Sending Thoughts and Love
If you’ve read our list here, you’re probably looking for a gift to give someone going through the loss of a loved one. It’s painful, to put it mildly, and you may feel helpless if you’re trying to send condolences from afar.
Although you can’t take it away, some thoughtful words and a nice sympathy gift basket may just help you do a little triage until you can be there in person to give out those warm hugs and supply some helping hands.
Laura resides in the fantastic city of Nashville, TN with her very, very patient husband, three well above average boys, a dog the size of a dinosaur, and a fleet of cats. When she’s not writing for work, she’s writing for fun. When she’s not doing that she enjoys reading, fine dining, copious amounts of wine, and philosophical conversations with her children. And some adults on occasion.