A gift for a grieving friend

“I like necklaces — keeps the deceased close to the heart.”

“We bought a memorial throw for my mom when dad died.”
  • “We bought a memorial throw for my mom when dad died.”

This has been a rough year for funerals. We are attending more than I wish to acknowledge. This past week it was a dear friend’s mama. Besides the usual flowers and meal, which feel sort of...expected, I was thinking it was time to find a comforting personal gift to give to my grieving friends. 

My best friend Bernice liked the idea. “I usually give an Edible Arrangement and bring it to the funeral reception,” she replied.

“They sell a Bereavement Bouquet, which is practical and makes a beautiful centerpiece for a table [$96 for the regular size]. It has cantaloupe, grapes, pineapple daisies, chocolate-covered strawberries, all artfully displayed to look like a flower arrangement,” she added. “But, Eve, why don’t you ask around. A few of your friends will have nice ideas.”

She was right.

“I gave a memorial wind chime to my best friend when her father died,” offered Sam. “It was heart-shaped with engraving on it, made from pewter. I thought it would be lovely for her to hear the chimes when the wind blew and think of him,” she said, “sort of like in It’s a Wonderful Life.”  (A Gift from Heaven Pewter Memorial Wind Chime, 9-inch wind chime, is $24.99 on Amazon.)

“The Willow Tree statue line is perfect for a remembrance gift,” replied Meg. “There is something meditative and peaceful about them, I think because the statues are faceless,” she explained. (Willow Tree Remembrance figurine, five inches tall, is $13.34 on Amazon.)

“There’s also a memorial blanket that has a Willow Tree angel in the center of it that is quite lovely,” she added. “It has the inscription, ‘In my thoughts, in my heart.’” (Willow Tree Thinking of You Throw is $39.95 for the 50-by-60-inch throw on Amazon.)

Memorial Dove Blanket

Memorial Dove Blanket

“We bought a memorial throw for my mom when dad died,” offered Theresa. “It was blue and had a white dove in the center of it with the words ‘Carried to Heaven on wings of a dove.’ She loved it.”  (Memorial Dove Blanket is $53.46 for the 54-by-70-inch throw on Amazon.)

“When I miscarried a baby this past year,” explained Cathy, “some dear friends gave me a rose bush and a little angel statue. They said the growing, blooming plant would remind me of the beauty of life. The little cherub statue, a reminder of the family member that had passed on. Little did I realize at the time how much I would look at that little angel sitting on our bookshelf and think of our little baby.” (Prayerful Angel Garden Figurine is $22.31 for the six-inch resin statue on Amazon.)

“My daughter’s friend gave her a teardrop necklace when grandma died,” said Pam. “It came with a sweet poem about the teardrop being a reminder that there are no tears in heaven so the deceased left a tear behind to remember them by. It’s silver-plated, has a modern look, she loves it.” (No Tears in Heaven Necklace is $20.27 for the 18-inch necklace on Amazon.)

Molly also suggested a necklace. “For my girlfriends, it’s nice to buy them remembrance jewelry,” she offered. “I like necklaces — keeps the deceased close to the heart. There is an Etsy site that sells a silver heart charm with an angel wing and a gemstone for the month of the deceased birth. That’s my go-to gift.” (The 18-inch sterling silver necklace with angel, heart, and gemstone charm by vonmeyerjewelry is $29.50 on Etsy.)  

“A second site I like sells Bellabeads,” she added. “You send them your flower petals from the funeral, and they craft a teardrop pendant from the flowers in sterling silver.” Fresh flowers or dried flowers can be used and the site suggests six to eight petals to create the pendant. (The myflowersforever pendant is $84.95 on Etsy.)

West End Decorative Glass Candle Holder

West End Decorative Glass Candle Holder

“I like to go with a more subtle, memorial gift and give an artistic, sculptural candle,” stated Jill. “Someone visiting might not know the symbolism of the lit candle in the corner, but the family does. The light of the candle, alive and warm and flickering carries the image of remembrance and presence. I like the West End glass candles.” (West End Decorative Glass Candle Holders are $22.99 for the 5-by-7-inch holders on Amazon.)

“I bought my aunt a photo ornament when her husband died,” replied Cathy. “It’s metal, heart-shaped, with doves above the photo opening, with the words ‘In our hearts forever.’ She hangs it above her desk so she can see it year round.” (The Memory Photo Ornament is $16.99 for the three-inch ornament at thecomfortcompany.)

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Wow. A guide for buying crap online to comfort a bereaved friend. Maybe not such a great idea.

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