St John’s Winchester Charity

Alternative sympathy gifts instead of flowers

Sending sympathy flowers to the family of a deceased loved one is a wide-spread tradition across the UK and across the world.

However, an abundance of flower arrangements can sometimes feel overwhelming for the bereaved family. Some might even start to think of it as reminiscent of the death in the weeks after the funeral.

If you’re looking for a unique way to show that you care, have a look at the following list we have put together about some alternative sympathy gifts.

1. A blanket, pillow or cuddly toy
During the process of grief, a little bit of comfort can go a long way. Giving a warm blanket, quilted pillow or a toy to hug can really show you care and make that stage of grief that little bit easier to cope with. If you are close personally with the bereaved family there is even the option to make something yourself to include a further personal touch.

2. A self-care package
Consider the person who has lost someone; they will be feeling lost, confused and lonely. Why not put together a small basket of self-care type products: A DVD, some slippers, a bottle of bubble bath etc. Give them the chance to recuperate at home while letting them know you’re thinking of them.

3. A tree or shrub
Donating a small tree or shrub to the family of a bereaved can be a great way to memorialise a lost loved one. Make sure the bereaved family has space in the garden before this donation, and if they don’t, a potted plant can also work well as they live longer than regular fresh-cut flowers and the pot can then be re-used for something else.

4. A charitable donation
For events such as funerals, birthdays and sometimes weddings, people have begun asking their friends and family to donate to a particular charity instead of providing them with a present. If the person who died suffered from a particular illness or disease, making a donation to a charity that is fighting that illness, in particular, can be a greatly appreciated gesture from the view of the bereaved family.

5. Something for the kids
Depending on the situation of the passing, the children of a bereaved family can often feel confused and unsure about the process of grief. Being able to give the children a way to express their feelings through a colouring book, activity sheets or a journal, for example, can be a way to keep the children occupied.