How to Choose Sympathy Gifts for Loss

When someone is grieving the loss of a loved one, a bereavement gift can help provide comfort during difficult times.

While little can be said to stop the pain, gifts of grieving help those in mourning know they’re not alone. Sending a thoughtful memorial gift is a sign of love and respect and will show your support during these tough times. Choosing an appropriate sympathy gift may feel difficult, but as a rule of thumb, a thoughtful, personal gift or charitable donation is often well received. Losing a loved one in your life is devastating, but you can remember their legacy with a solemn gift that will both honor the person who passed and give the living a treasured keepsake to remember their loved ones by. To help you choose, we’ve compiled a list of 20 thoughtful sympathy gifts for lost loved ones below.

Why Send Sympathy Gifts or Create Remembrance Gifts?

Sending sympathy gifts to family and friends after the loss of a loved one is a kind gesture that lets them know you’re thinking of them during this difficult time. Sympathy gifts also help keep the memory of the ones they’ve lost alive, and personalized gifts can especially honor their life.

Customizing anything from throw pillows to photo books to jewelry means you recognize the role someone has played in your life or theirs – and you’re honoring that memory with due respect and love. Whether you choose to create and send sympathy gifts to others or want to make remembrance gifts of loved ones for yourself, reflecting on the loss through the lens of keeping memories alive can help the grieving process.

20 Sympathy Gifts to Remember Loved Ones

Finding the right words to express your condolences while commemorating a loved one can be challenging. These sympathy gifts help you do both, with inspiration to express the sentiments the time calls for as well as to create a lasting gift that honors the loved one who has passed. Browse these ideas for sympathy gifts that span interests like gardening and home decor. Within these sympathy gifts you’ll find the right words and gifts for family and friends.

1. Personalized Blankets Make Beautiful Remembrance Gifts

Blankets bring warmth and comfort, making them great gifts for widows or anyone who has lost someone dear. Sending a personalized blanket allows you to recreate memories and bring them into your home. You can choose from multiple fabric types and print photos, names, and quotes onto the blanket. 

2. Honor Loved Ones with Memorial Candles

Light a flame for a lost loved one with a personalized memorial candle. Customize the sympathy gift with a photo of their loved one and add a special caption to honor them. This special gift will live on as a keepsake that they can keep in their home. Choose a scent that inspires comfort and calm, such as Ocean Breeze or Fireside Spice, and customize the candle jar with photography and text. 

Memorial candle as a thoughtful sympathy gift

3. Share Your Heartfelt Sympathy With Custom Jewelry

Jewelry is often seen as a very personal gift. A locket photo necklace can be very meaningful to someone grieving a deep loss. Oftentimes, you can add charms such as birth stones and stamped initials as well. A piece of jewelry engraved with an important date, coordinates, or location will help you keep their memory alive. Whether your recipient traveled somewhere special with their lost loved one or you want to showcase an anniversary, it will be as if they have a piece of them with you every time they wear it.

4. Cherish the Memories of Loved Ones With a Custom Notebook

Writing down memories, logging our feelings and expressing gratitude can all help with the mourning process, making a personalized journals a useful gift for grieving. Personalize your journal with a hopeful message or thoughtful note. 

Custom notebook for a sympathy gift

5. Keep Memories Alive with Glass Frames

Nothing sparks a happy memory quite like a photograph. Just looking at photos can evoke strong memories of a place and time – and the emotions attached to them. Those who are grieving will likely look to these memories for comfort throughout bereavement and beyond. Choose photo sympathy gifts to honor these memories with distinction. An elegant glass frame dresses up the display, making it a perfect fit for any room in the house.

A custom glass picture frame for a sympathy gift

6. Choose Garden Stones for Personalized Memorial Gifts

For those who love spending time in the yard, an engraved garden stone with a message of comfort makes for wonderful sympathy gifts. You can also send a flower or small tree to plant along with the stone, and watch it grow in honor of the deceased. Garden stones make especially thoughtful sympathy gifts if the ones who passed also enjoyed spending time outdoors or in the garden.

7. Save Memories of Loved Ones in a Keepsake Box

A personalized keepsake box can be another way to keep memories alive. Photographs on the outside help recall happy times, and the inside is a safe place to store treasured items left behind from your loved one. A favorite piece of jewelry, such as a wedding ring, sand dollars from summers spent at the beach, train tickets from a vacation long ago. Save mementos and treasures securely in a custom keepsake box personalized with pictures and text.

A custom keepsake box with a monogram for a sympathy gift

8. Choose Sympathy Wind Chimes to Keep Their Voice Alive

Remember your loved one every time the wind blows with this harmonious remembrance gift. Hang a memorial wind chime on your porch or in your garden. You can add photos or messages to both the front and back of this unique decoration, making it a thoughtful sympathy gift for lovers of home decor. To honor loved ones who were musical or the first ones to voice their opinion, choose wind chimes for lovely sympathy gifts you can hear every day.

9. Memorial Ornaments for Christmas Memories

The holidays can be a painful time for those who are grieving. A memorial ornament may help lift spirits and let loved ones past be a part of the season. This gift is one-of-a-kind and can be reused for years to come. 

Memorial personalized ornament for a sympathy gift

10. Create a Custom Photo Book of a Loved One’s Life

Memorial photo books full of amazing moments can make beautiful sympathy gifts. These books showcase moments of celebration and happy times, and they allow you to celebrate a loved one’s journey through life. The gift can either be enjoyed privately or displayed in the home for visitors to look through and relive. 

11. Photo Puzzles Make Sweet Sympathy Gifts

A photo puzzle can be a happy activity and perfect for families with grieving children. The puzzle can then serve as a memory each time the pieces are put back together. Choose to create custom puzzles as sympathy gifts for a meaningful yet approachable way to honor the life of a loved one.

Cat custom puzzle for a sympathy gift

12. Tea Towels Are Memorial Gifts to Use Every Day

Oftentimes, our loved ones leave behind some tasty recipes or cooking wisdom. This is why personalized tea towels can make great condolence gifts, especially for those experiencing the loss of a parent or loved one who they spent a lot of time in the kitchen with. Choose tea towels for sympathy gifts that can be used time and time again.

13. Commemorate the Loss of a Loved One With Keepsake Plates

These thoughtful keepsake plates let you honor a loved one with an elegant display — and they’re an especially thoughtful gift for food and dining enthusiasts. The sympathy gift can hang on the wall or placed on a shelf. If the loved one lost collected china or simply enjoyed custom, elegant serving dishes, choose keepsake plates to commemorate their life. Keepsake plates can be used regularly or taken out on special occasions, such as their birthday or Christmas, to honor their life.

14. Honor Their Memory With Elegant Plaques

Elevated photo memories can be thoughtful gifts for widows or anyone mourning a deep loss. The idea is that a elegant slate plaque would be displayed in the home as a constant memory. Choose photo sympathy gifts that go to the next level with slate plaques that can be displayed on mantels, desks, nightstands, and other areas of the home. These sympathy gifts are ideal for those who want to commemorate the loss of a loved one in a photographic and meaningful way.

Custom slate plaques for a memorial gift

15. Customize Keychains With Loved Ones’ Photos

A photo memorable keychain may be the smallest item on our list, but it’s practical and meaningful because it can go anywhere. Our keys, like our loved ones, remain with us at (almost) all times. Personalize keychains with the loved one’s name, a significant date, a favorite saying, or an inspirational quote to commemorate their life.

16. Choose Personalized Pillows to Honor Loved Ones

Another creative way to celebrate the memory of those we’ve lost is through pillow photo gifts. Choose a cherished memory to get printed on a soft cushion, and don’t forget to add a personalized message of hope and remembrance. 

16. Honor Loved Ones With Personalized Pillows

Another creative way to celebrate the memory of those we’ve lost is through custom photo pillows. Choose a cherished memory to get printed on a soft cushion, and don’t forget to add a personalized message of hope and remembrance. 

Custom photo pillow for a sympathy gift

17. Sympathy Cards Are Always Appropriate

Sometimes, the most simple gifts mean the most. Sympathy cards are an intimate way to comfort loved ones who are grieving. You can personalize your message further with a photograph or customize cards with text. Touching words mean the most to anyone grieving a loss, making sympathy cards wonderful sympathy gifts. They can be attached to another gift such as flowers, or you can let the cards do all the talking.

18. Commemorate Their Life With a Canvas Collage as a Sympathy Gift

Gather a collection of memories and put them on display in a canvas collage. Display the framed photo spread next to a candle or vase for a delicate memorial.  Canvas collages make sympathy gifts that can be used privately in the home as well as on display at a memorial service. For sympathy gifts that serve multiple purposes, choose canvas collages honoring the life of a loved one.

19. Create a Monogrammed Wallet With Their Initials

You can carry a memory everywhere you go with a monogrammed wristlet. In addition to holding beautiful moments, there’s also space to store your phones, credit cards, and keys safely. Choose a monogrammed wallet sympathy gift for a practical way to incorporate the loved one’s memory into your everyday life. You can also choose to customize the wallet with names, dates, and other custom text.

20. DIY Flower Vases Commemorate Their Life

This DIY canvas art craft is a beautiful sympathy gift that requires soft painting skills and floral embellishments. You can use flowers left over from the service or stems that remind you of your loved one to recreate this vase. Choose DIY flower vases as sympathy gifts if you’re looking for a way to incorporate loved ones’ memories into home decor.

Final Thoughts

Remembrance gifts help keep the memories of loved ones alive. Whether you’re sending a heartfelt sympathy card or thoughtful gift, your loved ones who are mourning will know they can lean on you for support during times of mourning and loss.