When someone close to you is grieving, it can be difficult to know exactly how to respond. You may not be familiar with the proper etiquette for this situation. Do you purchase a gift as a way to send your condolence?

To help ease some of your worry with regard to sympathy gifts, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Who receives the sympathy gift?

If you are close to someone who’s grieving, it is appropriate to send this person a gift. You do not need to have known the person who has passed away. Think of your gift as a small way to let your friend know you are thinking of them and are available to talk if he needs.

On the other hand, if you knew the deceased but did not know her family it’s best to send a gift to the deceased’s closest relative. Be sure to include a note mentioning how you knew the deceased.

When to send a sympathy gift

This really depends on what you feel comfortable doing. There are no rules on when it is appropriate to send a sympathy gift just as there are no rules for grieving.

If there is going to be a memorial service and or a funeral, a gift can be sent before or after the service. You might choose to wait until after the memorial or funeral. Sometimes this can be more appreciated, because the person grieving feels as though they have been remembered.

Ideas for sympathy gifts

Don’t underestimate the gesture of sending a simple card. You don’t need to select one that is elaborate but rather a card that expresses something heartfelt. Someone who is grieving will greatly appreciate receiving a card with a caring message.

A keepsake gift box can be a special and appreciated gift for someone grieving the loss of a close family member. This keepsake box will offer a place to hold special mementos where they will be safe and accessible.

Charitable contributions are another gift idea. Depending on the person grieving, making a donation to a charity in the name of the deceased could be a touching way to commemorate their life. You may find some families even specify a charity where donations can be made.

Rather than giving a gift of flowers, consider a perennial plant. Rather than die after a couple of weeks, the plant will bloom year after year and serve as a reminder of the person who has passed away.

When considering sending a sympathy gift to a grieving friend or family member, think with your heart. Try not to get too caught up in etiquette but rather think about what would be a truly comforting gesture. Sometimes small and simple remembrances are the most appreciated.

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