9 Sympathy Gift Ideas for Someone Who Lost a Child
Though a sympathy gift or card may seem insignificant compared to the magnitude of loss, it’s a small gesture that acknowledges the pain and hurt following the loss of a child. If you’re searching for ways to show your support, and are looking to go beyond sending flowers, here are some suggestions.
The sympathy gifts you choose for the loss of a child can vary in nature, depending on the age of the child who passed away. The gift you choose for someone who lost a baby may be different from the gift you give to a parent who has lost an older child (or even an adult child), so there are a few things you can take in consideration when purchasing bereavement gifts:
Select something heartfelt and considerate. When purchasing gifts for grieving parents, consider purchasing something that's relevant to either them or the person who passed away, specifically. For example, choosing a gift that has custom engraving (and says the name of the person who passed away or a quote they were known for saying) can feel so much more impactful than a card that says "Sorry for your loss", though the family is likely to appreciate either of these sympathy gifts.
Consider something practical. A care package filled with meals, snacks, and other necessities can be a great way to show sympathy and provide practical support, making them excellent gifts for parents who have lost a child. While grieving, many parents struggle to perform simple day-to-day tasks, so having a care package filled with comforting and relaxing items might be just what they need in those difficult days and weeks.
Consider something timeless. While flowers are one of the most popular purchases to express sympathy, they're not something that lasts as long as you may want them to. You can spend the same amount of money on a gift that functions as a lasting reminder of someone who has passed away. Examples of these gifts include lanterns, frames, or memorial jewelry for the loss of a son or daughter.
These thoughtful gestures may not ease the grieving process but can be seen as an extension of your love and support in this difficult time.
Memorial gifts for the loss of an older son or daughter
These sympathy gift gifts are thoughtful, customizable, and timeless, and can provide the bereaved family with memories that will last a lifetime. They're also great options for older children.
A memory jar is an excellent sympathy gift that's easily personalized and is a great way to help families keep the memory of their lost loved one alive. Fill the jar with encouraging notes, meaningful quotes, pictures, and memories from friends and family that can be read on anniversaries or other special occasions. This is also a thoughtful choice if you're looking for free gifts for parents who have lost a baby or child -- memory jars are something you can make at home for free or very little cost.
Memorial jewelry is a popular choice when it comes to sympathy gifts for a few reasons -- it's affordable, customizable, and comes in many different shapes, sizes, and styles. This makes it a bit easier to shop for both of the parents who have lost a child -- if they're not a fan of necklaces, you can buy a bracelet; if they don’t wear bracelets, you can buy a ring; if they don't like any of those things, you can gift a pendant or keychain -- the options are pretty numerous. When purchasing memorial jewelry, you should also ensure you're purchasing the right type of jewelry.
A recipe book is a great sympathy gift if you’re trying to find a gift for parents who had a child who loved cooking. Were they known for any recipes? Did they have a specialty they used to make? Were they passionate about cooking or baking? Was being in the kitchen and making food together something the family enjoyed? A recipe book is a thoughtful choice for parents of those who were culinarily-inclined and can help parents remember their child through their hobbies.
Photo books are classic sympathy gifts and can surprise a family when it's filled with photos they might not have seen or had access to. Plenty of companies offer customizable photo books with different layouts, text options, styles, and length, making this a flexible choice for those who want a gift they can customize as much as possible. If the idea of a photo collection appeals to you, creating a memorial website in memory of their loved one is another way to collect memories, photos, and condolences from friends, family, and loved ones. Parents who have recently lost a child may not be in the mental space to create a website on their own, so offering one to them as a sympathy gift may be a welcome surprise.
Kids are often involved in various extracurricular activities, such as sports. If the family's child was a part of any teams or had a favorite sport, you could customize a jersey with their number or name on it to remember them by. Customized jerseys are great sympathy gifts to remember older children and help keep their memory alive in a unique way. Another option when it comes to customized jerseys is to purchase a display frame for a customized (or existing) jersey so that the family can beautifully display it.
Memorial gifts in memory of a baby
Infant loss gifts may differ from memorial gifts for older children since certain gifts may feel awkward or even, hurtful, to gift parents who weren't able to spend as much time with their children. (For example, purchasing a photo album for parents who had a miscarriage could be insensitive, depending on the number of photos they took during the pregnancy.)
A memory box is a great sympathy gift for those who lost an infant or baby. It's an affordable and thoughtful way to help parents remember their child and can be used to store many different keepsakes such as the decedent's first pair of shoes, a collection of cards they got while in the hospital, small trinkets they may have been given by visitors, their child's first binkie or toy -- the options are endless. Memory boxes are often made from wood and can be engraved and personalized with the child's name, date of birth and date of passing, and even a small quote or bible passage.
If you've never heard of a care package before, it's simply a box of items meant to pamper, comfort, and provide relief for the grieving family. Care packages come in all different shapes, sizes, and styles, but they typically include items such as soft blankets, fuzzy socks, chocolates, teas, bath bombs, sympathy cards, books that may help with the healing process, and many other comforting items. You have the option of DIY-ing a care package where you can purchase a basket and fill it with items you think the parents would find comforting or relaxing, or you can purchase a premade care package online.
Memorial quilt or blankie
A memorial quilt is an incredibly thoughtful and heartwarming memorial gift for parents who have lost a child. Memorial quilts can be made with fabric squares and can either be purchased or made by hand. A homemade quilt that can be snuggled up to or kept on display for comfort and remembrance is a unique sympathy gift that's sure to be welcomed by the parents.
A donation in memory of an infant is a great way to memorialize such a difficult loss. Many families on Ever Loved select the hospitals that helped them through the loss of their baby, charities or local organizations that help people manage the grief, or organizations that raise awareness of infant loss and provide invaluable resources for families. If you'd like to donate in memory of a child, see if they have a memorial fundraiser or research organizations near you that feel relevant. You can even go one step further by creating a memorial fund that others can donate to as well.
Grieving the loss of a child is an incredibly difficult process, and sympathy gifts are a great way to show your support for those who are grieving. Whether it's a memorial quilt you made by hand or a basket full of comforting items you've sent to the parents, these gifts show your support, your love, and your acknowledgment of pain during such a difficult time.