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12 Sympathy Gift Ideas for Someone Who Lost a Father

When someone has suffered the loss of a father, it can be difficult to find the right gestures of sympathy and words of condolence. Showing your support in this time of grief can make a real difference, but if you haven't given bereavement gifts before, you may be unsure of how to choose the "right" gift. Finding the "right" bereavement gifts for the loss of a father can feel challenging. What gift could help a friend cope with the loss of someone who was such an important part of their life? Alternatively, what if your friend's father wasn't an integral figure in their life, but they're still coping with the loss? Does the gift selection change? Whether you're searching for a sympathy gift for someone close to or distant from their father, this article provides ideas to guide you in the right direction.

Is buying a gift for someone who lost a parent appropriate?

It is completely appropriate to give sympathy gifts when a friend or loved one has suffered the loss of a parent. It shows your support for them and your sympathy for their loss. However, it's important to remember that you shouldn't expect anything in return from the recipient; sympathy gifts should not be given with any expectation or pressure, especially during such a difficult time. Additionally, it's important to remember that you may not know and fully understand the intricacies of someone's relationship with their parent, so you want to try and avoid purchasing gifts that assume closeness unless you’re certain they were.

What are the best gifts to give someone who has lost a father?

In general, the best memorial gifts for the loss of a father are gifts that show you were thinking of them and that you care about their well-being. A sympathy gift doesn’t need to be expensive or extravagant; oftentimes simply showing that you put in thought and care is enough.

When purchasing a sympathy gift for the death of a father or parent, there are a few questions you can consider to help you narrow down your search:

  • How close was the recipient to their parent?
  • What were some of their parent's hobbies and interests that could be remembered with a sympathy gift?
  • Was there something special or noteworthy about the relationship between your friend and their parent that could be commemorated in a sympathy gift?
  • Was there something specific the recipient would frequently comment on or share stories about related to their father?
  • Was there a specific place, hobby, interest, or vision that the recipient and their parent shared?
  • Are there any specific memories or milestones related to the recipient's father that could be remembered with a sympathy gift?

These questions can help you find sympathy gifts that are meaningful, thoughtful and representative of the relationship between your friend and their parent.

Sympathy gift ideas for the loss of a father

These sympathy gifts can be easily customized and personalized to commemorate the life and memory of the recipient's father.

1. Memorial garden stone

If the person you're purchasing for is into landscaping or gardening, this is an excellent sympathy gift. A memorial garden stone can bear the phrase of your choice and serves as a lovely reminder of the life lost. Memorial garden stones are also a great choice if you'd like a medium where you can include a longer engraving or message.

2. Recipe book

Many dads are known for their cooking and keeping a recipe in the family is a great way to maintain tradition. Consider gifting a recipe book with some of the favorite recipes your friend's dad used to make, or one that includes all his best dishes. A sympathy gift like this is not only practical but also serves as a lasting reminder of the person who passed away.

3. Words of wisdom book

A "words of wisdom" book can be made in a couple different ways. If you know some of the life advice that the recipient's father used to offer, consider gifting a sympathy book that compiles all the words of wisdom their dad used to share in one place alongside precious photos. Another option (for those who aren't sure what type of "words of wisdom" the recipient's father may have had could be purchasing a blank book or journal and having the cover engraved or titled 'Words of Wisdom.’ Include a small note to your friend explaining the purpose of the book, which gives them room to be creative and to style the empty book as they see fit.

4. Wind chimes

Wind chimes make excellent sympathy gifts as they stand as a reminder of the person who passed any time they make a sound. Wind chimes come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and styles so you can easily find one that is representative of the loved one who passed away. Many customizable wind chimes also let you include custom engraving and messages which lets you dedicate the wind chime to the person who passed away.

5. Memory jar

A memory jar is an excellent choice for those looking for a DIY option, as it requires very few materials and is easy to personalize. All you need to do is purchase a jar or container of your choice and fill it with small items that are representative of the person who passed away. You can include pictures, notes, quotes, mementos from past activities or adventures - anything that helps commemorate the life of your friend's father. You can also include small notes referencing your favorite moments you witnessed between the recipient and their father.

6. Memorial lantern

A memorial lantern serves as both a practical sympathy gift and as a symbol of light to remember the special person who passed away. Memorial lanterns are usually made from metal or glass and they often include engravings or quotes that serve as reminders of their beloved. These sympathy gifts come in various sizes and styles, so you can easily find one that fits your friend's style.

Sympathy gifts for the loss of father for a child

Sympathy gifts for children who have lost a parent can differ in nature from sympathy gifts for adults who have lost a parent. Gifts for children should be purchased with the child's age in mind -- younger children may not find much comfort in something more abstract (such as a journal or lantern).

1. Memory pillow

A memory pillow is a pillow that's enclosed with a shirt or stitched-together clothing of the father who passed away. This sympathy gift is an excellent way to keep the father close, while also providing a sense of comfort and security. Memory pillows can also include a comforting message to the child, (such as "Always right beside you") that they can read whenever holding the pillow close to them

2. Plush toy or stuffed animal

A plush toy (such as a stuffed animal) can be a very comforting sympathy gift for children who are grieving. Plush toys come in many shapes and sizes, so you can easily find one that reminds the child of their father. If possible, you can also customize the gift by having a picture or message embroidered onto it or even have it wear similar clothing to what their father used to wear.

3. Keepsake box

A memory box is very similar to a memory jar except that it's a bit more secure and more child-friendly. You can fill a keepsake box with items that are special to the child or representative of their time with their father. Items you could put in the box include photos, small notes, buttons from shirts, and small patches of clothing from a favorite jacket or shirt (you can also spray a little bit of the father's cologne onto the clothing to have it smell familiar if you have access to this), or pieces from games the child and the father played together.

4. Memorial quilt

Memorial quilts make cathartic projects for those who are interested in DIY and want to craft a gift for a grieving child. You can include pieces of clothing or old shirts the father used to wear in your memorial quilt, as well as different patches with quotes or the father's name embroidered into the fabric. You can also add sentimental items such as photos, buttons from clothing, or shells from a memorable beach trip. The end result is sure to be something that the grieving child cherishes for years to come.

5. Memorial bracelet

Memorial bracelets are also a great sympathy gift for those who have lost a father. You can engrave the bracelet with the name, initials, or even a meaningful phrase that reminds of the deceased. An "In memory of dad" bracelet is a great choice for a kid who enjoys wearing jewelry or likes a tangible gift they can take with them everywhere, and can be a reminder of the love and bond they shared with their father.

6. One-on-one time

Sometimes one of the best gifts to give a grieving child is simply quality time. This sympathy gift can be as simple as spending a few hours with the child, or taking them to do something they enjoy or that was a shared activity between the child and their father. This will give you time to talk about their father while also creating new memories together.

Sympathy gifts are meant to be supportive reminders of the lost loved one while also providing comfort and solace in a time of grief. No sympathy gift is too small nor too large to provide support; taking the time to think about an appropriate sympathy gift for someone who has recently lost a father or other loved one can make a world of difference.

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Last updated January 24, 2023
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