Whether you are shopping as a griever or for a griever (or both!), searching for gifts at the holidays can be tough. You're surrounded by all those happy people at Target. Meanwhile there you are, struggling to find the motivation to shop or struggling to find the 'right' gift for someone who has suffered a devastating loss this year—all to the soundtrack of holiday music that may be bringing more tears than joy.
So today, we want to share a handful of ideas of grief gifts you can buy for someone grieving, or as someone grieving. We know there are many other great ideas, so please leave a comment with your ideas to keep our list going!
We picked all of these items because we truly love them and think they are wonderful gifts. Some links are affiliate links, which means if you decide to make a purchase through this list you pay what you always would, but a small percent of your purchase goes toward the free grief education and support offered here at What's Your Grief!
The variety when it comes to memorial jewelry seems to grow every day. You can never go wrong with jewelry, and memorial jewelry allows someone to remember the person they’ve lost. You can get creative and make your own, or purchase some online (Etsy is a great option for this!). And if you like any of the examples above, click the image for the link to purchase.
Hapless Holiday Box:
We love these Compassion Packages from our friends over at Here For You! They have a ton of options for different types of losses, and you can even customize your own box. And, once again, you can click the images above to be view these options on the Here For You site.
If you have a nice photograph of the person who died that other friends or family may not have, a framed photo can be a lovely gesture. Things Remembered and Etsy are always great options for getting frames engraved (or almost anything else engraved, including memorial candles, memory boxes, jewelry, etc). If you like any of the examples above, click the image for the option to purchase.
Decorating at the holidays can be tough, especially in the first couple of years after a loss. Giving someone an ornament in memory of their loved one is a lovely way to incorporate the loved one into the holiday. It could be an engraved ornament, or one with a photograph, or just be something that reminds you of the person who died. This may be something you create or something you purchase. If you would like to purchase, Etsy is a great place to look. And Hallmark puts out an a new memorial ornament each year. If you like any of the examples above, click the image for the option to purchase.
Items That Belonged To Your Loved One:
Parting with a loved one's belongings can be difficult. If you are responsible for the belongings of someone who died, one thing you can do is give meaningful items to others as a holiday gift. It can be jewelry, cuff links, a piece of artwork, or anything else that a friend or family member would treasure.
Framed Recipes, Letters, Notes, etc:
When someone dies their handwritten notes, recipes, and letters take on a new significance. If you have something like this it can be framed and turned into a nice gift. If you like any of the options above, click the photo for the option to purchase. You can also check out our article, 9 Ways to Preserve Handwriting.
A Tammy Bear is a bear made out of an article of clothing. If you visit the tammybears.com, you can order a custom bear made from whatever piece of clothing you wish. This can be a meaningful way to do something with your loved one’s clothing. And I'm sure that if you're more crafty than I am, you could probably make a bear like this yourself.
Like a Tammy Bear, you can make quilts out of someone’s clothing (or order them online if you're less crafty!). You can check out some amazing examples of memorial quilts here, or click the photos above to see some options you can buy online.
Massage or Spa Gift Certificate:
When we are grieving, it becomes very hard to take care of ourselves. Our bodies physically hold on to the stress that comes with a loss. So, a gift certificate for a massage or other spa treatment can encourage a griever to take care of themselves.
The Gift of Grief Support: the What's Your Grief Book
Whatever loss they have been through, What's Your Grief: Lists to Help You Through Any Loss was written to provide accessible, relatable, concrete, creative ways to better understand and cope with grief. Written by mental health professionals who have survived their fair share of personal loss, this book is a great gift to help those in your life head into a new year. Get it at the following book stores:
- Our WYG Store
- Barnes & Noble
- Books A Million
- Hudson Booksellers
A memory or memorial box is a classic grief gift. There are many online, ranging dramatically in size and style. If you like any of the examples above, click the image for the option to purchase.
Things Your Loved One Would Have Loved:
One of the things that can be tough about holiday shopping is seeing things your loved one would have loved. It's a painful reminder that they're gone. But consider buying those items and giving them to someone else who would love them (even if it isn't someone you would normally shop for). You can also donate these items to a charity in memory of your loved one.
Leave a comment with your ideas for grief gifts.
We wrote a book!
After writing online articles for What’s Your Grief
for over a decade, we finally wrote a tangible,
What’s Your Grief? Lists to Help you Through Any Loss is for people experiencing any type of loss. This book discusses some of the most common grief experiences and breaks down psychological concepts to help you understand your thoughts and emotions. It also shares useful coping tools, and helps the reader reflect on their unique relationship with grief and loss.
You can find What’s Your Grief? Lists to Help you Through Any Loss wherever you buy books: