When a friend or colleague loses somebody close to them, it can be difficult to know what to do or say. A unique sympathy gift is a good way to show support. These tips can help you find the right way to express your condolences:
Send a unique sympathy gift that reflects your relationship. If you were very close to the bereaved, a generous donation or gift is a good way to signal how much you care. If you do not know them very well, such as in the case of a neighbor, work associate or professional contact, a smaller donation or gift is more appropriate.
Honor the family's wishes. If the family requests a charitable donation in lieu of flowers, take-up a collection among other friends or work associates, or make a personal contribution. When sending the donation, indicate that you are making the donation in the deceased person’s name. Ask if the charity will send a list of donors to the deceased’s family, and a card on your behalf. If the charity does not send a card, you may also wish to send a short note that indicates that you have made a contribution.
Make a personal gesture. Even if you send a charitable donation, reach out on a personal level. A card with a heartfelt note is a gracious way to show you care. A small gift, like a plant, will last for a long time, reminding them of your kindness for months and years to come.
Do not wait to show your concern. Delaying your sympathy gesture may result in hurt feelings and a compounded sense of loss; even if they seem unreachable, people in mourning will appreciate your effort. They feel worse if they sense their friends have abandoned them in their time of need. Send a gift or donation as soon as you can.
Reach out when the funeral is over. Whether or not you attended the service or sent a donation, make sure to call or send a short note a week or two after the passing. Oftentimes it is when life goes back to “normal” - when visiting relatives have left and funeral planning is over – that grief is most profound. If you have already sent a gift, then a card or call is plenty. If not, a unique sympathy gift like a small plant will send a long lasting message of caring.