They may seem like an unusual idea, but sympathy gifts can make grieving easier. For most people, their first inclination is to back away from someone who is grieving, reasoning that they need their space or just finding themselves unsure of exactly what to do or say. It’s a natural reaction, but it is possible to reach out and offer support with a thoughtful and touching gift.

There are no magic words that can erase the pain and sorrow felt by individuals who are grieving. And everyone grieves in their own way and at their own pace. It can be difficult to know exactly how to react but it is important to realize that sometimes just being there and listening is the best form of support. If you want to offer your support in a more tangible way, then a remembrance gift can be the perfect gesture.

Taking a step beyond the traditional sympathy card or bouquet of flowers, there are many ways to remember your loved ones or offer support and encouragement to grieving friends. A garden stone or wind chime can bring peace and tranquility, or perhaps a beautifully framed photo or inspirational saying can express the feelings you want to share.

A piece of jewelry with a relevant word or saying can be the perfect way to keep a deceased loved one close to your heart. Ornaments that include a picture enable departed to be included in holiday celebrations, helping to ease the pain of separation that can be particularly difficult at moments like those. And with specially designed sympathy gifts, this kind of remembrance can even be extended to beloved pets that have come and gone from our lives.

Inspirational books can also be an ideal way to offer encouragement and support. As the grieving individual draws strength from the carefully chosen words, they’ll be able to reflect not only on the loved one they’ve lost but also on the thoughtful friend who reached out to them in this special way. It can have more of an impact than you’d ever imagine.

Remember that grieving can be a lengthy process. While most of us feel the need to reach out in the immediate days and weeks after the loss, it is not necessary to give a condolence gift then. In fact, it is often the unexpected gesture that occurs during the quiet periods of normal life that can have the greatest impact because those can sometimes be the toughest times in the journey of grieving.

Just as there are no right words to ease grief, there are no rules that dictate when you have to express your sympathy and support. Sympathy gifts can be given at any time and can take whatever form you feel appropriate. The important part is the thought involved in the giving and the feelings expressed by the gesture.

Grieving is a very unique journey that we all take at some point in our lives. Having a friend or family member care enough to reach out with a simple gift can serve as a reminder that we are not making that journey alone. It may not seem like much, but it can make the path we travel so much easier to bear.

Chelsea Hanson is the founder of, which is an online retailer of sympathy gifts. For more grief support, please visit our site for your free e-book, “How to Help Another Who is Grieving”

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