Sympathy Gift Baskets

Written by Sarah Provost
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Sending a sympathy gift basket to someone who has been recently bereaved is an unusual but very thoughtful gesture. Flowers, the more traditional gift, are lovely, but chances are that there are already a lot of them. Flowers express your condolences, but don't offer any other direct comfort to the bereaved.

Creating a Sympathy Gift Basket

Friends and neighbors may already have provided the bereaved person or family with casseroles, deli platters and other gifts of food to help them through the first difficult days. Consider, instead, putting a gift certificate for a local restaurant in your gift basket. If you're giving it to an individual, explicitly include your company with the gift, since he might not want to dine alone. If it's a family, choose a kid-friendly restaurant. Not only does this gift provide food, but it helps get the recipients out of the house and back into the world. Be sure the expiration date, if there is one, is far enough in advance to give them time to be ready for such an excursion.

A blank book might also be an excellent gift for a mourner. She can choose to use it as a guest book, as a photo album, or as a journal. If it is used as a journal, it will help the grieving process by giving her a place to express her emotions privately and at whatever length necessary.

If you should have a wonderful photo of the deceased, especially if it also includes the mourner, frame it nicely and add it to your basket. A personal note, remembering happy times, is a lovely touch. Finally, if your friend lives in another area, include a phone card with a note asking him to call you whenever he wants to talk.

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