When a loved one is dealing with the death of someone close to them it can be hard to watch them struggle. There are many ways to provide support during this time, but you don’t want to go about it the wrong way. Sending sympathy gifts can be intimidating because there is certain “etiquette” that you want to follow but aren’t sure about. If you’re unsure about proper sympathy gift etiquette and the myths surrounding giving gifts, keep reading.

Do I have to send a sympathy gift to show that I care?

Absolutely not. Sympathy gifts are not required to show someone that you care about them after a loss. In fact, there are many other ways to show you care. You can simply send a heartfelt condolence note or card. Sympathy flowers are also an option, but if you are tight on funds, just being there to listen and talk can provide comfort and support.

You don’t need to spend money to be there for a friend or loved one. You can offer to help our around the house with laundry or yard work or offer to bring meals to the grieving family. In fact, people are more likely to remember those who showed up and were there than those who sent gifts or cards from a far. While sympathy gifts are not necessary, they are thoughtful and touching.

Do I have to send sympathy gifts right away?

No, sympathy gifts do not need to be sent right away after a loss. It is customary to send a sympathy card, flowers or gift right after you’ve heard about a loss, but there is no specific deadline. The grieving process is a long and complicated one and some of the hardest times are the few months after a loss when the supportive people fade away. If you know someone that is still struggling with loss months after, it is completely acceptable to send them a sympathy gift then. Anniversaries are also a difficult time and it’s appropriate to send a gift commemorating them.

Do I have to send sympathy gifts to the most immediate family member of the deceased?

The common etiquette when sending sympathy gifts used to be sending them to the most immediate family member of the deceased. However, times have changed. If you are closer to a more distant relative of the deceased, it’s acceptable to send them a gift. Of course, if you only knew the deceased and weren’t close to their family, you would send the gift to the most immediate family member. That would be a spouse if they were still living and if they aren’t, children or siblings.

Does a memorial gift have to be sent on an anniversary?

No, a memorial gift does not have to be sent on an anniversary. If you know someone that is struggling with a loss, you can give them a memorial gift at any time. Anniversaries are a common time to gift something like a memorial tree or memorial stone, but by no means are you limited to the anniversary of a death for gifting those items.

Where can I find sympathy gifts?

You can always visit your local store to get a sympathy gift, but one of the best places to find sympathy gifts is online at a site like The Comfort Company. These online sites have a wide variety of sympathy gifts to choose from and you even have the option to personalize them. With more options available to you, chances are that you can find a better sympathy gift that your loved one will better relate to. Instead of common gifts, online you can find stunning memorial jewelry, memorial trees, frames, windchimes are more. The benefit of online shopping also eliminates the need to visit the post office. Online companies allow you to purchase sympathy gifts and send them directly to your grieving loved one, which makes the process easier for you.

Does a sympathy gift have to be personalized?

No, a sympathy gift does not have to be personalized. However, personalization is a great way to add another layer to a sympathy gift. Instead of a generic frame, you can add a name or their favorite Bible verse to create a more personal feel. During a stressful and exhausting grieving process, sometimes the smallest sentiments can make the largest impact. If you are truly trying to provide added comfort and support, a personalized sympathy gift is a good way to show that you care.


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