[Shop for Sympathy Gifts]
No words or gifts can ease the pain and suffering caused by the loss of a loved one. In their desire to provide comfort, friends and relatives will send flowers and gifts. Perhaps they will make a charitable donation. Some choose to send a ready-to-heat gourmet meal. Others will send a sympathy gift basket of ready-to-eat foods and snacks, a fruit basket or a gorgeous spray of flowers. While these are all wonderful ways to express their sympathy, friends and family often neglect the simplest, most basic, and perhaps the most appreciated of all the gifts – the gift of your time.
Well-wishers who live close to a friend or family member suffering from a loss have the opportunity to give of their time. For example, offer to clean the house, pick up the kids from school, or watch the children while arrangements are made. If the family must travel for the funeral, friends and neighbors can watch the house, walk and feed the family dog, and pick up the mail. Any of these sympathetic gestures would be of enormous and immeasurable value and a wonderful way to express your deepest sympathy.
For friends and loved ones who have moved away and cannot lend their physical support, they can express their condolences by sending a gift. In this age of the Internet, shopping is available 24/7 and makes it easy and convenient to express your sympathy. Sending flowers, fruit or a sympathy gift basket is appropriate and will be greatly appreciated. Keep in mind, however, that flowers wilt and fruit perishes shortly after being received. A sympathy gift basket of ready-to-eat foods and snacks, that the grieving individual or family can enjoy over time, is a wonderful bereavement gift. If you do choose flowers or fruit, find a retailer close to the individual or family.
In closing, should you decide to send a sympathy gift basket, consider delaying the arrival of your gift. Well-wishers often feel compelled to have their sympathy gift basket arrive the day of the funeral; as if they don’t want the grieving family to think they neglected to send a gift. The family is mourning and is not focused on whether or not you have sent your gift. They are self-absorbed, and rightly so, consumed with their grief. Mourning takes time! Sending your sympathy gift basket a week or two post-funeral will be of enormous comfort. A delayed delivery of your sympathy gift basket will show that you continue to have them in your thoughts and prayers -- that you haven’t forgotten their pain and suffering. Death is a difficult subject and many of us want to move quickly pass in avoidance of the subject. Only the passing of time will help those who mourn. Having your sympathy gift basket arrive late is not inappropriate, but rather, recommended.
Mary Quirk, author, is President & Founder of Mary's A Basket Case, Inc. She operates two websites, both specializing in gift basket delivery. Mary is an alumna of Boston College and lives in Boston, MA, with her husband, three children and Shetland Sheepdog.
[Shop for Sympathy Gifts]