Paper Plates and Practical Gifts for Grievers

Alright, I admit it – around holidays and special days, I am a total stress ball, overthinking the gifts I give to others. But, in my defense, does anyone really ever know exactly what present to get their future mother-in-law? All jokes aside, gift-giving can be super stressful. And grief can amp up the anxieties we feel when giving presents for holidays, birthdays, or just-because.

If you’re looking for the words to say or the perfect gift to give to tell someone you truly care, you’re in luck. We’ve compiled some great ways to “give” to the person in you life who is grieving.

Gift Cards or Groupons

Gift cards and Groupon certificates are great presents because they are so versatile. You could give the gift of food, a fun family day, a trip to a spa, and that’s not all!

Our favorite idea in this category: Buying a Groupon or gift card to a restaurant the person who died loved with the plan to use the certificate together (quality time!) as part of the gift.

Thoughtful Notes

Some of my favorite gifts I’ve ever received have been handwritten notes. It’s so nice to know that others are thinking of you and that they went through the time to jot everything down. Maybe include one of your favorite stories about the person who died in your note!

Our favorite idea in this category: Letting the person know that you literally do not know what to say is always acceptable. Just let them know that you care.

Acts of Service Gifts

When you’re grieving, everyday tasks can become extremely difficult. If you’ve lost the other parent in your home, you may have lost your kids’ ride to school in the morning, the one who cooks dinner, or the one who got the groceries. If you know your grieving friend could use an extra hand with child care, ride sharing, dinner, or quick errands, offering to help with those tasks can be a huge help and in invaluable gift.

Our favorite idea in this category: Sometimes we all just need a break! Offering to take your grieving friend’s kids to go do something so they can have a day/afternoon/evening to themselves can help your grieving friend recharge.

Memorial Gifts

There are many different ways you can memorialize the person who died. Donating to a cause they cared about in their honor, putting their name on a park bench in an area they trafficked often, or even simply creating a memory box to share with the family are all great options!

Our favorite idea in this category: Memorial gifts don’t have to be expensive or permanent. Candles in scents that remind you or your friend/family of the loved one can be great memorial gift options!


Do you have any photos of the person who died laying around that the family may not have? Share those photos with them as a sweet way to help them remember past memories or learn more about their loved one.

Our favorite idea in this category: If you have more than one photo of the person who died, think about gifting a collage or album!

Things the Loved one Would Have Loved

Did the loved one like playing guitar? Maybe a guitar pick memento for the family member would be nice. Did the loved one like cooking or baking? Maybe get the family something they can use in the kitchen.

Our favorite idea in this category: Ask the family to tell some stories about what their loved one enjoyed. You will get some ideas of gifts to give and the family will get a chance to remember and know that you care.


I’m a huge fan of subscriptions. Not only do I get what I need without having to leave my house, but subscriptions are literally the gift that keeps on giving.

Our favorite idea in this category: Meal time can be super stressful when you’ve lost a loved one. A great subscription option would be either a food box subscription or a few month pass to a service like Shipt that delivers your groceries.

Cozy Things

There are moments/days in grief when getting out of bed is a daunting task. Let your friend or family member know that it is okay to be sad and it is okay to need times to sulk by getting them blankets or comfortable socks.

Our favorite idea in this category: A heating pad or heated blanket is a great gift for a griever! Not only are they cozy, but the added heat can help to soothe aches that can happen as a result of the body’s response to significant loss.

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