When a loved one dies, there is no gift that can compete with the loss and grief. However, you can provide comfort to a friend who has lost a loved one with thoughtful gifts that may help your friend rest and reflect. Consider the goodies that your friend likes to eat, the music your friend enjoys, and the small comforts that your friend relishes in life. Incorporate those likes and comforts into a bereavement gift.
Journal and Pen
Purchase a decorative journal and secure a pen to the front cover by wrapping a bow around the duo. Your friend may not feel like writing at first, but as time passes, your friend may need an outlet for the many stages of grief, including sadness and anger.
Purchase a soft blanket that is large enough for an adult to wrap up in and still have some room. Your friend likely will use this blanket on sleepless nights. The blanket will serve as a gentle reminder of the friends who support and love her during this difficult time.
Comfort Gift Basket
Make your own gift basket stocked with foods and snacks that your friend likes. Drop in items that she may need during her time of grief -- pain reliever in a travel-size dose, vitamins, an eye mask, aromatherapy lotions and pillow sprays, bubble bath, a soft pair of socks and a CD of soft music for reflecting.
The Gift of Time
Sometimes during a time of bereavement, friends assume that a grieving person wants to be alone. The truth is, however, that the grieving person needs a loving and trusted presence in the house to take care of details that cannot be attended to at the moment. Consider giving your time to a grieving friend. You can commit several hours a day to sitting at home with your friend, answering phone calls, making her dinner, cleaning her house, crying with her and eventually getting her out of the house to enjoy a day of relaxation or fun.
Set up a bedside memorial for your grieving friend with a few simple items. Clear off her bedside table and place a framed photo of the deceased loved one. Place a candle in a lantern beside the frame. Set up a large glass jar, a stack of index cards and a pen. Encourage your friend to light the candle when she is feeling down, then write down good memories of the deceased on the index cards and place the cards in the jar. Later, she can use the cards to remember and reflect on the life and legacy of the deceased.
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Vera Leigh has worked as a professional freelance writer since 2008. Her work has appeared in "Learn Overseas" and "Grad Source" magazines. In addition, she received an honorable mention in "Newsweek's" My Turn contest. She has written features for nonprofits focused on literacy, education, genomics and health. In her spare time, Leigh puts her English major to use by tutoring in grammar and composition.
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