7 Thoughtful Gifts
When a friend or family member loses a loved one, their whole world is turned upside down, and their normal way of life is suddenly interrupted. As a friend that loves them, you want to show you care by being thoughtful with a gift that you hope helps them with their grieving process.
Obviously, a listening ear and a caring heart are the two best things you can offer a widow and their family. But there are more than just one or two ways for you to do this. Consider what their other friends and family members are doing, and try to fill in where there might be a gap.
Meaningful Gift Ideas for a Widow
Finding a meaningful gift for a grieving friend is never easy. Just as it is never easy to find the right words to say during difficult times. A meaningful gift is more than a way to express your condolences, it is a gift that will try its best to make their lives a little bit easier during this difficult time.
After the death of a loved one everything changes. A widow is suddenly facing an empty house, a different routine, and an entirely different lifestyle. When you’re thinking of a thoughtful gift for a widow, think of gifts that can help her feel less stressed.
These are some gift ideas for a widow and her family we believe they’ll appreciate the most.
1. Meals for the Family
One of the toughest things for a grieving widow or family is just doing the everyday things, like going to the grocery store and buying things to make meals. So, you can do a few really helpful things here:
You can buy ingredients and make a big dinner for them. A big meal is good because you might not know how many people will be there to eat. So doing a big stew in a crockpot or a large casserole, where different people can get different sized portions, is easier and more helpful than say making them four pork chops. Also, make it easy for them, without a lot of components. Just give them something like a crock pot to plug in or a casserole dish with instructions on how long they need to cook it.
Buy frozen dinners they can put in their freezer for whenever they are ready to eat. There might already be several people making dinners for them, so a thoughtful gesture like stocking their freezer with future meals is a way to think ahead.
2. Care Packages
These are great because they can be an assortment of non gift-wrapped items that might make their next few weeks easier. These can range from snacks to alcohol to household items like toilet paper and paper towels.
Remember that they might not be in the mood to go to any store, but their daily lives go on. This is also an opportunity to have your kids add something to the care packages, which might help them understand the grieving process, too. Have your kids draw a pretty scene of a house or a sunset, with an “I love you” message.
3. Help With Their Children
If they have small kids, they might not understand what’s happening. Preparing children for a funeral is tough enough, let alone having to deal with the loss of a loved one at the same time. Offering help with the children will feel like a huge weight has been lifted off their shoulders.
Offer to take their kids for a night or two, or even to just pick their kids up for school for a week. Another thoughtful act would be to offer to pick their kids up from school for play dates with your kids for a few days each week. It’s also important for the kids, as they’ll often feel overlooked during this time, as one parent remains in shock over the loss of another parent.
4. Cleaning Services
While daily and weekly chores are often pushed aside, a widow’s house is frequently visited by dozens of friends and family members, which means there’s a lot of foot traffic on the carpets, and plenty of dishes and laundry to be done.
If you’re able to help do some cleaning, that’s just as good, but you might find it easier to buy them a once- or twice-weekly cleaning service to come in and tidy up for them for a few weeks. It’s important, though, that you make sure which things are to be touched/cleaned and which aren’t. For instance, they might not be ready to have things cleaned, washed/removed that their lost loved one owned. Always make sure to discuss with the family and the cleaning service provider to avoid any confrontation.
5. Mow Their Lawns
Based on our last gift idea, mowing their lawn serves a similar need. The days, weeks, and even months after a widow says goodbye to her loved one are very difficult. Lawn maintenance is perhaps the last thing on her mind. However, keeping up a tidy home can give her peace of mind.
Whether you do it or your kids, or you hire a lawn service, it’s nice to take this chore off their hands for a bit. They’ll undoubtedly appreciate coming home to a manicured lawn, and it will give them time to figure out what their new schedule is going to be like.
You could also help them with their gardens. Try to see if they would like to participate. Gardening has been proven to help with depression and can help new widows process the loss of their loved one.
6. Joining them for a Long Walk
Exercise has always been an excellent treatment for depression, and when someone is grieving, this could be a perfect outlet for all the physical anguish their body is holding onto. Go to a lake or a park, and just go for a long walk, where you can both talk and just take your time.
This might be where they choose to share some thoughts with you, or it might just be a time where they enjoy a silent walk with someone they love and trust. Either way, they’ll be getting their endorphins going, which will help clear their minds and help them sleep better. Before the end of your walk – make plans for your next walk to help give them something to look forward to.
If you have a dog, enlist your dog too! Dogs are great companions to have when dealing with depression. Even if it’s for a minute, your widow friend will probably break a smile thanks to your pup.
7. Gift Cards
This one couldn’t seem more impersonal, but what it does is not assume what the other person wants or needs. Let them get what they need when they need it. Consider talking to a group of your friends and getting an assortment of gift cards for your widower friend. These could be gift cards for restaurants and grocery stores, or they could be for something like a massage or pedicure. Let them know you’d be happy to join them for the latter if they’d like.
The most important thing you want to impress upon a new widow or widower with your gift is that someone is thinking about them and that they’re not going to go through the grieving process alone. Another great gift to offer a grieving friend is to offer to join them when they go to talk to the funeral home.
The Gardens of Boca Raton – Cemetery and Funeral Services understands what new widows are going through, so be sure to ask them what you might be able to do to help your friend through such a trying time. Sometimes, the company of a friend is all they’ll want and need.
The Boca Raton Funeral Home and The Gardens serve the counties of Broward, Dade and Palm Beach. If you would like gift help regarding services, please fill out the form below to receive your FREE funeral gift guide.