The Art of Expressing Condolences: Appropriate and Respectful Acknowledgments of Loss

A thoughtful and useful sympathy gift is generally the best way to express condolences. It’s also the most appropriate way to show you care and understand their grief. However, before sending any kind of gift, it’s important to know how to best acknowledge the loss to a grieving person or family.

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Appropriate Expressions of Condolence

Items such as flowers, personal dedications, baked goods, dried fruits, and homemade meals are the most common ways to offer condolences. Depending on the situation and the relationship you have with the grieving person or family, you need to choose the best way to show you care and support them during this difficult time.

The Sympathy Gift Basket

Tangible items such as a basket full of fruits or mixed arrangement of assorted food items is a caring gift that provide comfort and nourishment to the grieving family. You can send them to co-workers, family members, and to friends who have suffered a loss.

Flower Arrangements

A delicate floral arrangement sent to your loved one can be a wonderful gesture. It shows you care about them and haven’t forgotten them in this difficult time. Some people ask that donations be made in lieu of flowers to specific charities that the deceased used to support. It’s important to make sure you know this before you pick out a flower arrangement. Also, it is common for a house to be filled with flowers right after a memorial service, so you may consider sending flowers a few weeks after when they may not have any. Read our other blog, In Lieu of Flowers and The Best Sympathy Gifts for more ideas on ways to show you care.

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Honoring the Name

There are plenty of options to honor the names of the ones we have lost. You can plant a tree, donate a bench in a park, or paint their name on a brick at one of their favorite buildings. You can attach plaques to these gifts that bear the name of the individual. The dedication can provide a long-lasting comfort to the family.

While these are thoughtful ways of expressing condolences, you should talk to them about when, where, and how to best express your condolences.

These types of gifts are usually sent to the immediate family or the next of kin and usually upon hearing about the loss. Contacting this person would also give you guidance on whether your gift should be sent to the funeral home or the residence of the grieving person.

Show your concern through KikuPal

One of the things most people who are grieving struggle with are the daily chores such as cleaning, cooking, and grocery shopping weeks and months following the loss. In the midst of dealing with their grief and loss, these things tend to get overlooked.

KikuPals’s online grief support platform can help you provide the support that your family members or friends need during their grief journeys. Create a KikuPal account for them and purchase gift points that they can redeem for practical services such as housekeeping, meal delivery, rides, grief support, and more.

Also, check out our Resources page for more information on grief support groups and counseling services available to them.