Thinking Things Out
Take your time and make the right choice when it comes to condolence gifts. It’s very easy to choose something that actually adds fuel to a depression fire, if you’re not careful. There are “dos”, and there are “don’ts” to consider here. In the following writing, we’ll explore a few of them to help inform how you go about choosing condolence gifts.
1. Do Get Flowers
Flowers tend to be an exceptionally appropriate condolence gift, as they have an ephemeral quality, and even if you get some that represent something different than you intended, most will appreciate the gesture enough to overlook such a mistake. The only real caveat here would involve allergies, which few have to most artistic bouquets.
2. Don’t Make Some Big Emotional Gesture: A Card Instead
Gifts that are Grand gestures are for parties. They’re for weddings. They’re for graduation ceremonies. Even in those scenarios, you can go “overboard”. For funerals, grand gestures are generally not the best move; not unless whatever gesture you’ve got up your sleeve reveals something the bereaved could know no other way. Don’t do big “gesture” gifts.
3. Do Listen Quietly, and “Be There” For the Bereaved
More than anything, someone who has just experienced serious loss needs you to just be there for them. They just need someone to listen, to share in their grief, and to recognize the sadness of their loss. So commit yourself to listening quietly, and being a presence, rather than a force of nature. Quietly share their pain. The gift here is that of “time”.
4. Don’t Try to “Get Their Mind Off the Pain”; Let Them Grieve
Speaking of pain, it’s an instinct for us to try and “cheer someone up”, but all that really does is forestall a future emotional reckoning. Grief is a process that has stages, and it’s best for you to let those stages mature over time.
Don’t try and cheer a bereaved person up, rather, let them “get it all out”. As in point number three, just quietly be there. They need someone to listen. If you’re there, over time, their grief will pass. Just remember that all things in life are for but a season.
So maybe, beyond just being there in terms of time, you take someone somewhere as a gift with the real purpose being to let them “get it out”. A hike, a walk; a “gift” like that can be quite helpful.
Helping Those Who Are Suffering Through the Hard Times
Flowers are almost always going to be the right move. Big emotional gestures aren’t going to be a good idea, because those tend to make a given event about “you” more than they make it about either those who have passed on, or those who are grieving. Being there is good, but be there to “listen”, not to try and “cheer them up”. Let the bereaved grieve.
These are just a few things you’ll want to keep in mind as you consider buying appropriate gifts for the bereaved. Generally, they describe an attitude of true sympathy and support. That’s the attitude to approach this situation with.