Supporting someone who is dealing with the death of a loved one can take many forms. Gestures like sitting with them at home, offering to help run errands, letting them know that you’re a phone call or text message away can offer grieving people comfort, and can be invaluable.
That being said, if you do want to offer some type of tangible sympathy gift, it’s a good idea to consider both your relationship with the person as well as the depth of their loss, suggests gifting expert Kate Hayes, co-founder of Happy Cabbage, a gifting studio in Chicago. But the most important detail to think about is what the receiver may be needing or could benefit from during this challenging time, she adds. That could be anything from something that will help them prioritize a little self-care, like a journal or bath soak, or something that will help them commemorate their loved one, like a beautifully framed photo. And when in doubt, you can’t go wrong with a simple meal or gift certificate for a delivery service, Hayes notes. Also worth mentioning: “There’s no defined timeline for sympathy gifting because there is no timeline for grief. Any gesture of support is sure to always be appreciated,” she points out. Ahead, Byrdie editors have curated the best sympathy gifts for family and friends when you want to offer condolences.
SKIMS Soft Lounge Sleep Set
When getting dressed feels like too much of a chore, a cozy pair of PJs is the best solution. We love how luxe these feel, combining cooling rayon and a touch of spandex for the perfect fit, in a cut that’s chic enough that you can easily even wear them around company. It’s a practical, thoughtful gift that’s sure to be appreciated.
Price at time of publish: $118
Free People Hailee Sweater Set
Once they’re ready for an upgrade from PJs…but not quite ready for “real” clothes…this is a great in-between. The sweater set is next-level comfortable, but for lounging, but can easily be dressed up for any out-of-the-house activities. We also appreciate that it comes in 14 colors and that both the henley top and cropped pants are made of 100% cotton in a cozy waffle knit.
Price at time of publish: $128
UGG Women's Coquette Slipper
Comfortable and cozy, these slippers are perfect for lounging around the house. Still, given that they have a lug sole bottom, they can be worn outside, too, ideal for popping out to run a quick errand. We also love how they’re the perfect mix of breathable and warm, and look great with or without socks.
Price at time of publish: $120
Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Hydra-Gel Eye Patches
Grief equals crying equals puffy eyes. While perhaps not the most traditional sympathy gift, these luxe eye patches are perfect for combating swelling. Innately cooling and soothing, when we tested these we loved how well they smoothed, de-puffed, and hydrated skin—and the fact that they stay in place and don’t slide around.
Price at time of publish: $75
The Bouqs Co. Never Desert You
Not only is this combo of eucalyptus, alstroemeria, and succulents tasteful and elegant, the succulents can also be re-planted, giving this bouquet more longevity than others.
Price at time of publish: starting at $59
Bathe Brand Mood Mylk Soak
Soften and calm your skin, quiet and soothe your mind—this bath soak can help do both. Aloe and burdock nourish your skin, while coconut and vanilla help boost your mood.
Price at time of publish: $32
West & Willow Custom Pet Portraits
This personalized pet portrait is a beautiful gift for any grieving pet parent. All you have to do is choose your background and frame color and upload a photo and the pet’s name.
Price at time of publish: $67
Alaya Discovery Box
Don’t underestimate just how comforting a warm cup of tea can be. This comes with three organic and biodynamic loose leaf teas, all housed in 100% compostable packaging.
Price at time of publish: $52
Cozy Earth Linen Bamboo Box Quilt
If there’s ever a time to spend curled up in bed, it’s the mourning period. This luxe linen and bamboo quilt is the perfect addition to any bedding set-up, ideal for snuggling under (or using to cuddle up on the couch, once you’re ready to leave the bed).
Price at time of publish: $360-$500
Jiggy Bi-Monthly Puzzle Club
We can think of few things better for getting your mind off things than getting invested in a good puzzle. This is the gift that keeps on giving; they’ll get a new, 500 piece puzzle shipped directly to them every other month.
Price at time of publish: $34 per shipment
Be Rooted You Got This Lined Spiral Journal
Give them a safe space to express all of their emotions, feelings, and frustrations as they work through the complicated stages of grief. This journal is compact enough to take anywhere, and the cover is a nice reminder that you’ve got their back.
Price at time of publish: $16
Hilarious Motivational Swear Word Coloring Book
Coloring is a great way to find some joy and channel your inner child, not to mention help take your mind off the real world for a minute. This hilariously irreverent coloring book is guaranteed to make you giggle.
Price at time of publish: $7
Sunday Forever Design Your Own Lucky Charm Bracelet
Customize this red string bracelet with whatever charms you feel like will resonate most with the recipient. There’s no shortage of options, ranging from initials to zodiac signs to things like horseshoes and evil eyes. It’s an easy way to create a special piece that will help them remember the one they’ve lost.
Price at time of publish: starting at $32
Spoonful of Comfort Chicken Noodle Soup Care Package
Is there anything that epitomizes comfort food better than chicken noodle soup? We think not. This comes with two containers of homestyle soup, plus rolls, cookies, and a customized note from you. (There’s even a ladle included, too.)
Price at time of publish: starting at $85
Have Some Fun Today Black Baseball Cap
It can be so hard to believe it when you’re in the thick of grief, but it is still okay to have some fun and smile. This baseball hat is a cute reminder that sometimes just a little bit of positivity can go a long way.
Price at time of publish: $30
Le Monde Gourmet Le Bubble Pop Bubble Bath
A bubble bath is a great way to sneak in a little self-care, even during the hardest of times. And this whimsical bubble bath is sure to make anyone smile, with packaging reminiscent of those childhood bubbles you loved and a fun fruity, bubble gum inspired scent.
Price at time of publish: $20
TheraBody Smart Goggles
Think of this as a standard eye mask on steroids. It delivers vibration, massage, and heat, all with biometric technology that helps reduce your stress levels, as well as improve sleep quality and soothe headaches, too—all a major boon for someone who is grieving.
Price at time of publish: $199
Solera Sleep Organic Hemp Hull Pillow
If they already own a weighted blanket, consider giving them this weighted pillow instead. It’s great for cuddling up with, and because it’s filled with organic hemp hulls, it naturally conforms to your shape as it rests on your chest or lap.
Price at time of publish: $125
Vuori Restore Hoodie
This zip-up hoodie is as comfy as that ratty old college crewneck, just slightly more elevated. An oversized fit makes it ideal for lounging, and feels like you’ve cocooned yourself in super soft French terry cotton.
Price at time of publish: $138
Star Registration Name a Star Standard Gift Pack
Talk about a long-lasting gift. Name a star after their loved one who has passed, and they’ll have a permanent reminder of them anytime they look up at the night sk,.
Price at time of publish: $45
Baloo Living Cloud Bootie
The term “walking on a cloud” may be somewhat overused, but that’s really what it feels like to wear these. The pull-on booties are plush and quilted, and basically feel like wrapping your feet in individual comforters.
Price at time of publish: $78
Peace Is a Practice: An Invitation To Breathe Deep and Find a New Rhythm for Life
Poet and artist Morgan Harper Nichols may be best known for her inspiring Instagram account, but she’s also the author of this book, geared toward helping anyone find inner peace even in the most uncertain of times.
Price at time of publish: $7
Kashwere Signature Shawl Collar Robe
This unisex robe is everything you want in a robe and then some—extra plush and totally luxurious, with a comfortable oversized fit and deep pockets. They’ll never want to take it off.
Price at time of publish: $160
These candles make a perfect gift for those who are more religious. There are a variety of different options to choose from, each inspired by a different patron saint, so you can choose one that feels most meaningful.
Price at time of publish: $65-$75
Randolph Amelia Aviators
If/when they need to go out in public, gift them these aviators to help hide puffy eyes and dark circles. Sophisticated and classic, they come in eight different colors and metals.
Price at time of publish: $249-$309
Soothe Services Gift Card
A massage may be just what the doctor ordered, and with a gift card to this in-home massage service that doesn’t even require them to leave the house. They can book an appointment quickly and easily online and have a masseuse show up at their door within hours.
Price at time of publish: varies
Jane Wine Strong JW Small Pendant Coin Necklace
This gold necklace features a pendant with a rising sun, a beautiful reminder of resilience, strength, and daily renewed hope.
Price at time of publish: $228
Goldbelly Gift Card
Like we said, you really can’t go wrong with a food delivery service. This one in particular is unique in that it sources all kinds of unique and specialty items from across the country, a great choice for anyone who may be missing a taste of home—think Chicago deep dish pizza, New York City bagels, or Texas barbecue.
Price at time of publish: $25 and up
Artifact Uprising Hardcover Photo Book
Pictures are perhaps the easiest, most tangible way to remember someone who is no longer with us. Like an elevated photo album, this hardcover book is the perfect place to capture and display all of the memories, and is a beautiful keepsake in its own right.
Price at time of publish: $61
inHarmony Music Meditations App
This app gives you access to over 200 tracks that combine meditation and vibroacoustic frequencies to help do everything from reduce stress and anxiety to improve sleep to increase focus to relieve muscle tension. It’s a nice gift for those who need a little assistance helping to get into a better headspace.
Price at time of publish: $8/month or $80/year
Notes on Grief
A touching and personal story of the author’s own experience of losing her father, this memoir will resonate with anyone going through a similar situation, touching on everything from loneliness to anger.
Price at time of publish: $12
Seeds of Life Southern Magnolia Memorial Tree
A magnolia tree is not only beautiful, it’s also a symbol of perseverance, making it perfectly suited for a sympathy gift. Plant this outside and it will become an ever-lasting memorial.
Price at time of publish: $63-$90
Silvercuts Life-Like Keychain
A sentimental way to always keep the memory of a pet close to you, these metal keychains are created based on a photo and offer a perfect resemblance. They can also be engraved with a message of your choosing.
Price at time of publish: starting at $40
Ole in the Wind Memorial Copper Wind Chime
A thoughtful gift that they can enjoy forever, this comes with a comforting quote, though can also be personalized with a message of your choice. Plus, it makes for a beautiful piece of outdoor decor.
Price at time of publish: $59
eCreamery Sympathy Ice Cream Gift
Sad situations call for ice cream. This set of four pints—in yummy flavors including sea salt caramel brownie, chocolate cake, praline pecan, and coffee toffee—will hit the spot; the sympathy-inspired names are a nice added touch.
Price at time of publish: $60
Remix Lifestyle CLEAR Essential Oil Aromatherapy Spray
A few spritzes of this help to remove negative energy and increase peace in any physical space—yes, please. Credit the addition of sage to cleanse and purify, alongside rose to help release anger, guilt, and resentment.
Price at time of publish: $48
Dwell: A Journal for Naming, Processing, and Embracing Your Emotions
Here’s a way to better understand, process, and embrace all of the many emotions that can arise during a period of loss. Rather than judging yourself or trying to deflect, this encourages you to not only feel the feels but also learn more about them.
Price at time of publish: $17
Susabellas In Memory Gift
The perfect memento to keep on a nightstand or vanity, this heart-shaped ceramic dish offers a sweet reminder that even the ones we lose are always with us.
Price at time of publish: $33
Levain Bakery Signature Cookie Assortment Gift Box
Gooey, sweet, delicious cookies will make anyone feel better, even if it’s just for a few minutes. This four-pack comes with the iconic bakery’s original flavors—chocolate chip walnut, dark chocolate chip, dark chocolate peanut butter chip, and oatmeal raisin— already beautifully gift-wrapped.
Price at time of publish: $29
JALL Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock
It can be hard to get out of bed when you’re grieving, which is where this alarm clock comes in. Its various lighting settings mimic a natural sunrise; you can also choose from calming sounds to wake up to, think ocean waves or piano music.
Price at time of publish: $40
Ban.do Feeling Feelings Card Deck
A great way to help process and better understand all of the many (many) feelings associated with grief, these cards are categorized according to five different types of emotions and offer prompts for conversations, journal entries, and more.
Price at time of publish: $20
Bloomscape Peace Lily
In lieu of giving a short-lived bouquet, consider this houseplant instead. Not only is it aptly-named for the situation, it’s also incredibly resilient and long-lasting.
Price at time of publish: $169
Saje Aroma Om Cool Mist Diffuser
Don’t underestimate the power of aromatherapy when it comes to helping create a more soothing, calming, peaceful environment (AKA what someone needs when they’re grieving). This particular diffuser utilizes a cool mist technology in order to better preserve the integrity of essential oils and boasts a sleek and streamlined design.
Price at time of publish: $98
Twelvehawk Comfort Stone
Small but meaningful, this is a great gift to pair with a thoughtful card. The worry stone is made of agate, known to help heal the body, mind, and spirit.
Price at time of publish: $8
Coffee & Motivation Company A Hug in a Jar Candle
Consider this a more tangible version of the ‘sending you a big hug’ platitude. It’s a sweet way to remind someone that they’re never alone, not to mention burns for over 60 hours and comes in six different scents.
Price at time of publish: $62
Aesthete Herbal Chai
Either brewed straight or as latte, this blend of rooibos tea, spices, and vanilla is warm and comforting. Pair it with a cute mug if you want to make it feel like a bit more of a substantial gift.
Price at time of publish: $10
Dawn Toussaint Custom DIY Pet Paint Kit
Anyone who’s grieving the loss of a pet will appreciate this gift. Send in your choice of photo and it’s turned into a paint-by-numbers portrait. Not only will it make for a beautiful memento, it’s also a great activity that will make for a nice distraction during tough times.
Price at time of publish: starting at $46
Jenny Patinkin Rose on Rose Face Roller
Not only does this face roller feel nice and soothing, it’s also made of rose quartz, a crystal known for helping to promote feelings of love and self-acceptance.
Price at time of publish: $38
Saatva Weighted Silk Eye Mask
Sleep can be hard to come by when you’re super stressed and sad. Enter this eye mask, which not only fully blocks out light but is also weighted, imparting a gentle pressure that helps you relax. Bonus points for the fact that it’s made out of extra high-quality Mulberry silk.
Price at time of publish: $75
Winds of Change Botanica Energy Clearing Essential Package
If they’re feeling like they’re ready for a shift in energy in their space, this is a one-stop-shop to change up the vibes. A bundle of sage, Palo Santo, and more will help clear stagnant energy and help bring in the new.
Price at time of publish: $35
Why Trust Byrdie
Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has nearly 15 years of journalism experience covering the beauty and lifestyle space for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. She’s written countless gift guides across a wide array of topics and categories, and is Byrdie’s top gift guide writer. (She also prides herself on being an excellent gift-giver.)