The 17 Best Sympathy Gifts of 2021, According to an Expert

Show you care to those in mourning

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Our Top Picks
Comforting and meaningful, this candle holder can be placed anywhere around the home and can double as decor.
Filled with 31 pre-made notes, this keepsake jar offers the ability to read a comforting message when needed.
Engraved with a special quote, the moon lamp is beautifully designed and crafted to provide a comforting glow.
This compassion blanket will comfort those in need thanks to the plush sherpa composition and meaningful words.
For those grieving loss of their dad, this necklace serves as a constant reminder of a bond never broken.
Providing a subtle glow, this cardinal candle symbolizes the continued presence of a loved one after they've passed.
This memorial bracelet is simple and full of meaning for anyone who has lost a sister.
Hear the comforting sounds of these chimes, which can be displayed inside or outside your home.
Dealing with grief can be complicated, but this comprehensive book is designed to help with the ongoing and painful process.
Doubling as a keepsake and a bowl, this option is handmade and features a beautiful design and quote.

It can be difficult to know how to support someone going through the grief process after the loss of a loved one. Knowing what to say, when to give someone space, and when to provide company are common concerns. Furthermore, the person grieving might not know what they need at the moment and may not feel comfortable reaching out for help.

Feelings of grief can fluctuate between depression, anxiety, and even insomnia with no warning at all—making it difficult to navigate everyday life. And in addition to adjusting to a new normal, some people may find it difficult to adjust their identity as an individual without their loved ones.

If you're unsure how to reach out to a grieving person, sympathy gifts are a great way to show love, concern, and support. “A sympathy gift is a good way to let someone know that you are available for support when needed, without invading their need for space,” says Anna Travers, LMHC.

Here are the best sympathy gifts on the market, according to a licensed mental health counselor.

Land of Love Angel Tealight Candle Holder

Land of Love Candle Holder
Pros
  • Uplifting and comforting

  • Safe for any age to use

  • Quality materials

Cons
  • No activity involved

  • Some may prefer a real candle

This keepsake gift brings comfort and a little light for a quiet moment of remembering. The angel figurine represents the idea that those who pass are still looking out for us. The figurine is made of high-quality polished resin and comes with a flameless tea light candle.

It's 6 inches tall and weighs just under 1.5 pounds. Since the candle is flameless, it is much safer for kids or teenagers.

KindNotes Glass Keepsake Sympathy Note Jar

KindNotes Keepsake Jar
Pros
  • Long-time use

  • Multiple design options

  • Multiple message packages

Cons
  • No custom messages

  • Expensive

  • Jar and notes are small

A unique gift for anyone who has lost a loved one and has a long road of healing ahead, this Kindnotes Keepsake jar is beautifully made and designed. It is filled with 31 sympathy notes printed to mimic handwritten lettering. The notes are sealed in individual envelopes so they can be opened and read anytime someone needs a mood or spirit lift.

While the messages are pre-written, there is an option to leave some notes blank to write your own message.

Mayamila Memorial Moon Lamp

Mayamila Memorial Moon Lamp
Pros
  • Beautiful design

  • On/off switch for lights

  • Fits in with existing decor

Cons
  • Batteries not included

  • Must be assembled

  • Only one design option

This lighted memorial moon lamp is a beautiful way to remember a loved one. The lamp is just over 10 inches tall and can easily serve as decor in any room. The lamp is a keepsake to remember the person who has passed, and the light adds comfort when feeling alone or sad from grief.

The lamp is battery operated, so you can place it anywhere you like without worrying about proximity to an outlet.

Wolf Creek Blanket Compassion Blanket

Compassion Throw Blanket
Pros
  • Multiple color options

  • High quality, soft materials

  • Machine washable

Cons
  • Words are not customizable

  • Only one size option

  • Colors have different prices

When you can’t be there to give someone a hug each and every time they need one, you can give them this compassion blanket to help them feel comforted. Made with soft sherpa and elegant fleece, the blanket is perfect for snuggling and napping when tired. It's also covered in inspirational words to help calm both the mind and the body.

EFYTAL Butterfly Remembrance Necklace

Efytal Condolence Necklace
Pros
  • Simple, beautiful design

  • Specific purpose and message

  • Hypoallergenic with no nickel

Cons
  • Only one color option

  • No personalization option

Made specifically for a daughter who has lost her father, this sentimental and heartfelt gift can be worn every day with most outfits. The butterfly charm is a reminder of the eternal bond that exists between a daughter and father, and the necklace is made with high-quality sterling silver that can be layered with other jewelry or worn by itself.

The chain is 20 inches but can be shortened to 18 inches.

Lola Bella Gifts Cardinal Sympathy Candle

Cardinal Candle
Pros
  • Gift set

  • Multi-sensory with lights and scent

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Not great for allergy-prone

  • AA batteries not included

There is an old belief that when we see a cardinal, it means that an angel is nearby. Whether you believe this or not, it may provide comfort to someone in grieving.

This gift set comes with a LED flicker candle and a card that explains the meaning of a cardinal. It's vanilla-scented and made with real wax. Since it's flameless, it's safer for children or for keeping on throughout the day.

CYTING Sister Memorial Bracelet

Cyting Memorial Bracelet
Pros
  • Simple, beautiful design

  • Hypoallergenic materials

  • Meaningful inscription

Cons
  • Specific to sisters

  • One style option

  • Not customizable

If you'd like a gift with a specific message, this bracelet with matching charms is perfect for someone who has lost a sister. The nickel- and lead-free bracelet is made with stainless steel and alloy, so it's good for those with sensitive skin. It's also adjustable and can fit wrists from 7 inches to 8.5 inches.

The bracelet includes four charms, but the main one has an inscription that reads “My sister was so amazing, God made her my angel.” This makes a great sympathy gift or on a holiday or birthday anniversary after a sister has passed.

YOUNTASY Sympathy Wind Chimes

Memorial Wind Chime
Pros
  • Unique gift

  • High-quality materials

  • Sympathetic message

Cons
  • Expensive

  • One color option

  • Good for adults but not kids

These wind chimes are designed to be a reminder of someone who has passed. With an inscription that reads, “When tomorrow starts without me, don’t think we are far apart. For every time you think of me, I’m right here in your heart,” it may comfort the grieving with every sound.

The chimes are made with rust-resistant anodized aluminum and weatherproof pine, so you can hang them inside or outside. The chimes are 32 inches in length and come in a black gift box with tissue paper for easy gifting.

Healing From Grief: The Sympathy Gift Series

Healing From Grief
Pros
  • Made specifically for healing

  • Short but meaningful quotes

  • Inspires happy memories

Cons
  • Not customizable

  • Gift box not included

  • Good for adults but not kids

“Healing From Grief” is a short picture book filled with inspirational quotes and messages to aid in the healing process. A grieving person may not have the mental capacity to read a self-help book on grief, but a short book with good quotes can be just enough to help lift someone’s spirits in a difficult time.

The writings in the book are crafted to spark happy memories and good thoughts of the person who has passed.

PrayerBowls Josephine Prayer Bowl

Josephine Prayer Bowl
Pros
  • Handmade and painted

  • Inspirational writing

  • Beautiful design

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Longer shipping time

  • Not customizable

Made from porcelain and hand-painted, this prayer bowl makes a beautiful sympathy gift right after someone passes or as a gift in remembrance of someone on a holiday.

The verse from Psalm 91:4 is painted on the inside of the bowl, and it comes in a gift box for easy gifting. It also comes with 35 blank cards for you to use with the bowl.

AlmostFamousa Infant Loss Memorial Bracelet

Memorial Bracelet
Pros
  • Simple, beautiful design

  • Customizable

  • Creative message in Morse code

Cons
  • Longer shipping time

  • No gift packaging

Losing an infant can be a devastating kind of pain to overcome. This bracelet is made specifically for mothers as a way to feel comforted through their time of grief.

The bracelet can be slightly customized and the beads can be arranged in the morse code for, “until we meet again.” The bracelet is handmade and held together with a lobster style clasp.

Waypost Design Shop Memorial Star Map

Memorial Star Map
Pros
  • Creative and unique

  • Customizable

  • Different purchase options

Cons
  • Expensive

  • One size option

  • Shipping may be slow

A custom-made star map is a unique sympathy or memorial gift. You can customize your constellation map with a date, location, and quote or meaningful saying. The map is sent to you in the form of a high-quality print, and it can be framed and displayed or given as a gift.

Depending on how much you want to spend, the company can print it and frame it for you, or you can download the map and print it yourself.

Ultimate Gift Bag Memorial Custom Lantern

Memorial Gift Custom Lantern
Pros
  • Customizable

  • Unique design

  • Multiple color options

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Batteries not included

Lanterns are a calming and ambient way to remember a loved one either as a decoration or as part of a memorial service. These lanterns can be customized with pictures, quotes, and memorable sayings.

Each lantern lights up using AA batteries, and there are four different style options to choose from.

Eryn's Home & Gifts Beautiful Soul Gift Box

Beautiful Soul Gift Box
Pros
  • Different style and gift options

  • Multiple price points

  • Important selfcare reminder

Cons
  • Expensive

Sometimes, a grieving person may forget to prioritize self-care when in pain. This Beautiful Soul gift box is a wonderful way to show someone you care while helping them remember to engage in routine self-care and pampering during difficult times.

The set comes with a greeting card, and the buyer can choose one of five box options. Selections include candles, scented lotions, and bath salts.

UnboxMe Gifts Custom Care Package

Custom Care Package
Pros
  • Free shipping

  • Fully customizable

  • Focuses on self-care

Cons
  • No returns allowed

  • Expensive

This sympathy gift box also focuses on self-care; however, it's fully customizable. You can put as little or as much as you want in the box by purchasing all the items in one transaction or selecting your pieces one by one. 

You can also choose from various greeting cards to add to the box. The company does all the assembling, packaging, and shipping for you to make gifting easier.

By Sarp Custom Bereavement Blanket

Custom Bereavement Blanket
Pros
  • Physically comforting

  • Unique

  • Good for kids

Cons
  • Personalized orders are not refundable

  • Longer shipping time

Designed as a personal keepsake to last a lifetime, this blanket can be customized with photos, letters, and more. A keepsake blanket is a great sympathy gift option for kids and children who may need extra comfort and rest during a difficult time.

The blanket itself is soft and plush, making it a good go-to in cooler weather. You can even personalize it with handwriting from a letter or note.

Letter to My Husband in Heaven

Letters to My Husband
Pros
  • Useful, healing gift

  • Affordable

  • Quality writing paper

Cons
  • Specific to spouses

  • Returns not accepted

Journaling is a helpful way of moving through the grief process because it gives us something to do when we can no longer talk to the person who passed. Journaling also helps a person document memories and stories that they might worry about forgetting.

This one is made specifically for those who have lost their husbands, and it comes with 224 pages to fill as the user pleases.

Final Verdict

One sympathy gift may not work for every person, but the Memorial Moon Lamp (view at Amazon) is a top choice since it adds ambiance and decor to someone's space in addition to helping with the grieving process.

For an option that's more physically comforting, the Custom Bereavement Blanket (view at Etsy) is great for both adults and kids. And if you're looking for a sympathy gift that's unique, the Constellation Map (view at Etsy) is a creative choice that can be customized for the recipient.

What to Look for in a Sympathy Gift

Age Appropriate

Grief can be especially confusing for children who may not fully understand all aspects of a situation. A comforting blanket or something that safely gives light, like a flameless LED candle, can bring comfort at night when feelings can be especially vulnerable.

Meaningful Connection

A gift that is specific to the relationship, like a father-daughter or spouse relationship, may be more meaningful than something broad or generic. Wind chimes are good for someone who was known to enjoy the outdoors, while a jewelry option may be good for someone who lost a person that had been part of their everyday lives, since jewelry can be worn daily and serve as a consistent comfort.

Creates Calm and Comfort

The gift should be soothing and create calm when feelings of grief or even fear surface. Some people find comfort in scents, nature, animals, or self-care routines such as taking a bath. A good sympathy gift will enhance what someone is naturally drawn to for comfort.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I write a thank you note for a sympathy gift?

    The purpose of the note is to let the person know how much you appreciated the gift. It does not need to be fancy or long; instead, it's meant to show your gratitude for a calming, healing, and helpful gift.

  • What are some good things to put in a sympathy gift basket?

    In times of grief, people often struggle with food preparation and self-care. Sympathy gift baskets that focus on food items or self-care items can be very beneficial.

  • How do you console someone who is going through grief?

    The best thing to do is to ask them what would be helpful. You can ask if they would like some company or some pace to be quiet. Listening is the most comforting thing we can do, while giving advice is not often received well when someone is grieving. You can make yourself available if they decide they need something in the moment.

  • What are the stages of grief?

    While many theories surrounding the stages of grief exist, one of them was established by Elizabeth Kublar-Ross. The stages include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Why Trust Verywell Mind?

As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with over 15 years’ experience working with clients to improve mental and emotional health, Mary K. Tatum understands the importance of finding quality resources and techniques that work for each person. Not everyone will have the same kind of healing journey; therefore, having lots of options to choose from is vitally important in creating a lifestyle that combats mental illness and promotes health and wellbeing.

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Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Nakajima S. Complicated grief: recent developments in diagnostic criteria and treatmentPhil Trans R Soc B. 2018;373(1754):20170273.