When someone passes away, our natural instinct is to reach out to those who loved that person. It’s easy to feel helpless in these situations, unsure of what to say or do. It’s important to attend the funeral service because sharing in the grief of others makes that grief easier for them to bear. It’s also good to let those who are grieving know that you care by lending a sympathetic ear and a shoulder to lean on. Another thing that is always appreciated is practical action such as bringing a meal or offering help with childcare or housework. If you want to give a tangible gift, however, there are several options to consider.

  • Floral arrangements. Flowers are almost always appropriate after a loss. You may send them to the funeral home or directly to the grieving family’s home. If you know the favorite flower of the person who has passed away, you might choose an arrangement that features it. If not, ask for help: florists have experience in these matters and can help you choose something appropriate. Consider selecting a potted plant, which will offer comfort long after other flowers have faded.
  • Sympathy baskets. A basket of gourmet food and coffee or tea will be appreciated by the family. You could have a basket of baked goods sent from the local bakery, especially if the family is large. However, it may be best to send a basket with nonperishable items such as gourmet jams and soothing herbal teas. Fruit, while perishable, will last longer than freshly baked goods.
  • Memorial gifts. Making a charitable donation in the name of the person who has passed away is a wonderful way to honor their memory. Sometimes families will specify a charity in the obituary, or you may know of a cause that was important to the one who has died. If you are close to the family, you might also consider sending a more permanent token of remembrance. A memory lamp, for example, is a lovely gift, symbolic of the light and warmth of their loved one.

Chapel of the Chimes Oakland has been caring for families in our community for more than a century. Our beautiful property features a funeral home historic chapel and columbarium and an onsite crematory for a smooth and seamless experience. On our website, you will find a link for sending flowers and other sympathy gifts. Please feel free to visit us to tour our facilities and learn more about all we have to offer. Call (510) 654-0123 for more information.