Navigating Christmas when one of your loved one’s is dealing with grief can be difficult. You want to bring them as much joy as possible during these hard times, while being supportive and sympathetic to the emotions they are going through. It may feel insignificant to give a gift to someone during a time like this but the act may be just what they need to bring a smile to their face. Sometimes, it’s the smallest and most sentimental moments that draw people out of sadness and allow them to cherish the memories they have.
Here is our Christmas gift guide with suggestions on suitable gifts for people who are dealing with the loss of someone close.
On its own, jewellery can easily become highly cherished by the recipient. But, memorial jewellery has a platform all of its own. It becomes an item that can come anywhere with the person you’re gifting, turning into a talisman that incites good memories of the one they lost.
With evolving technology, there are lots of different types of memorial jewellery. For example, companies such as Ever With and Ashes Into Glass can transform ashes into diamonds and other gemstones. These are set into necklaces, bracelets and even rings which can be worn every single day. There are also memorial necklaces that can be engraved with the deceased’s name or with something more personalised, like their fingerprint or signature. If you’re looking for something more traditional, you may consider a locket with the deceased photo locked inside. Or, a memorial vial that can be used to carry ashes or even hair strands, if these have been kept.
Photos bring back memories instantly and it’s often when we lose someone, that we realise how few photographs we have of them around our home. Memorial photo frames come with inscriptions or can be personalised with engraving detail. Consider getting a cherished photograph of the deceased printed, frame it and then present this to a loved one. You may want to get a group photo of them and the person you’re gifting. Or, speak to older members of the family and see if they have any ‘never-before-seen’ photos.
There are also skilled artists out there who can turn photographs into drawings – either line drawings or painted pieces of art. These are a labour of love and can be placed at a central point within their home so they can glance at it every single day.
If your loved one has a fondness for the Christmas period, consider getting them a memorial ornament. There are a whole manner of ways these decorations can be personalised. Some companies create plaques with sentimental messages printed on them. Others can print a photograph of the deceased inside a bauble or on to a laser cut decoration. You can get decorations that have both their birthday and the date of their death inscribed on as well as ones that celebrate something they loved to do during their life.
There’s also no reason why these ornaments have to be kept for Christmas. Many can be displayed on hooks throughout the home, and all year round too.
Framed Handwriting Gifts
It’s the personal parts of a person that we so badly want to hold onto when they die – like their handwriting. If you have access to a signature or hand-written message from the deceased – perhaps in a birthday card or letter – consider having this framed. You don’t have to use the original if this is something you want to keep close. Have it photocopied or speak to a professional calligrapher who may be able to recreate it exactly.
There is something magical about being able to glance at a message that they once wrote for you. Or to imagine them clutching a pen and scribbling down their name on the dotted line. And, these gifts are unlike anything else – they really bring the deceased spirit to life once again.
Spa Gift Certificates
When we lose someone that we love deeply, it’s easy to de-prioritise self-care. We spend time sitting with our grief and working through the steps of organising laying them to rest. This is why a spa gift voucher can be one of the most thoughtful gifts you can give this Christmas. Not only does it encourage the individual to slow down and take time to themselves. But, it also shows that you care – especially if you’re finding it hard to choose the right words to say. Choose a treatment where they can switch off – perhaps a facial or back massage. Or, simply pay for them to spend the day enjoying the facilities at your local spa as well as a delicious lunch to boot.
Sometimes, it is the smallest items that remind you of the one you love. Memory boxes give you a dedicated space to put items such as jewellery they always wore, a favourite CD or photographs that mean a lot to you. There are many different styles out there, including wooden boxes with engraving or ones coloured in their favourite patterns. You can keep them somewhere cherished so you can look inside whenever you need to remind yourself of the person.
Gifts With A Link To The Loved One
Did the deceased love football? Perhaps they were keen bakers? Or maybe bird watching made their heart sing. Gifting those left behind with something to help bring these hobbies back to life can be a thoughtful option. You don’t have to be particularly interested in the topic yourself but engaging in the activity can help to make you feel more connected with the one you have lost.
While Christmas time can be challenging for those working through grief, it doesn’t all have to be hard. Here at Wallace Stuart, we have the experience and support to help you get through this period with more ease. Speak to us today if you have any queries about laying a loved one to rest this winter.