10 Things to Take to a Grieving Family

When friends or loved ones experience a loss, it’s in our nature to do everything we can to help and support them during this difficult time. Often, this means bringing something to the family to make their lives a little easier or to share in the remembrance of the loved one who was lost.

If you’re unsure of what to bring a grieving family, here are ten ideas.


1. Fresh Prepared Meals

Fresh Prepared Meals

Grief can stop us dead in our tracks and make it difficult to carry out everyday tasks. Having to decide and make funeral plans can be emotionally and physically exhausting. Cooking and eating may fall to the wayside, but people still must eat and keep themselves nourished - even in times of great sorrow.

Bringing prepared meals is a thoughtful way to help a grieving family. Even if the day is hectic or the family is too distraught to think about cooking, they will still have something to eat.

Food is, after all, symbolic of love, and homecooked meals can bring comfort to the family. If possible, bring more than one meal.

Choose freezer-friendly foods and store them in disposable aluminum serving trays. This allows the family to heat up the meals and toss the tray away.


2. Care Packages and Groceries

Care Packages and Groceries

Household Necessities

Bringing the family household necessities will save them from having to make a trip to the grocery store during this difficult time. It also helps ensure that they have everything they need, which can bring comfort in uncertain times.

Here are some thoughtful necessities to bring:

  • Paper towels and napkins
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper plates and plastic cutlery (not technically a necessity, but will save the family from worrying about dishes)
  • Hand soap
  • Ziploc bags
  • Dishwasher detergent

Ensuring that the family has some basic household necessities will allow them to focus their time on what matters and ease the burden of making trips to the store.

Care Package with Self-Care Items

In times of grief, self-care often falls to the backburner. However, bringing a care package with self-care items can help the family take a step back and take a little time for themselves.

Self-care items can include:

  • Soap or body wash
  • Body lotion
  • Snacks
  • Bath bombs
  • Face masks
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Mugs with teabags or coffee
  • Blankets, socks or other comfort items
  • Journals

Feel free to include any items that will help family members take time for themselves. You can give individual packages for each family member, or one large package for everyone to share.


Another thoughtful idea is to bring groceries, and this can include some of the necessities listed above. Even if the family has received an abundance of meals from friends and loved ones, they may still need items like:

  • Milk or cream
  • Coffee and/or tea
  • Pet food
  • Bottled water or other beverages

Bringing fresh produce and pantry staples can also help the family stay nourished in the days or weeks to come. Pantry staples can include:

  • Pasta
  • Rice or other grains
  • Canned vegetables or beans
  • Salt, pepper, or other spices
  • Sugar and flour

Groceries are always a welcome gift after a loss and will be very much appreciated by the family.

3. Gift Card for Practical Needs or Self-Care

If you’re unsure of what to bring a grieving family or the family has already received so many meals or groceries, a gift card can be a thoughtful option.

Focus on gift cards they can use for practical needs or self-care, such as:

  • Spa services
  • Cleaning services
  • Grocery stores
  • Gas
  • Restaurants

The family will appreciate thoughtful gift cards because they can be used at a time that’s most convenient for them.


4. Sympathy Cards and Flowers

Sympathy Cards


Cards and flowers are classic choices for sympathy gifts. A thoughtful card will show the family how much you care and appreciate them and are there to support them during this difficult time.

Flowers can brighten up their home but also serve as a symbol of loss and love.

Sometimes, it can be challenging to find the right words to express your sympathy, but you can never go wrong when you write from the heart.


5. Cremation Urns

Cremation Urns Wings

Assisting your grieving loved one in finding a suitable memorial would help immensely in relieving much of the stress that can be caused by planning for a funeral or celebration of life. This could be the most sensitive topic and it is perfectly normal if it takes a while to reach this subject. Knowing how to speak with your loved one with a delicate touch can help with the process. It is very likely that this topic could rekindle feelings of deep sadness and grief. Focusing on recalling memories of life may help your loved one in choosing a worthy memorial. Asking specific questions with the memory of life in mind and avoiding negative speech could greatly help with the cause:

  • Did they share a vision with their lost loved one that encapsulated their life together?
  • How did they wish to be remembered?
  • What are their greatest moments or achievements?
  • What were they passionate about?

Questions such as these will help them open up about their life shared with their loved one. It is important to listen attentively. Eventually, you will both have enough information to start searching for a suitable memorial for the departed. Below are a few beautiful suggestions to help narrow down the search:


Custom UV-Printed Cremation Urns

“Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.” —Cherokee Proverb

A simple Custom Printed Urn conveys a purity of grief. They can give a sense of peace in the difficult process of accepting a loved one’s passing. Superior UV-Printing technology can offer vibrant designs on a variety of different cremation urns. Below are just a few of the options GetUrns has to offer:


Heritage Wooden Cremation Urns

Heritage Wooden Cremation UrnsHeritage Wooden Urns









These urns are characterized by a modernization of the standard wooden box urn with a personalized brass plate. Fully customizable, the Heritage boxes urns can be engraved with the perfect design to fit your loved one’s personality, allowing you to honor them with a special and completely individual urn.


The Legacy Collection by Mackenzie

Cobalt Marble UrnBlack & Gold Marble Urn

These beautiful hand-sculpted cultured marble cremation urns are an artistic expression of sophistication. The beautiful earth tones are complimented by a custom engraved brass plaque to make these memorials truly special. They can include the name, dates, a motif, and perhaps a quote to spark a cherished memory. Our capabilities in custom design exceed most. If we do not have the particular design you are looking for, please do not hesitate to reach out to us about custom artwork. We are able to bring most any vision to life.


Butterfly Cremation Urns

Butterfly Urns

For centuries, butterflies have long been appreciated for more than just their beauty. Across continents and cultures and generations, they’ve been recognized for their stunning appearance, admired for their vibrancy and colors, and appreciated for their resiliency and endurance.

They represent a beautiful and unique balance of life. Although they are delicate in shape, structure, and build, they are equally resilient beyond measure. As a butterfly begins its life as a caterpillar, it later enters its stage of transition within its cocoon, and emerges, transformed, as a new entity.


Heart Cremation Urns

Love Heart Cremation Urns

Hearts are one of the most universal symbols, acting as the biggest symbol of love that exists. The love that is often represented by the heart is something that is also broad in interpretation, ranging from familial love to romantic love or platonic love. Love looks and feels different to every single person but is immensely valued by so many of us and serves as a key purpose in our lives.

We devote our lives to those that we love, those we hold dear to our hearts. A heart engraving on an urn is one of the most beautifully simplistic ways to represent the love you had for one who has passed on in life. Heart shaped urns also take on an incredible quality to remind us of those we loved in life.

Pet Cremation Urns

Pet Cremation Urns

Our pets can teach us how to play, how to be present, and how to love. What joys they bring to our hearts! How wrong it feels that they, like all of us, must die. Yet, when our pets pass away, they can teach us how to let go with an ineffable gentleness and grace. 

With a pet cremation urn, you can memorialize and celebrate your pet, this wonderful creature who was part of your life.  With a personalized GetUrns pet cremation urn, you and your family can find relief from grief, and your animal companion will be remembered forever.


Keepsake and Tealight Cremation Urns for Sharing Ashes

Keepsake and Tealight Cremation Urns

When a loved one passes away, more than one person is affected. It isn’t just the person that was closest to them that feels the loss of their death, but all family members and friends bear the weight of having to lose a loved one. Keepsake Cremation Urns are a great way for families and friends to share the ashes of a loved one and come together in honoring their memory. Keepsake Cremation urns go by many names. They are also widely known as “mini urn”, “sharing urns”, and “keepsakes for ashes”.

While not all small keepsake urns have a candle, the unique healing aspect of tealight urns is the candle. The candle produces a warm glow that has a healing effect. The flickering light stands as a symbol of your deceased loved one's life and helps to remind you that he or she is still with you in your heart. Lighting your tealight urn and taking time to properly memorialize your loved ones can do a lot of good in the healing process.

6. Cremation Jewelry

3 Cremation jewerly pendants of different designs

While cremation urns are the most common form of storage for ashes, some people may seek out different ways to memorialize their cremated loved ones. A great method to honor a lost loved one and to keep them close to you always is through cremation jewelry.

Ashes jewelry is created with a small compartment that allows for a portion of ashes or personal mementos (lock of hair, sand/soil from scattering/burial site, dried flower petals, etc.) to be stored, creating a handheld memorial of a loved one. Jewelry to hold ashes offers the chance to always keep a loved one close in a subtle way, so love and grief may be expressed without drawing too much attention to the purpose behind the jewelry piece. Cremation jewelry remains quite popular today due to the privacy granted to its wearer, mourning a loved one can be a very intense process.


Cremation Beads

Cremation Beads

The subtle and powerful cremation beads remind us that we are entwined with our loved ones forever, even if they have crossed over to the other side ahead of us. Whether a playful, colorful bead or a more formal abstract one, these cremation bead bracelets are designed to please the eye and comfort the heart. We have found that family members and friends of the departed are honored to keep their loved ones near to them by wearing a reminder of their spirit and their blessed life. A beautiful cremation bead on a sturdy sterling silver bracelet chain, or on a leather lariat cord, will inspire joyful remembrance in its wearer. Here are a few options that are offered at GetUrns.


Cremation Bracelet

Cremation Bracelets

Letting go is not easy, especially when dealing with the loss of a loved one. Often, we never really let go of those who have passed on, as they live on in our hearts and minds, at times even giving us guidance. A cremation bracelet is a treasured keepsake and a powerful symbol, a way to keep your loved one close to you. Below are few suggestions for cremation bracelets equipped with their own beads:


7. Engravable Granite Plaque

engravable granite plaque

A granite plaque is another wonderful way to express your sympathy and share in the remembrance of the loved one. Our engravable granite plaque allows you to include up to four lines of text and a thoughtful clipart image or custom image.

A plaque is a beautiful way to remember the lost loved one and can be placed anywhere in the home.


8. Photo Frames

Engravable Photo Frame

An engravable photo frame, like our beautiful alder wood frame, is a thoughtful way to commemorate the life of a loved one.

Choose a photo that will help the family remember the joyful times spent with their loved one. With the option for custom engraved urns, you can genuinely personalize this gift.


9. Offer to Watch the Children

Watch Children

When visiting a grieving family, bring your time. If they have children, offer to watch them for a few hours or even overnight. Grief can be overwhelming and difficult. Even though some children may be sensitive to what’s going on, toddlers, infants and very young children may not understand.

It can be helpful to take the kids for a while to do something fun and give the parents some time to grieve or take care of arrangements.


10. Offer to Act as Chauffeur


When friends or family members are grieving, driving may not be ideal. However, if you have the time and a reliable vehicle, you can offer to chauffeur them around to handle arrangements, run errands or just to get out of the house for a while.

There are many ways to express your love and support during a time of loss. Simply picking up the phone to check in on the family or stopping by to bring a home-cooked meal can make a world of difference and bring a great deal of comfort. If you’re unsure of how to help a grieving family, these 10 ideas should give you inspiration.

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