10 Things to Take to a Grieving Family

by Get Urns September 03, 2021 4 min read

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. Meals

Grief can stop us dead in our tracks and make it difficult to carry out everyday tasks. Having to make arrangements and funeral plans can be emotionally and physically exhausting. Cooking and eating may fall to the wayside, but people still have to eat - 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. 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.

3. Groceries

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.

4. Sympathy Cards and Flowers

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. 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 engraving, you can genuinely personalize this gift.

6. 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.

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. 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.

9. Offer to Watch the 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 chauffer 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 homecooked 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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