These gifts, while displaying care, also display a level of tact about the situation. Sometimes one feels as though they should go out of their way to make sure the other person feels better, or do something some way, somehow to make a bad situation just a little brighter. Thus, I present my list of some do and don’t of getting sympathy gifts for men. And, as a bonus, I have added a new ‘do not buys’ at the end of the article in case any clarifications needed to be made. Enjoy the read, and stay safe.
A memorial Gift
This can be anything depicting the deceased, such as a candle with a mantra that they themselves lived by or a small set of wind chimes. Other objects can include necklaces with names engraved onto them or even books that especially depict your loved one’s birthday and a few key events in their lives. Such objects are easily found online, and personalization is simple.
Some ideas include watches, belts, photo frames, mugs, jewelry, even snow globes if it’s that season. Anything engraved always says, “I took the time to get this done because I care about you”. If you do not know what to say, or write, ‘not gone, just gone ahead’ is a good one, as is, ‘Heaven came to our house, and while someone is gone, we know where to find them when our time comes.
Embroidered belongings are a great option to give as a sympathy gift. These can include the mundane, like hats, gloves, tea towels, aprons, and the like, to the more personal – and embroidered pincushion if that man likes to sew, and embroidered back pocket of their favorite jeans if that is something they are into, are excellent places to start. Patches that can be placed anywhere, embroidered by hand, or by machine can be a lovely sympathy gift for a man, as it gives them the decision as to where to put their new, thoughtful gift.
Electric Photo Frame
Easily found on Amazon, all required are one frame, a few batteries, and a dozen family photos. These are relatively cheap but incredibly meaningful. As the electronic frame flips through the various family images, that special man in your life will remember that they are not alone in these trying times.
Sometimes when someone is grieving, they feel the need to get away for a while. Hence why I suggest why a book might be the gift you are looking for. Preferably fiction, a book can be a great sympathy gift for any man in your life who needs to get away. While diving into the story, they do not need to worry about their surrounding predicament. All they need to do is sit and be wistfully entertained by the story the author provides.
This definitely ties into the previous ideas of ‘personal memories’ and a ‘book.’ A Scrapbook is an endearing and life-long-cherish-able way to say, ‘I hear your cry for someone to be there. Let me be there for you. All that is required is the book and plenty of pictures of friends and family. This idea, I believe, really says that you are thinking of the person and that you are attentive to their suffering.
Starting a new hobby after someone dies is not exactly typical, but it can be a way to let go of stress. For this point, I would suggest getting someone a small kit of, say, sewing supplies, a small musical instrument, or a model toy. Here, you are not investing a lot of money into something the person may not like. That being said, it can be a way to ilvaite grief and move forward.
This is not a typical gift suggestion, but a serious one all the same. Buy some seeds and give them to the grieving. Tell them to create a garden of greatness as a way to honor the person they have lost. That way, even in your darkest moments, you will have something to believe. Believe in the growth of the new. Not everything will be sunshine, but it takes rain to make a garden grow, just as much as the sun.
This could be a special commission of your loved one’s deceased, but it does not have to be. It very well could be something you found in your local art shop. Paintings, although tricky as they have to match your gift’s recipient’s home, can be just what you are looking for to brighten someone’s day.
Sometimes someone needs to be drawn into a sweet symphony to forget their worries. Other times, someone needs to rock out to the beat of the drums to move on from their grief. Either way, however, you grieve music can be a nice way to forget one’s worries and escape for a little while.
Hand Made Gift
This suggestion, while open-ended, can be just as thoughtful as the rest. Sometimes when we put effort into something, it can help ilvaite all the suffering someone else is going through by saying that you take the time to think about them and genuinely care that they feel better. Even if you are not that skilled at art, it is still worth a try.
Custom Night Sky
If a specific date means a lot to your significant other, one can purchase customizable night skies to be made into a poster. These skies display what the sky would have looked like on that date. All one has to do is enter the date, the location, and a few other aesthetic specifications, and the job is done. You have your gift.
Get your friend or grieving loved one something they always wanted from their childhood. Something they never got but always wished they had is a great place to start. This could really be anything from toy cars, to a Barbie doll, to even a newer version of an old game they adored playing. This idea is a definite tear-jerker. Just be careful when applying this idea in real life. Not everyone may be cool with this idea. See the bottom of the article for bad gift ideas.
A Teddy Bear
This idea might sound dreadful, but hear me out. You’re lost in your grief, and you need a way out. Sometimes, all it takes is something to hold, something to make you feel safe and secure. This idea is perfect for younger persons, but it can actually work for any age. Sure the bear may not get the same love if it was given to a child, but it is the thought that counts, and if the bear has a name or initials embroidered onto the foot, or onto a scarf on the bear, who is not to say it will not go loved?
Homemade goods, like cookies, cake, or casseroles, are an amazing way of taking care of a person after death. They can help with the other person having to cope by not worrying about the basic need to feed themselves, even if it is only for one night.
This could be as simple as plugging something back in a difficult place to reach or something a little more difficult, like rebuilding a fence. It is all too easy to get bogged down by everyday life when something catastrophic happens, but fixing something here, doing a little chore there, can help someone get back on their feet when they need it the most.
This one ties into the ‘hobby’ idea, but it is still worth mentioning. Journaling can be quite therapeutic in nature and can help a loved one move past their grief and into acceptance.
Sometimes we need a warm hug even when no one else is around. Here lies the solution of the blanket. Weighted or not, a blanket can be a great way of showing your loved one that you care. By wrapping yourself up in a gifted blanket, it is as if one is saying, ‘here, wrap yourself up in my love.’ Luckily, Blankets can come with images of your choice on them, as well as quotes, mantras, or inspirational sayings.
Flowers, vase or plant
Classics are classic because they work. Flowers are great because they can be taken home and cherished weeks after the funeral is over. Vases are a good idea because they give you someplace to put the flowers, and a plant is the best idea of all because it gives the bereft something to do and think about other than their loss. Much like the ‘give them a hobby’ suggestion, sometimes people need to think about something else for a while.
Staying away from gift cards, sometimes a gift is all that is needed to brighten someone’s day. There are many good ideas for writing in your card online, from the extravagant poems to the simple ‘I wish you well.
Give them an experience
By this, I mean, if the dearly departed always wanted to do something like see the grand canyon or visit something in town, why not go? It can be as simple as finally visiting that tea shop down the road in their honor. Yes, this can be one of our pricier suggestions, but it does not have to be. It does not have to be fancy. It just has to be meaningful.
It is best to avoid giving gifts of beer, wine, or anything alcohol-related when someone is grieving. This may seem like a nice gesture but probably will not be taken as such, as it seems like an invitation to drown in one’s misery. On that note, any cigar would definitely be a bad idea.
Key chains, ties, tie clips, and cufflinks and ‘world’s best Dad’ mugs are also a no-go as these will probably seem half-hearted, ingenuine, and routine.
Another does not do the free-coupon book. Women might like this idea, and it is a nice gesture, but do not give this to your man as a bereavement gift. This, in general, is a bad gift idea for anyone, ever, actually.
It would also be key to note that sympathy gifts are often small and inexpensive. While it goes without saying tickets to Hawaii are a bad idea, so are things like cars, big electronics, or brand-name items. No one really cares about that sort of stuff. They want whoever they are mourning back.
It is always a bad idea to get a man body cream, odors, perfumes, or anything like that. This is akin to telling him he has a poor body odor.
Exercise equipment is also a bad call. Not only is this expensive, but you do not want to tell a grieving individual they need to ‘tone up’ after they just lost someone. (or ever really)
For my mind ‘avoid’ gift idea, do not get your friend, brother, cousin, whoever, a pet. Animals are a lot of work, and bringing one into the household is a major decision. Making this decision for someone else is never a good idea. That is unless given express permission.
I am trying to say in all this that people value people most when they need them the most. When someone dies, it is tragic, and other people are needed to help the bereft cope. Except for the obvious no-no’s listed above, what you get them does not really matter. Being there, holding a hand, giving a hug, all of that is infinitely more important than any gift. Gifts can be regiven, re-bought. And even re-gifted. If nothing else works, show up, and show that you care.