As a bereaved mother and the director of a charity that supports families who have experienced infant loss, I have had numerous questions from friends and families about what types of memorial gifts, comfort items they can purchase, or just what more they can do when someone close loses a child. While there are so many wonderful choices out there and I’m sure any gift selected would mean the world to the family, these are a few of my favorites:
I was recently introduced to this company and can honestly say that this has risen straight to the top of my choices for the perfect gift. Started in memory of the founders mother who battled cancer, their motto is to create moments that matter. I love their gratitude tea in the early mornings as I sit to reflect on where my heart is and get ready to tackle a new day. They have so many choices of lovely teas and they even have a monthly subscription package which would be a very welcoming gesture for the newly bereaved parents to receive.
Emma’s Footprints. (Pennsylvania): Started by a bereaved mother and her best friend in honor of her daughter Emma who was born sleeping, this charity provides support and care packages to those who have experienced pregnancy or infant loss. The heartfelt care packages which are $50, include an Alex and Ani bracelet with the child’s initial on it, a book, a journal, a Bible, and other items of comfort for the family. Each one is put together with such love and includes a handwritten note.
The Will to Choose.The Will to Choose, started by a mother in memory of her son Will is a charity that sells inspirational t-shirts with scripture quotes on them in order to uplift and support families who have experienced loss. What’s nice about this is that not only will you be purchasing a thoughtful gift for your friend or family member, but the proceeds go straight to their mission of helping bereaved families with funeral costs.
Laurelbox. Laurelbox has a variety of beautiful gifts for pregnancy and infant loss such as handmade blankets, hand stamped necklaces, candles, flowers, and there is a monthly subscription of gift boxes for the families to honor and remember their sweet child. I myself own a few of their specialty items and truly treasure them. This shop, started by two cousins who wanted to comfort a friend going through loss has truly grown into one of my favorite’s for those looking to purchase memorial items.
Another option that I always suggest is starting a meal train. When we lost our daughter, friends and family brought over meals which was such a meaningful gesture to my husband and myself. When you are in the trenches of your grief the last thing you want to do is cook or even think about food. So, to have these meals on hand when we needed them was a blessing. I would suggest sharing this with their local church, friends, family, and whoever else would like to help. Meals they can put in the freezer are a wonderful option as well as breakfast items.
Many people have asked about gift cards, my thought on those are that as long as you keep the options to something that can be delivered for food and something that they don’t have to use that requires leaving the house for at least the initial couple months or so. Not everyone feels that way, but for myself my anxiety was so extreme that even grocery shopping left me in a pile of tears on my floor afterwards and caused such stress for a very long time. I preferred not having to be around too many people and something that required that would have been too overwhelming.
While spa gift cards as well as ones to eat in restaurants are very sweet gestures, they may not get used right away and the money might be better used for other options such as grocery delivery services or a visa gift card that they can use however they see fit.
Even a donation to a charity that is close to the parent’s heart would be a special tribute in honor of their child.
Whatever you choose, I know it will mean so much to the family you are supporting. There is really no right or wrong choice. As long as they know that they are surrounded by love and you are acknowledging their child who they are missing, any type of gesture will mean more to them than words can express.