22 answers

Condolence Gift for Newly Widowed Neighbor

Does anyone have any good ideas for condolence gifts for a newly widowed neighbor? His wife was one of my friends and died suddenly of a massive heart attack yesterday. He's in his 80s and in poor health and his wife basically did everything around the house. I would like to get him something practical rather than traditional (flowers), knowing him and the situation he's facing.

Thanks in advance for any ideas ...

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So What Happened?™

Thanks so much for the ideas! Between work, the kids' schedules and a workaholic husband, my time is so limited. I am going to make a real effort to stop by, though, especially after the relatives have left town, and make sure he has some good meals. I appreciate all of the suggestions!

Featured Answers

How about groceries with needed household supplies and or foods/easy meals he could make (if she did the grocery shopping) or perhaps making him dinner(s).

1 mom found this helpful

Human contact through food, is probably what he needs most-in careful doses. If it's easy, ask him to come for lunch or supper a couple times a week. Take him a casserole that he can heat up on his own in between.

If he has no family involved, a carefully nuanced conversation about support services on a daily basis would be appropriate. Someone to help him shop, make meals, do laundry and drive him where he wants to go would be a few of the duties-- but in large part having a regular person to interact with may keep him from despondency.

More Answers

Truthfully, when my grandmother passed away leaving my 90 yr old grandfather alone the very best gift was "time". Having people stop in once in a while and bring dinner over did more to help ease his loneliness then any of the cards and flowers.

I would also suggest letting the immediate "responders" fade-away and then start popping over just to say hello. You would be surprised at how many people stop calling after a week or two. Be there when the rest aren't- 10 minutes once a week is all it takes to remind him that he is not forgotten.

My condolences on your loss as well.

8 moms found this helpful

Just be there. Invite him to dinner or coffee and dessert. Take him plates of food. (Can you tell I'm Italian--we always suggest food!)
Seriously, the loneliness will be the toughest part for him. Spend some time each day showing him that you're "there" A phone call, a casserole, get his paper for him, etc. Sorry for the loss of your friend.

5 moms found this helpful

when my grandmother died the best thing my grandfather was time with people. Not being left alone for long, If he doesn't have family ask him if he would like someone to stay with him or if he would like to stay at your place, being alone is the worst thing. um helping around the house, helping with cooking, cleaning. Taking care of him.
Go for a walk with him if he can.
Helping him organize. etc.
Give him a shoulder to lean on and someone he can unload on.

5 moms found this helpful

I agree with everyone else that at his age the only thing he would need was time. Take him food, visit with him, offer to clean his house. Invite him to your family's events, holidays etc. I guess I'm assuming he doesn't have other close family members around. I will keep your friend in my prayers.

3 moms found this helpful

Depending on your budget, I think actions of kindness may be the best gift.

First, I'd spend as much time with him as possible - keep him company because it is literally true that people can die of a broken heart. Stress hormones from a traumatic loss can literally make people's health deteriorate.

I'd also offer to do some of the things that she did for him and with him. Can you mow their yard? Take him grocery shopping? Take a walk with him each evening around the block? Hire a cleaning service once/week? Offer to take him to doctor's appointments? Pick up prescriptions?

When I was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago, the best things I received from people were those random acts of kindness. I had just had a baby, celebrated my son's second birthday the next day, and my 33rd birthday the following day.

In the end, I needed to have people with me to remind me of all the reasons I wanted to be alive and how much they needed me to fight.

Those are my thoughts - so sorry to hear of their loss.

3 moms found this helpful

A standing invitation to dinner with your family would be wonderful, he could look forward to the daily interaction. Ask him for his wife's favorite recipes and cook them for him. Pop in and clean his house, talk with him while you clean.

2 moms found this helpful

How about groceries with needed household supplies and or foods/easy meals he could make (if she did the grocery shopping) or perhaps making him dinner(s).

1 mom found this helpful

Maybe you could have a cleaning crew come in next month or do it yourself if you have the time! You could offer to help with his laundry to take it to a laundry service for him. See what he's able to eat and take him some food on occasion.

One thing I do love (at his age and if he's in poor health this may not be the best idea though) when people are grieving is to send an Edible Arrangement. They have locations all over the place -you can google them. They do fresh fruit arrangements that are made to look like flowers. One was sent to me after my mother died, and it was the most cheerful, freshest surprise! The fruit was top-quality, ripe and yummy too!

1 mom found this helpful

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