25 answers

Suggestions Needed for Bereavement Gift for Widow of My Cousin and His Daughter

Hi Everyone,
I am saddened with the death of my cousin. He battled cancer and has passed away. He left a loving wife and a teenage daughter. I want to send flowers etc., but I wanted to know if there is a gift someone out there has found extremely helpful during this difficult time. I was also thinking of a food basket? Any suggestion would be extremely helpful.
Thanks

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

if you could, pay them a visit with a meal. If they are to far away, this is going to sound a little wacky- but it's really what they might need- paper towels, TP, coffee, plastic cutlery.Simple drug store & grocery store stuff. After a death, somex's running errands can be difficult.

I like to give money. In a tough time such as this, there are always a lot of unexpected expenses. Flowers need to be taken care of and they die anyway. Food is good, but that is usually in abundance. Money can always be used at the moment or down the road for whatever the receiver deems appropriate.

Does she have a flower garden of any kind or landscaping around her home? I have often found that sending a statue of some kind, an angel, stepping stone, something that will be a happy reminder and beautify their home is always a great idea. It's something that will last forever and always be a reminder of their loved one.

More Answers

M.~ I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I unfortunately understand how sad and difficult this can be for your cousins wife & daughter.... as well as the rest of the family. (My husband's brother was tragically taken from us two weeks ago) One of the greatest things that anyone has done for my husband and the rest of the family has been to gather old photos you may have of your cousin, make copies of them and make a scrapbook of your memories for them. You could have several family members and friends gather photos or even just jot down the happy memories that they may have to include in this book. They will cherish the great memories that everyone has of their beloved husband/ father not just now, but for years to come.
As for a food basket... its a great idea, but try to keep in mind that several others are thinking on the same lines. My in-laws were completely showered with precooked meals and quickly ran out of room to store everything. Try to make it things that they could possibly freeze or even store for a while. Maybe a basket of their favorite snacks, things that are quick and easy to grab on the go.
Another idea would be to get his wife & daughter gift certificates for a massage or two. One of my mother-in-laws friends did this for her.... and she said that its been the best gift anyone could have given her aside from all the memory books. This is an extremely difficult and stressful time for them, they could use a little stress reliever. My thoughts and prayers go out to your family.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my father as a teenager too and it makes you realize that life just isn't fair. My mother thought the best gifts were food or fruit baskets. We were all too overwhelmed to cook nor did we have much of an appetite so it was very convenient to just grab an apple or nibble on grapes instead. A monetary donation is also good if the family has been left with a lot of debt. I wish you all the best & again, I'm so sorry for your loss.

I am so sorry about your loss. You may want to try www.cakeandaprayer.com It is a nice alternative to a food basket and the cake is delicious. Someone sent one to me last year.

Do not send a plant if you do send flowers. I found that the worst thing when my husband died. The guilt of trying to keep a plant living was just too much. I liked the statues I received as well as the garden stone. I found a great book, I'm Grieving As Fast As I Can. This book is for young widows and covers all aspects of grieving. I have given it myself for others. Being there and remembering to call in the weeks ahead is also important. No matter how strong his wife is/has been, she will need someone there for her. For his daughter, maybe tickets for a special place she can go with her friends to escape for a little while that her father has just died. You knwo, an arcade or something. I like the idea of a scrapbook, I wanted people to write down their memories and stories about my husband. Do not force her to do a scrapbook with you, but do one of your stories/pics for her. Especially stories that involved him before he had them as his family.
I am very sorry for your loss. It is great you are thinking of his family like you are. I'm sure making a scrapbook would be very helpful to you too.
R.

Hello, M.! I'm so sorry to hear of the loss in your family. My suggestion as a gift would be a small scrapbook. It is a gift that your cousin's family can look at over and over again, whenever they are in the mood. I wish you and your family luck during this sad time.

My grandmother passed away in January. My family received some really great gifts from thoughtful friends. People gave windchimes, cement stepping stones and some truly beautiful statues. Perhaps you could get something like that in memorial of your cousin. Flowers die and are more of a hassle than anything. Plants are also nice, but only if they are plant people. If not, it's just a bigger headache than anything. What about a gift certificate to a restaurant? They could get out of the house for an evening. If you decide to do food, don't do ham! It seems like everybody and their brother gave my family ham when my grandma died. We wound up throwing most of it away! I am so sorry for your family and their loss. You will all be in my thoughts and prayers.

Hi... When my littl cousin (approx. 12 yrs old) lost he father we got her a cross necklace and a journal from a Christian book store with verses on it. That way she had an outlet to write her feelings/emotions/memories in it if she wanted to. I think a journal is a good idea and maybe a special picture frame of "daddy & me" or "Daddy's litle girl" or something like that, that she can put a really cute picture in. With father's day around the corner, you should be able to find good "father's" picture frmes. This might be something that is a little more personal and meaningful. Also, if they (the wife or daugther) happen to have a green thumb, you could buy them a really neat tree/bush for them to plant in his memory.

I like to give money. In a tough time such as this, there are always a lot of unexpected expenses. Flowers need to be taken care of and they die anyway. Food is good, but that is usually in abundance. Money can always be used at the moment or down the road for whatever the receiver deems appropriate.

Take them to a Relay for Life Event. Luminarias are set up with the names of loved ones lost and survivors of Cancer. For just $10. There is a relay event in Newark this weekend June 6 and 7 at the Evans Complex. It really helped me after I lost my Dad to Cancer a few years back. This year I started my own team all proeeds go to the American Cancer Society. There is alot of stuff to do at Relay. Everyone can walk around the track. Food, items for sale. Sort of like a fair. And tons of survivors and other people that know just waht you and your cousins widow are going through. Lots more personal than flowers and it helps to battle what took him.

I'm so sorry for your loss. The memory book sounds like a wonderful idea. I would've loved that after my dad passed suddenly 5 years ago. I have to say that I would not recommend sending flowers. I was overwhelmed with flowers and all they reminded me of was death for quite awhile, even though I know everyone meant well who sent them. Another idea would be to get them each a book relating to losing a husband/father. Books about bereavement were helpful in making us feel comforted.

A Jewish tradition is to send a donation in that perso's honor. We do not send flowers or food as they are perishable. You could ask what they prefer or it seems that I cancer chartiy would make sense.

I am sorry to hear of your loss.

I'm very sorry for your families loss. My father in law was just taken by cancer in April. I too didnt want to buy flowers or anything like that for my mother in law. It's hard enough on us couldn't imagine how losing the love of your life must be. What I did was bought a tree. The whole family had a little thing together at her house and we planted it in the yard in honor of him. So, its something we can always look at as it grows and remember him. It was a nice way to get together outside of the funeral and remember the good times with him. I think we all felt a little better after that.

I've heard from grievers that the best gift is food. Like a casserole or a lasagna, etc. In their state they are not in the mood to cook, so something completely made they can just reheat is ideal.
Good luck.

Saddly I am going through the same thing. My husband is dying of cancer.My condolences to you and your family.

When my mother died we recieved many thoughtful gifts. My favorite was
1. a small decorative light with an angel on it. kind of like a night light. It comforted my daughter a lot. she would have it in her room at night and think of my mother with the angels.
2. a beautiful throw. I would have never thought of either of these on my own. The throw was nice to wrap myself in and think of my mother.
What they really need is for you to be there for them weeks and months after the funeral. To still include them i your life.

I too am so sorry for your loss. The planting of a tree in rememberance sounds like a great idea to me. When my MIL passed so many people brought food, but one person brought a clean up basket. It contained trash bags, paper plates, cups, napkins, plastic cutlery, disinfecting wipes, etc. There were so many things that had to be done during this time that it was nice that dishes weren't one of them. It's not much of a 'gift', but it is something very useful.

Instead of flowers, I routinely send a donation to the Arbor Day Foundation and have trees planted in memory of a loved one. I like the idea of the gift lasting beyond the short duration of cut flowers, and some of my recepients have been touched by it being something to help the earth.

Meals for the freezer are usually appreciated... things they can heat up in a week or so when all the "funeral food" is gone.

What about a blank journal and nice pen?

Most importantly, be that person who calls in a couple of weeks, when everyone else has returned to their normal lives. The grieving family likely is surrounded by family and friends now, but in a few weeks, they will still need to know that you care & haven't forgotten.

When a friend lost her dad last year... I gave her and her 12yr son a gift card to a pizza place. It gave them a break from trying to figure the what,when and were of dinner for a night. They were suprised and happy with the gift.

if you could, pay them a visit with a meal. If they are to far away, this is going to sound a little wacky- but it's really what they might need- paper towels, TP, coffee, plastic cutlery.Simple drug store & grocery store stuff. After a death, somex's running errands can be difficult.

I am so very sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and your family. One suggestion might be a special scrapbook. This might be especially helpful for the daughter. You might go around to various family members and friends and ask them to write a simple letter or note, sharing a happy memory of your cousin, and put the letters in the scrapbook with some special photos.

Many prayers to you and your family...

Have you thought of some cassoroles that they could freeze? That could be very helpful right now. If you need any ideas for that send me a message, I have thousands of recipes.

Does she have a flower garden of any kind or landscaping around her home? I have often found that sending a statue of some kind, an angel, stepping stone, something that will be a happy reminder and beautify their home is always a great idea. It's something that will last forever and always be a reminder of their loved one.

Do you have photos of him and you or his family that you could put in a collage frame or a little album for them?
If you do not have enough to fill it, leave the empty spaces for them to fill.
You could write out some special memories you have of him and include them.
They could not help but love this!

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. I'm not sure if they have anything specifically for bereavement or not, but you may want to check out www.personalcreations.com. They have a wide variety of different things and I aways seem to find just what I didn't realize I was looking for there.

Dear M.,

I'm so sorry to hear about your family's loss.

A memory book that's designed for the family to fill in would be a wonderful gift.

Also, I know of a memorial web site where people support each other through the period of grieving. It doesn't have a tremendous amount of activity, but that can be good, because the people there really get to know and trust each other. You could go there and purchase a residency (a memorial page) where your cousin's wife can post her husband's picture, tell his story, leave flowers, etc. She and her daughter can leave messages, and other people can sign the guest book whenever they want to. It's only $25 a year for a residency, and they can really provide a healing place of safety and comfort for those of us left behind. The site is:

http://www.belovedhearts.com

She can also copy and paste the messages into a computer file so that if she ever decides to let the residency lapse, she will still have all of those messages to put into a hard copy of a memorial book.

So, whether or not she and her daughter ever decide to participate in the forum at the site, the residency will be a place where they can have some quiet time alone with your cousin.

I also love the idea of planting a tree, shrub, or rose in memory of your cousin. I planted a rose (the name of which was especially pertinent to my dad) in my dad's memory, and it actually bloomed for the first tie on his birthday ~ January 19th! ~ in the dead of winter, the day after a snowstorm. If that wasn't a sign from above, I don't know what was!

My thoughts and prayers are with your family now.

Books are ALWAYS good. You can read and re-read them. You can dedicate a book in memory of. WHEN GOD DOESN'T MAKE SENSE by James Dobson. One of my FAVORITE books to give for ANY type of grief - death, divorce, etc. is a book called THE HEART'S JOURNEY by Pelikan.

Might think about planting a tree some place significant....maybe your church, his home, child's school, etc. I would ALSO make some time with the wife & daughter to do a scrapbook. There is NOTHING more healing than going thru some of the pictures, etc. and remember the GOOD STUFF. Laughter, tears and memories......VERY HEALING. Been there......done that!

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