Gifts for the Anniversary of a Death
Most people recognize the importance of sending flowers, a gift basket, or a condolence card when a loved one dies. This small gesture helps the family know they are not alone during their difficult time, and also helps you move forward with your own grief.
Equally (if not more) important is recognizing the anniversary of a death. Also known as a deathiversary, this date can be a very difficult time for the deceased’s family. It often brings up all the painful memories associated with the loss as well as new feelings of grief—and because the death is not “new,” not everyone remembers to offer their condolences.
That is why you might want to mark your calendar and send an acknowledgement or gift at the anniversary of a death. It does not have to be large, but it should be personal. By reaching out and showing that you care, you can make an impact on what will probably be a very difficult day for your friend or relative.
Deathiversary gift ideas include:
- Condolence card, handwritten note, or heartfelt letter
- An offer to take the bereaved out for coffee or a meal to talk
- An offer to visit the cemetery or memorial of the deceased
- Condolence flowers
- Care package (comfort foods, sweet treats, massage gift certificates, etc.)
- Mixed CD or playlist of songs that remind you of the deceased
- Photo collage/scrapbook
- Memorial jewelry
- Online memorial
- Crowdfunds to pay for a scholarship or donation in the deceased’s name
- Paid vacation time (if you are the employer or are in a position to offer it)
- Memorial tattoo
- Engraved keepsake
If you do not have time to send a gift (or if you are too late for it to arrive in time), it is also perfectly acceptable to pick up the phone and give your friend or relative a call. Often the simple act of remembering is all it takes to make the day more bearable. By being reminded that they are not alone in their grief, and that you, too, still cherish memories of the deceased, your friends and relatives might find the deathiversary easier to get through.