What gift can you give to someone who is dying… or grieving?
I am often asked what would be the best gift to bring someone who is dying or someone who is grieving. Our first go-to is usually flowers, and while I do believe they are beautiful, sometimes those are not the most appropriate gift, and my reason is this… for someone who is dying the flowers could have a strong smell that can be difficult to tolerate. They also wilt and die and leave messes, which is hard to look at day after day if not cleaned up quickly.
And for grievers, again, while flowers are beautiful, they can be a bit overwhelming if everybody sends them, and they usually always end up being a chore… having to find a place for them, to tend to them, and to clean them up.
Well, it might be a bit cliché, your presence, or the reminder of your presence with a handwritten note is a gift that keeps on giving. Cards and letters offer love and feelings, with the unsaid words telling you to take your time to read it. They don't require someone to stop immediately and look at it, but to instead savor it when they are able to.
A text message or email can let someone know that you are there and you are thinking about them. You can add to the nesssge, "no need to respond, just know I am thinking of you," so they don't feel obligated to respond right away. You can also send a message to someone close to them, asking that they read it to them when the time is right.
If they have a garden, and the space for a potted plant, I think a rosebush is always a lovely gift. But be mindful of the size; if it's too small, and not planted in good soil, it too will become a chore, which might be a little difficult early on.
One of the things that I like to gift, is a heart shaped stone. This can be placed on a table or shelf or in a small bowl and it is especially good for grievers because they can hold it and feel the love from the person who gave it.
The gift of your kindness, your compassion, and the reminder that you are there and available to them, if needed, is the most beautiful gift of all. That is the gift that stays in the heart of someone who is dying, and someone who is grieving.