Should I Bring a Gift to a Memorial or Celebration of Life?

The way end of life memorials are being handled is changing. While formal funerals used to be the norm, celebrations of life and more upbeat memorials are replacing the somber events now according to an article on the DFS Memorials website entitled “Five Funeral Trends that are Changing Death Care Traditions as We Know Them.”

In the past, bringing a gift to a funeral was not common although sending flowers was very popular. As we move into traditions, it’s hard to know how to handle the situation. Should you or should you not bring a gift to a memorial or celebration of life?

The bottom line answer is that as a rule, a gift is not expected. But there is no rule against giving a gift if you are so inclined. If you do, however, it is imperative to follow some simple but very crucial guidelines. Failure to do so could be hurtful or insulting to the surviving family and friends which is the last thing they need. Read on to find out what you should know if you are going to bring a gift to a memorial or end of life celebration.

🫂 Support is Everything

Before you decide for sure you are or are not going to bring a gift to a memorial, there are a few things to consider. A memorial or celebration of life is a unique way to honor the life of a loved one who has passed away. These events are often emotional and difficult for family and friends, and as such, it can be difficult to know how to show your support and love for the family.

One way to show your love and respect is to bring a gift to the memorial or celebration of life. The type of gift you bring to the memorial or celebration of life should depend on the wishes of the family and the type of event. For example, for a religious memorial service, a Bible or other religious book may be appropriate. For a more informal celebration of life, a gift of food or a memento of the deceased may be more appropriate.

It’s important to discuss any gift ideas with the family before the event, to ensure that the gift is appropriate and will be appreciated. If you don’t feel it’s appropriate to contact the immediate family, you can speak to an extended family member or close friend of the family. The main thing is it is time to grieve and work through the passing, not a time to present a surprise gift that may not be welcome for one reason or another.

🎁 The Truth About Gift Giving After a Loss

When considering a gift for the memorial or celebration of life, it is important to keep the wishes of the family in mind. If the family has requested donations to a charity in lieu of material gifts, it is best to honor their wishes and make a donation accordingly. If the family has requested a specific type of gift, it is important to respect their wishes and choose a gift that is in line with their preferences.

No matter what type of gift is chosen, it is important to show love and respect for the family. A gift is a tangible way to show your support and respect for the family and the deceased. It can be a reminder of the love and memories shared and can be a way to give the family something to hold onto during a difficult time.

The gift should also reflect the wishes of the deceased, if possible. For example, if the deceased had a favorite charity, making a donation in their memory can be a meaningful way to honor their life.

💡 Suggestions for Memorial and End of Life Celebration Gifts

Personalization is especially appreciated when a loved one has passed. If the deceased was an avid reader, a book or other reading material may be an appropriate gift. You can go the extra mile and add a customized photo bookmarker from Walgreens so you have the option of having it shipped to you or picking it up yourself.

Another great book idea is to have a biography written about the deceased. It can be as short and simple as you please or longer – your choice. Include photos it you’d like to.

Blown glass is a popular gift to give to remember a loved one. Some glassblowers even offer the service of sprinkling ashes into the glass art. Pendants, paperweights, and Christmas ornaments are among the choices you’ll have.

If the deceased had a favorite hobby or activity, a gift related to that hobby or activity may be a good choice like gifting a personalized golf ball for an avid golf fan or a fishing lure engraved with his or her name and lifeline dates.

🙏 Paying Your Respects

Showing your love and respect for the deceased and his or her family and friends is the most important action when going to a memorial or celebration of life, no matter what type of gift you bring to the memorial or celebration of life if you even bring one at all. Your presence is ultimately your present and that alone is priceless.

Cheryl Jerabek
Cheryl Jerabek
Cheryl is a professional writer that has been writing ever since she could hold a crayon. She has authored over 200 fiction and non-fiction books for teens and adults (both credited and ghost-written) on a wide range of subjects. Cheryl also writes blogs and articles on various topics and themes. Residing in a small mountain community in Southwest Colorado, Cheryl draws her inspiration from the gorgeous scenery, her 2 adult children, and 3 grandchildren. She enjoys traveling, party and event planning, and hanging out with family and friends. “I write so you don’t have to,” is Cheryl’s motto.

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