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Thoughtful Ways to Gift an Urn and Support Grieving Loved Ones

When our friends are grieving, it is often challenging to find the right bereavement gift to give them. Whether it is because we have yet to encounter such a loss in our own life or because we worry we do not wish to gift the wrong thing, we may struggle to come up with something. 

In some cases, you may wish to purchase something unusual but something heartfelt and meaningful. While it may seem uncommon, gifting someone with a cremation urn or an urn accessory may be extremely helpful to them in a time of great pain and distress that follows the loss of a loved one. 

Often, people find themselves adrift within their grief and too consumed with the emotional impact to worry about the details of daily life. Thinking about things such as the shape, color, size of an urn, design, and how to personalize are often insignificant in the face of the loss they are experiencing. What seems like the easiest choice on regular days becomes and frequently feels insurmountable during grief. 

If you are wondering and considering purchasing an urn for someone experiencing a loss, we would like to share a few thoughtful suggestions. 

Why You Shouldn’t Ask Them How You Can Help

When our friends and family are going through a rough time, it can be instinctual to ask them: How can I help? However, during this immense grief, many find it impossible to do or decide anything. The regular day-to-day—cooking meals, doing laundry, paying bills, cleaning the home, getting enough rest, calling friends and family members, and filing the paperwork and legalities—may be too much for them. During this emotional time, they may not know what they need help with. 

Instead of asking them if they need help, offer to be with them and listen. By observation and listening, you can often find guidance on what they may need help with when in their presence or visiting. If the laundry is piled up, try doing a load. If the sink is filled with dirty dishes, wash them. Little actions like these can go a very long way. 

Here are a few other phrases you should avoid using as well: 

  • “Everything happens for a reason.” 
  • “He/She’s with God now.” 
  • “How are you?” 
  • “He/She is in a better place.”
  • “It’s all according to God’s plan.” 
  • “Heaven needed another angel.” 

While these may come from a good place, for the person who has lost their loved one, there is now a permanent hole left in their lives in the absence of their loved one, and they will never be the same again. That’s not being melodramatic; it’s true. These statements for someone in deep mourning can make them feel worse, as they reduce an enormous, life-shattering, life-changing event that they will never forget, while to them, your platitudes can sound like, “We’ve already moved on with our lives, you should too.” Instead, try to:

  • Offer them distractions, not advice. 
  • Always listen, but don’t share your own story of grief unless specifically asked.
  • Check in with them frequently without being prompted; don’t disappear. 
  • Don’t be afraid to mark the date and remember the death anniversaries and the birthday of the loved one who passed, and don’t be scared to reach out on those trigger dates. 
  • Share your favorite memories of the deceased. 
  • Ask them to talk about the deceased.

Cremation Urns as Gifts

It may be more helpful for your friend to be with them, sit beside them, hold their hand, and offer them comfort and assistance in planning end-of-life services. Helping a friend decide which urn to choose, understanding what size to get, and what to engrave on an urn or decorate it with may be the most helpful for them. Some who have recently lost a loved one may find themselves desperately seeking more time to process and sit with their thoughts and emotions, making it very difficult to feel or get organized. You could help shoulder some of that overwhelming jumble of information by helping, letting them know that these details are being handled and that you are supporting them throughout every step. 
Whether it is an individual urn, a companion urn, a pet urn, or cremation jewelry—most often, the simple fact that you are there to listen and help is an immense comfort they may not know how to express at the moment, but they will remember forever. 

Other Means to Help Support and Gift Ideas

We may not have the budgetary, information, or other means to gift a cremation urn or mourning gift. When that happens, and you still wish to gift something to your friend or loved one, there are still many ways you can do so. 

  • Offer them your time and be in their presence even if no one says anything. 
  • Gift cards and cooked meals can often take away some of the burden of decision-making, such as what to eat and cook. 
  • If the loved one they lost was cremated, it may be a thoughtful gift to give them cremation jewelry. 
  • Give them little reminders you are thinking of them often. A simple text of “thinking of you” can be immensely comforting. Remember, too, that a Holiday may be the most challenging time for them, so acknowledge that the day will be tough for them, but let them know you care. 

We know that as their friend, you want to help. That is a fantastic thing to do, and the effort you are already putting into helping by researching how to do so is inspiring, kind, and brave. There is no one set way for your loved one or friend to grieve, so remember that everyone is different. Be their beacon in this dark time, and remind them they are not alone, that their grief is validated, and that may be the most significant gift to give them.

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