Sending condolence gifts to family or friends who are grieving or suffering is a wonderful way to show that you care, letting them know you’re there for them no matter what. Sending flowers is a common condolence gift, but what are your options if you want to send something less common and more personal?
Condolence gifts like self-care packages and custom comfort blankets are condolence gifts that combine utility with compassion. Other personalised memorial gifts like memorial keepsake boxes and memorial plaques are excellent options for a condolence gift that’s more personal than simple flower arrangements.
These days, several vendors offer unique bereavement products as alternatives to traditional flower bouquets. From lanterns, candles, plaques to paintings, jewellery, and ornaments – these products can effectively carry special meanings and express thoughts of comfort and care.
Read on to discover 30 of the best condolence gifts in Australia.
WHAT IS AN APPROPRIATE CONDOLENCE GIFT IN AUSTRALIA?
Condolence gifts are a common gesture in Australia to show care and offer support for a family that is mourning, suffering or otherwise dealing with grief. Condolence gifts are usually associated with the passing of a loved one, with condolence gifts being sent to those affected shortly after funerals.
Many people send bouquets of flowers to the family’s home. While flowers are the most common condolence gift, they are not the only appropriate gift to send. Nowadays, there are a variety of condolence gifts that are not flowers that you can consider giving.
Condolence gifts should show the family your support for them, and a more personalised condolence gift can help show your care in a difficult time. Gifts that honour the memory of the loved one or that offer help to the ones left behind are often appreciated.
WHAT CAN YOU SEND INSTEAD OF FLOWERS FOR SYMPATHY?
There are plenty of personalised sympathy gifts you can send instead of flowers, you just have to choose one that the grieving family will truly appreciate. Here is a list of 30 condolence gifts that aren’t flowers to help show grieving families that you’re there for them no matter what.
All of these unique sympathy gifts can be purchased in Australia, and many are handmade, providing an extra special touch.
Here are 30 alternatives to flowers for a condolence gift:
1. Memorial Keepsake Box
This Memorial Keepsake Box is the perfect way to offer condolences to a family and is our personal recommendation for a condolence gift that isn’t a bouquet of flowers.
The keepsake box makes use of sustainably sourced natural wood. You can choose the design with laser engraved writings. The product comes in two sizes-medium and large.
Everybody grieves differently, and a memorial keepsake box is perfect as it allows your family and friends to mourn a loss in their own way. By providing a beautiful custom engraved keepsake box, they can fill it with items they deem significant to remember their loved one properly.
In addition, you can turn a memorial keepsake box into a care package in its own right! When you have a custom memorial keepsake box made, you can choose to fill it with food, drinks and self-care products you know they will enjoy so that they can take care of themselves before using the keepsake box to immortalise their loved one.
It’s a thoughtful way to create your own sympathy gift basket, offering comfort to a grieving friend or family.
2. Condolence Candles
While flowers provide a temporary stunning visual display, candles can also positively appeal to the senses. Candles have a soothing and relaxing effect in homes, combining something visually calming with a personalised tribute to a lost friend or family member.
These Condolence Candles come in a beautiful ceramic container with an engraved saying “Gone Yet Not Forgotten, Although We Are Apart, Your Spirit Lives Within Me, Forever In My Heart”. It is the perfect way to remember a loved one.
3. Memorial Plaque
This Memorial Plaque is one of the most thoughtful condolence gifts you can find. It is an elegant, durable yet simple item that can be displayed anywhere in the house. The plaque is a fantastic piece that honours a loved one who passed away.
This is made from real wood plaque and comes with white lettering saying “We know you will be here today is heaven wasn’t so far away”
4. Engraved Memorial Tealight Holder
This Memorial Tealight Holder is another beautiful and unique sympathy gift worth considering. The product comes highly recommended because of its customisable engraving and high-quality material. Your lost loved one will always be in your hearts and minds as a functional and reusable item.
This handmade tealight holder can hold one tealight and have personal engravings that may include a name, date, and a message. You can choose from two sizes – 10cm and 13cm (height). This product is made from natural wood and comes in a lovely gift box.
5. Personalised Memorial Portrait
This handmade Personalised Memorial Portrait makes a beautiful bereavement gift. Its size and quality make it a standout decoration for a living space alongside being a meaningful reminder of a loved one.
The product is printed on demand. You can choose from various sizes and four available styles – canvas, framed canvas, poster, and framed poster. You can request various sizes and have in the portrait up to 18 people.
6. Bereavement Portrait
A made-to-order Bereavement Portrait can be both memorable and timeless. To order, you must first send chosen photos of the loved one, and the seller will create a stunning portrait using a semi-realistic watercolour effect. You can further customise the product by adding dates, names, and quotes.
The portrait is available in various sizes and can be made on paper, canvas, framed print, or digitally. The vendor uses mixed media with a digital finish using Wacom for the illustrations.
7. Custom Photo Memorial Lantern
This unique Custom Photo Memorial Lantern is a great way to pay tribute to someone you love and is completely handmade here in Australia. The lantern has a standard height of 28cm and comes in black, white, or rose gold colours.
You can customise all four sides of the lantern with your chosen verses, personal photos, or messages. In addition, this lantern already comes with a practical and handly battery-powered candle, so it can be a permanent fixture to immortalise a loved one.
8. Engraved Heart Locket
This special Engraved Heart Locket is a great way to keep the memories of a lost loved one close to the heart. The locket measures 13mm, is hypoallergenic and nickel-free and is made in sterling silver with a rose gold vermeil layer.
There is a signature angel wing engraving on the front of the locket. Its other side typically contains personalised engravings. The locket has a left-side hinge and an internal fastening that enables the locket to open when needed. The interior surface has enough room to accommodate two photos.
9. Embroidered In Loving Memory Plush Bunny
This Loving Memory Plush Bunny is handmade with love and is a good companion in times of sadness and grief. This memorial gift is perfect for children and those who love to hug with something soft and cuddly. It comes in four colours – brown, grey, pink, and purple.
10. Memorial Photo Frame Keepsake
This Memorial Photo Frame not only visually showcases the person who passed away, but it can also include a chosen song, lyric, poem, scripture, or text. This makes this gift more heartfelt and personal. When ordering, you can choose from a selection of keepsake designs. The photo sizes can be: 20cm x 25cm or 28cm x 35cm.
The designer can send a printout version using semi-gloss white cardstock or a 28cm x 35cm framed version, which is wrapped and tagged. For a more personalised approach, you can have the design sent to you as a copy digitally so that you can print it out yourself for existing frames you may have or to use as a computer wallpaper.
11. Condolence Self-Care Package
Sympathy gift baskets are one of the most practical yet thoughtful gifts you can give someone grieving. This specific Condolence Self Care Package has a special design that reminds someone to care about their well-being.
Each pack contains a jade crystal chip bracelet, a scented candle bloom, chamomile tea (10 grams), pure essential oil (5 ml), and a lavender-smelling bag. These will help make the grieving process less stressful and painful by offering some small comforts to help relax and rest easier.
12. Twin Heart Memorial Pendant
Even though someone you loved is gone, your hearts will forever be intertwined. This is the special message this Twin Heart Memorial Pendant wants to impart.
The pendant comes in two styles but generally has interlocked hearts made from high-grade surgical steel. The hearts also feature Cubic Zirconia stones. Other features include a lobster clasp and a cable chain that is 45cm long with a 10cm extension.
13. Personalised Minimalist Memorial Ornament
If you are looking for a minimalist gift, this Memorial Ornament will do the trick! This handmade ornament product is made of white gloss ceramic. It has an elegant and classic design that consists of metal beading and white ribbon. It can also feature details like name, date, a preset quote, or a custom message.
The ornament measures 7cm in diameter and can feature a printed image of your choice. The image is pressed onto the ornament surface and will not fade or peel off. This ceramic ornament comes in a special gift tin.
14. Grief Affirmation Cards
Many overwhelming emotions are brought up during grief, so using Grief Affirmation Cards can be a powerful way to cope with the loss of a loved one. The cards remind people that they are not alone and that it is normal to grieve, but with the right amount of support and care.
The cards are based on the idea that positive affirmations can change your perception and reality. This theory is that the words you speak daily can reprogram your subconscious and help you move through difficult times more easily.
The cards are handmade, and the vendor uses sustainable methods in creating, designing, and packaging this product. You can use these affirmation cards for daily and weekly draws, bookmarks, home decor, and journal prompts.
15. Personalised Memorial Clock
This beautiful 30cm handcrafted piece is an excellent addition to a living space because of its practical uses and the meaningful message it carries. This Personalised Memorial Clock has a built-in easel that allows it to stand by itself or hooks if you’d prefer to mount it.
You can request to put a name and a date on the clock. It also comes with a featured quote – “Time may pass, but your memory will remain” and with a beautiful, functional clock, the memory of those lost will.
16. Personalised Decorative Wooden Heart
This Decorative Wooden Heart is a simple and heartfelt gift to anyone dealing with the loss of a loved one. The wooden heart is made of high-quality wood that approximately measures 14.5cm x 14.5cm with a thickness of 2.5cm.
Customised features include engravings of the name and details on the wooden surface. The wooden heart comes in a lovely box, making it ready to be gifted to a grieving friend or family.
17. Bereavement Message in a Bottle Keepsake
This Bereavement Message in a Bottle Keepsake is a wonderful remembrance gift to honour a loved one. The bottle contains a message complemented by inserts and a decorative chain of your choice. The insert choices are a feather or pieces of gold or silver hearts, whichever represents your loved one best.
18. 3D Crystal Photo Memorial Gift
With this 3D Crystal Photo Memorial Gift, you can go back in time and pick a memorable moment of a lost loved one. The vendor uses laser technology to etch a submitted photo inside a crystal piece. This photo can have a landscape or portrait orientation. It can also feature text using a font you chose.
This handmade product can become an eye-catching decor displayed on tabletops and bookshelves. This 3D crystal memorial is available in various sizes – from mini (5mm x 55mm x 30mm) to max size (50mm x 200mm x 80mm). You can also opt for a piece that has a LED light base.
19. Memorial Photo Block
Turn an ordinary photograph into a memorable and rustic decorative piece that features a lost loved one. This Memorial Photo Block is made from natural pine wood and measures 30cm long and 14cm high.
The creator uses UV technology to print submitted photos to the wooden surface to produce the personalised photo block. You can add a name, date, message, text, or quote to complete this memorial gift.
20. Personalised Memorial Photo Album
Despite the changing times, photo albums are still an excellent way to store and look back on memories. This personalised Memorial Photo Album is stylish and elegant and makes a great memorial gift.
The all-black album features a PU leather cover and stitch-bound pages. On the front, it has a silver plaque, which contains personalised text. This photo album can carry 200 pieces of 4×6 photos with space in between for short memos.
21. Customised Comfort Blankets
These soft and high-quality blankets may be just what someone in mourning needs. It is a perfect gift to express your support, care, and encouragement. Whenever the person in mourning feels down, they can use this blanket for extra comfort.
These super soft and warm Comfort Blankets measure 1.3m x 1.5m and feature dye-based customised text on one side. Aside from the text, you can also choose from a wide selection of blanket colour combinations.
22. Memorial Tribute Wind Chime
A wind chime makes a fine addition to a home garden, patio, backyard, or other spaces. But this particular product stands out as it doubles as a memorial ornament.
The Memorial Tribute Wind Chime features rust-free anodised pipers and tuned C Minor scale sound. It is weatherproof and has customisable sides. The chime is available in four sizes: 45, 60, 76, and 89 centimetres.
23. Personalised Cremation Ash Pendant
This Cremation Ash Pendant allows you to keep the memories of a loved one close to your heart. The pendant is nickel-free, made of stainless steel, and is one of the more visually impressive items on the list.
This item is suitable to carry either human or pet ashes. The product is available in all different styles and colours.
24. Engraved Memorial Rings
A ring is an excellent bereavement gift in Australia. This specific Memorial Ring Band features a high standard Solid 925 Sterling Silver material and can have a silver, gold, or rose gold finish.
This ring is handmade from scratch at a workshop and highlights a minimalist yet elegant style. You can request engravings on the ring with a limit of 5 – 6 words.
25. Memorial Keychain
Everyone has a set of keys, so this Memorial Keychain is a nice way to keep the memories of a lost loved one close. The product can have a silver, or antique bronze (32mm) plated setting. It also has a bronze, or stainless steel plated split ring.
The keychain is customisable, and the designer offers you a chance to add a photo, name, and dates to the keychain. It already comes with an attractive pouch perfect for gifting.
26. Memorial Funeral Guest Book
A funeral guest book marks a celebration of life because it contains the names of people who loved and cared for the deceased. This Memorial Funeral Guest Book has many customisation options that make it stand out from other products.
This screw post-bound timber book offers a range of options for customisations. These options include choosing the binding colour, fonts, timbers, and image engravings. With so many options, you’ll truly be able to create a funeral guest book that properly represents the person lost.
27. Soundwave Memorial Plaque
A plaque is a well-received condolence gift, but this product offers a unique twist to the conventional memorial plaque. The sound wave can come from a recorded message, a voicemail, or a video of a loved one who passed away. How it works is that the seller gives a QR code that you can scan to hear the sound of those lost again.
This Soundwave Memorial Plaque is one of the more unique condolence gifts we recommend. It’s available in varying sizes and in five print formats – matted framed print, wrapped canvas, framed print, unframed print, and a digital PNG file.
28. Miscarriage Essentials Care Package
One of the toughest things for a family to go through is a miscarriage. While it may seem hard, you can still show your love and support. Unlike other ordinary sympathy gift baskets, this Miscarriage Essentials Care Package is carefully created by a seller who understands the emotional pain of miscarriage.
The care package contains items like cookies, fluffy socks, a hand-painted sympathy card, a sanitary pouch, a wheat bag with a removable cover, English tea shop organic herbal teas, a pregnancy and infant loss awareness ribbon & wristband, a Never Forgotten Keepsake Box, and a miscarriage support services booklet.
A beautiful way to send a compassionate gift is to send a little portable pouch of crystals chosen to help aid someone through times of loss and grief.
They can keep the relevant crystal close to them (in your bag, bedside table, office desk) or hold while they journal/meditate.
A different yet amazing gift is a projection necklace. Have it customised with an image of your loved one and add text to it. The crystal then when light is put into it projects the image of your loved one.
Is It Appropriate to Give Money in a Sympathy Card?
There is nothing wrong with giving money in a sympathy card, especially if you know the person suffering would benefit from it. While some people may not think giving money is appropriate, in some situations, money or a gift voucher in a sympathy card might be the most practical gift. If you’d prefer not to give cash, consider a voucher for a cooking or cleaning service to show your support during a difficult time.
Why Are Flowers Given at a Funeral?
During the old days, flowers were used during burial to mask odours. Over time, giving flowers to honour the deceased has become a traditional practice. Flowers are symbols of both the beauty and the fragility of life.
However, many people prefer to give a sympathy gift that isn’t flowers, choosing a more practical or enduring bereavement gift. That’s one reason why personalised condolence gifts have become so popular.