When somebody you care about is grieving, it can be difficult to figure out what to do to support them. Try thinking through the love languages: words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, gifts, and physical touch.
In a previous blog post , we discussed the idea of providing a safe holding space for the bereaved by using communication skills that show acceptance and understanding, genuine empathy, as well as care and support. This counts as words of affirmation, quality time, and perhaps physical touch (a hug, pat on the back, holding their hand, etc.)
This all, of course, is not easy. And there are many reasons why you might not be able to be a main pillar of support for this grieving person. There are plenty of other, more cautious, ways you can show love and support, such as sending a DIY care package to a grieving friend. This counts as acts of service and gifts.
But buying gift baskets online tends to be quite expensive. Moreover, online services do not always offer the best products. When it comes to lotions, soaps, and scented oils, it is extra important to buy only the healthy stuff since their different properties are entering our bodies. Better to buy just one or two high-quality items than many different products that contain bad chemicals.
These are all the reasons why, when I send gifts to my loved ones who are grieving, I like to put my own package together.
Items For A DIY Care Package
Here are some individual gift or care package ideas and my recommendations:
- Condolences card—add a favorite memory of the deceased. I now sell a line of yin yoga animal greeting cards on Etsy: here’s the link to my condolences card
- Scented candle: Illume Elemental Collection, Citrus Cedarleaf**
- Body lotion: Beekman 1802 – Goat Milk Lotion – Vanilla Absolute**
- Hand cream: L:A Bruket No. 092 Sage/Rosemary/Lavender Hand Cream**
- Herbal tea (caffeine free): Tazo Herbal Tea, Wild Sweet Orange, Refresh Mint & Passion, 20 Filter Bags Each
- Essential oil: Young Living Lavender Essential Oil**
- Dark chocolate: Chocolove Rich Dark Chocolate*, Chocolove Ruby Cacao*, Chocolove Raspberries in Dark Chocolate*, Chocolove Cherries and Almonds in Dark Chocolate*
- Bath salt or Epsom salt
- Silk sleep mask
- Throw blanket
- Book—something light and easy to read
- A bar of soap: Pre de Provence Artisanal French Soap Bar Enriched with Shea Butter, Rose Petal
- Body wash: Le Petit Marseillais Orange Blossom or Le Petit Marseillais Lavender Honey
- Incense or diffuser: COCODOR Mini Flower Reed Diffuser in April Breeze
- Picture frame
- Gift card for a restaurant (one that delivers too), a cleaning service, or for any type of bodywork/massage
*I am usually all about Belgian chocolate, but I love the Boulder, Colorado-made “Chocolove” chocolate bars for their pretty colored wrappings (and their yummy taste too, of course). For gifts, I like to stay in the same color scheme. For grief and loss specifically, I suggest the red and pink tones to symbolize love: “rich dark chocolate” (red), “ruby chocolate” (light pink), “raspberries in dark chocolate” (dark pink), and “cherries and almonds in dark chocolate” (dark red).
What To Write In Your Sympathy Card
Not sure how to express your condolences in a way that feels supportive? Worried you may unintentionally hurt or add to your friend’s grief? I’ve compiled a list of 10 do’s and don’ts—what to say and what not to say to a grieving person. So, start there to help you craft a loving condolence card to add to your care package for a grieving friend.
- Healing Card Deck: A Therapist’s Advice 55-Card Healing Deck by Sara Cloostermans
- Book Recommendation: The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
- Mantra: I AM LOVE // with diaphragmatic breathing
- Yin Yoga Asana: Melting Heart Pose (Anahatasana)
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