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Bereavement Gift Ideas

Our Favourite Sympathy Gifts For Someone Who Is Grieving A Loss

A keepsake is something kept, or given, in memory of somebody. It really can be anything, a photograph, jewellery, an ornament or even a lock of hair (a bit macabre, but very popular in Victorian times). There are numerous websites that sell keepsakes, some are very beautiful and some are very garish, some are amazing, and others are out of this world (literally). We have pulled out a few ideas and inspiration for you, but really your imagination is the only limit here, keepsakes after all, can be anything that reminds you of someone else.

If you would like some help or advice, then our Bereavement Advice section might help you or a family member or friend

Memorial Jewellery

Memorial jewellery as with all these options can take many forms, and be made from a variety of materials. Some pieces are made to conceal a small picture, a lock of hair or a small amount of cremation ash, whilst others may use a fingerprint, hand,or footprint impression, to make it unique to the person being remembered. Whether personalised jewellery to wear, or even bespoke handcrafted jewellery boxes for you to keep your keepsakes in – lots of choice – lots of ideas.

Family run concern, offering design and manufacture of unique handcrafted Stained Glass and Memorial Jewellery containing small amounts of Cremation Ashes. Everlasting memorials for you, or for generations to come

www.acorn-uk.co.uk (Hand crafted jewellery)

www.ashesintoglass.co.uk (For cremains)

www.bespokecraft.com (Handmade keepsake/jewellery boxes)


DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) – is a double stranded nucleic acid that contains the genetic information for cell growth, division and function – its what makes you you, and everyone’s is unique. Having been studied by genetic scientists for many years now, it was only very recently however, that anyone considered the unique artistic beauty of the samples being viewed, and considered the practicalities of using those images as art on enlarged canvases. Since then, DNA art has taken off, and is now sold all around the world, to individuals, companies and galleries.

The images created can be finished in almost any colour, printed on canvas, perspex or even metal; be small or big, incorporate the unique DNA image of just one individual, a couple, or even a family, and be a truly ever lasting keepsake and heirloom (as well as just looking amazing on your wall). One DNA art company has also diversified into offering “kiss” and “fingerprint” wall art too.

DNA art is not particularly cheap, but neither is it overly expensive, for what is a totally individual, artistic piece of you or a loved one. The only issue seems to be that from a legal perspective, you can only use somebodies DNA with their consent, so unless a pre-signed consent document can be produced, this option is only really available to those still with us.


Tributue DVD’s

Whether it’s a compilation of still photographs, maybe set to music, or incorporated with a personal message from your loved one, family or friends, tribute DVD’s can be a great keepsake for those left behind. Using all sorts of media, from old black & white photos to modern digitally recorded footage, a mini-documentary of a life can be constructed, sometimes to show at the funeral, or just as a lasting memory for future generations


Bereavment Candles

For hundreds of years, candles have been used at vigils, chapels of rest, funerals, and crematoriums to symbolise everlasting life. Personalised memorial candles have been designed and created to be lit at home, or at the funeral or celebration of life services, as part of a unique tribute of saying farewell to someone who has died. If lit at the funeral, the candles can then be given to the family to take home where they can be lit on special days of remembrance and continue to give comfort. Candles can be personalised with words, a poem or even a picture, and kept for yourself, or sent as a sympathy gift.

Remembrance Candles

Memorial Website

Moving on from the DVD format, a memorial website can be a great way to pay tribute to your loved ones. It is more creative than a standard obituary, and is a great way of sharing memories photos, videos, and celebrating the lives of those who sadly are no longer with us. An on-line memorial can be as unique as the person it is about, can be as simple or complex as you like, and will potentially be everlasting. It can be updated daily with your thoughts and feelings or just left alone, shared with everyone or be restricted to just a few.

You can either create a site for yourself from scratch or for the vast majority who are not so computer literate, the websites below make it easy for you to create a personal online tribute. Some are free and some charge a small fee – see if one is right for you.


Memory Books & Other Personalised Photo Gifts

Besides using cherished pictures in DVD slide shows or web memorials, one of the more old fashioned ways (but with a modern twist) is professional memory books. By telling a story, celebrating an event or remembering the past, a unique personalised book can make a timeless and beautiful keepsake. What would have cost a small fortune a few years ago, a few specialist companies with the help of modern technology can now print one-off professionally bound books both quickly and relatively inexpensively.

Why stop at a book though. The sites below also offer to produce any photo you wish onto numerous other items too. Copying photos to canvas is just the start, how about, puzzles, cups, coasters, duvet covers, calenders, bags, aprons – even wall paper! Now obviously this will not be to everyones cup of tea, but the options and applications are quite mind boggling. If you can bring yourself to it, you really could have a lot of fun here, as well as capturing some really great picture memories for posterity.



Memory Bears

A memory bear is a keepsake made from precious clothing. It can then be used as a comforting reminder of the person whose clothes have been used, such as a loved one who has died. They are fairly unknown in the UK, but in the US they are often made for children who have lost a parent, so they can still feel close to them by hugging the memory bear made from an old favourite shirt for example.

www.milliesmemorybears.co.uk (Individual & unique – made to order)

Memory Quilts

Quilts, just like the bears, are made from old clothing that still has a meaning to you – clothes that you can’t bring yourself to, or just don’t want to throw away. Again they can be made for any reason, but as a keepsake of a lost loved one, they can be a great comfort. Check out the link below for Teresa Bells wonderful memory patchwork quilts.




Memorial Planting

Many people like to remember a loved one by planting a “special” tree or shrub, in a remembrance garden either at home and/or if they were cremated, at the crematorium. With flowering shrubs, it can be particularly comforting if whichever plant chosen comes into flower at the same time of year that the person died, or on their birthday.

Obviously you can visit your local garden centre in person or buy on-line and choose from a vast array of plants and trees, big and small.



Alternatively, there are some companies on the web, which can provide that extra personal touch by stocking roses that have yet to be named. For a small fee you can then choose any name you wish providing it is not already been registered. These can then be delivered directly to your door, or someone else’s if it’s a gift.


An idea we love involved using the funeral flowers. After the funeral, if you can collect some of the flowers used in the ceremony we have a list of funeral flower keepsake ideas that you could present to the family. These include ideas for preserving the flowers inside keepsakes.

Name A Star

To remember someone close to you, one of the many unique ways to remember them, is to name a star in their honour. Naming a shining star in the heavens is an inspirational gift, that can perfectly express your feelings, last forever, and ensure that the person you have named it after will never be forgotten.

There are apparently around 100,000 million stars in the Milky Way galaxy, and only about 16 million of those have been categorised. The rest it would appear are available to be named by you for yourself, or for someone else. In our context, it could be the ultimate permanent keepsake that could outlast and outshine all the others. For the price of a nice bouquet of flowers, you could have a star named after you or a loved one, receive a gift pack with a certificate of registration and an astronomical chart showing where it is with corresponding co-ordinates – I wonder which would last longer?