Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Meaningful Gifts for Widows

What makes the best gift for widows? Money, flowers and casseroles all serve their purpose and are appreciated, but there are other good gifts as well.

Going through some old cards and stuff, I came across a gift I really appreciated when Bruce died: it was a certificate for a tree planted in Israel in his memory. A married couple and a missionary in Africa chipped in together for the purchase. It really meant a lot to me for several reasons:
  • because it was a living thing that would last for years (unlike the many flower arrangements)
  • it would benefit the earth and it's people
  • and it didn't create any extra work or inconvenience on my part!
Here's the website for memorial trees in Israel: http://www.jnf.org/support/tree-planting-center/

Gift cards to her favorite places will help her budget: grocery stores, restaurants, etc. Consider her hobbies and find something appropriate: gardening, crafts, photography, music, fitness centers etc.

Help help her out by paying for services: oil change/car tires/AAA, snow removal, lawn mowing, house painting, haircuts, utility bills, etc.

Most of all, continue to include her in your life. If you take her a meal, please stay and eat it with her. Let her talk and cry. Give her your time---just listen. Your presence and availability is the greatest gift of all.

If you've been widowed, please add a comment or email about the special gifts and blessing you remember most. I'll be able to use it to create a helpful list of good gifts that everyone can use for widows.


  1. The week after my husband died a friend called and asked to come for a visit. Even though I was pretty much of a mess, I agreed. Shortly before she arrived she called to tell me she was bringing two other friends with her. I was too nice to say I couldn't handle a group visit. So they all came and it was awful. I felt like I had to entertain company. I think they needed to come together for their sakes and not for mine. I will never do that to anyone who is grieving.

  2. I didn't receive this gift, but a very special lady in my life passed away and her son received a beautiful "Peace Rose Bush" with a card which read - "Please accept this "Peace Rose Bush" in loving memory of your mom now resting in peace. (a nice gift)
    A girlfriend I grew up with from my elementary years on several occasions dropped me a note in the mail and said "please know I'm praying for you" and would sometimes have a poem in the card, she did this several times and it was such a blessing.
    A gift basket with maybe assorted herbal teas, hand lotion and flower seeds or whatever to your choosing.
    Another gift which blessed me so much was my landlord payed my rent for two months (unasked).
    And........Ferree your book "Post Cards from Widow's Path" has been a tremendous source of comfort, inner strength and blessing. (this is a wonderful gift for grieving widows)


  3. Babs - the most memorable gift was from a young German girl who brought some lovely, perfumed air spray. She told me to spray it into any room and the fragrance was to remind me of the presence of the Lord 'in my home'. I love the tree planting, too. Many buy park benches in memory of loved ones. I like to send continuous 'thinking of you cards' with a letter/scripture enclosed.

  4. The most meaningful gift I received was from one of my daughters' mother-in-law. She sent me a $50 gift card to JC Penney. I hadn't bought myself anything in a long time and was in need of some things. I will never forget that.

  5. I was surprised that someone enclosed a book of stamps in the sympathy card. That came in SO handy as I wrote out thank-you notes!

  6. My daughter-in-law gave me a gift card from Hobby Lobby and I was able to select items that reminded me of my late husband and some silk flowers to take to his gravesite. That was very comforting to me.

  7. This is a reply to Marcia's comment above - I agree that this type of visit is uncomfortable for a widow, especially a new one. Terribly intrusive. If any good can came from becoming a widow (for me), it is the ongoing learning of compassion for another who is grieving the loss of her husband.


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