One Woman's Amazing Tribute to Her Late Grandmother.....(And How You Can Help Someone Who’s Grieving)
The death of Karen's grandmother had an enormous impact on her entire family. Her tribute to a woman she loved dearly shows us why condolence gifts are so important.
Karen and her family knew her grandmother didn’t have much time left.
She’d been ill for a while and she wasn’t getting any better.
But that didn’t ease the pain for any of them when she passed away. Even knowing what to expect did little, if anything, to soften the blow.
For a while, Karen felt numb. She describes it as a shock of sorts. It was like her mind knew what had happened, but her heart wasn’t ready to accept it yet. She carried on living her life, but couldn’t find joy in anything she did. She still struggled to accept what happened to someone who’d meant so much to her.
She decided that she needed to do something to honor her grandmother’s memory.
The inspiration came to her during a trip to the grocery store.
The Gift That Helped a Family in Mourning
Karen’s Nana had always loved to cook. Karen has these amazing memories of sitting at the table with her family while her Nana served the most amazing food. So she took one of her grandmother’s old recipes to the grocery store. She intended to buy some ingredients and make an old family favorite.
But while looking at her Nana’s handwriting, a thought occurred to her.
What if she could create a gift that served as a permanent memory of that very recipe?
Karen took the recipe to an engraver with express instructions:
Replicate the handwriting perfectly and engrave it onto a set of recipe boards.
One day, the family sat down to eat dinner as they had so many times before. Still struggling with the loss of someone she loved so much, Karen presented the recipe boards. She’d had one made for both her mom and her aunt.
Finally the floodgates opened.
That night, Karen’s numbness melted away as the family sat around the table and shared memories of her grandmother. Now each member of the family had Nana’s handwriting etched into a gift they could keep forever.
Why Did the Gift Work so Well?
The passing of a loved one is always a tragedy.
While these moments bring families together, the grief that comes with them can feel overwhelming. You have to try to come to terms with the fact that somebody who’s so important to you isn’t here any longer.
That’s why so many of us look for keepsakes. We’re searching for mementos that show us the loved one is still with us in spirit, if not in body.
Dr. David M. Reiss sums this up well. A practicing psychiatrist with over 25 years of experience, he says:
“At this point, a good linking object is anything that provides an emotional sense of connection with the lost one – but without engendering anger or fear. The most useful type and nature of the object really depends upon how the grieving individual processes emotions and sensations.”
In Karen’s case, the gift served as a reminder to herself and her family of one of her Nana’s favorite pastimes. It also gave her something heartfelt and permanent that would remind her of her grandmother whenever she saw it.
Most importantly, the condolence gifts she bought for others helped her come to terms with her own emotional trauma.
You have to consider these sorts of things when honoring a loved one. It’s not just about the person who passed away. It’s about the connection you had to that person.
Ways to Honor a Loved One Who Has Passed
Karen’s story has shown us how a condolence gift can both honor a loved one and provide emotional relief for those left behind.
But you may want to find other ways to honor someone's memory.
The key is to focus on doing things. Taking an active role in honoring somebody’s memory helps you to feel connected to them. You’ll feel like you’re doing something important for yourself and your loved ones.
Here are a few other things you can do to honor someone who’s passed:
- Visit their memorial site often. Spend time with them in spirit now that you can no longer do so physically.
- Volunteer to work with a charity that supports a cause dear to your loved one’s heart.
- Compile a CD or a playlist of songs that meant a lot to both of you. Any music you shared will bring forth happy memories.
- Just talk to people about the person who passed. Share memories and stories that make you smile when you think about them. The simple act of talking can remind you of why that person was so special to you in the first place.
- If you had a shared dream with the person who passed, do what you can to make it happen. Perhaps you’d always wanted to go on a road trip together? Do it and you’ll honor their memory.
The most important thing to remember is that there’s no right or wrong answer when you’re grieving. Doing anything that means something to you will honor your loved one.
Condolence Gestures for a Grieving Loved One
Again, doing things, whatever they may be, is the best approach to consoling somebody who’s grieving.
That’s what Karen discovered. The engraved recipe boards she gave to her mom and aunt served as the perfect reminders of her Nana. Furthermore, they showed her family that her own numbness didn’t mean she didn’t care.
Beyond gifts, many of the things that can help you with your grief can also help others.
Lending an ear to somebody who’s hurting always goes a long way. Encourage them to share stories and talk about their happiest memories with the person they lost.
It’s also important to remember that grieving people often forget the little daily essentials. For example, they may get so focused on arranging the funeral they forget about their groceries. Simply turning up on the doorstep with essentials, such as food and toiletries, can help. It may also provide your loved one with the opportunity to talk about what’s happened.
When it comes to specific condolence gifts, take Karen’s approach. Think about something that meant a lot to both your loved one and the recently departed. Try to recall old conversations and go through keepsakes. You may just find the flash of inspiration you need.
Condolence Gifts Help Everyone
Karen’s story proves that a condolence gift doesn’t just help the person who receives it.
The gift can also help you to come to terms with what’s happened.
The right gift serves as a permanent reminder of somebody who’s no longer with you. When you look at it or use it, you’ll feel the emotional bond you always shared.
Over time, your grief will fade, leaving behind the positive emotions the gift inspires.
Perhaps Karen’s idea has inspired you to do what she did.
If so, Kustom Products Inc would feel honored to help you to make that gift a reality. We offer engraved family recipe boards that allow you to immortalize the memory of a loved one.
Just let us know about the message you want to share and we’ll provide you with the perfect condolence gift.