This collection of sympathy gifts and ideas will honor and support your friend after the loss of a mother. It can be hard to know what to say to someone whose mom died – besides simply “I’m sorry you lost your mother.” Remember, though, that your simple heartfelt wishes and condolences mean more than you think.
I love the idea of a Ceramic Josephine Teapot – especially if your friend is a tea drinker – because it’s more than just a sympathy gift. It’s an invitation to life and friendship. This teapot can come with your handwritten invitation to visit, cry, and share memories of your friend’s mother. Loss needs to be remembered and honored, and an invitation to talk can be a wonderful way to express sympathy and support. This is an uplifting sympathy gift because it focuses on friendship and life, instead of going deeper into the pain and grief.
Give your friend the teapot, an assortment of flavorful and interesting tea bags, and a date for a visit in a month’s time. It doesn’t matter how much time has passed, because when someone’s mom dies the memories are always at the surface, wanting to be shared.
Here’s a thoughtful poem to put in a sympathy card:
“Those we love don’t go away
They walk beside us every day,
Unseen, unheard, but always near
Still loved, still missed and very dear.”
Since finding the right words of comfort is almost as difficult as finding the right sympathy gift idea, I sprinkled several sympathetic sayings throughout this article.
Sympathy Gifts for the Loss of a Mother
The Willow Tree Forget Me Not is a lovely sympathy gift for a coworker or friend – all the Willow Tree figurines are so beautiful. They speak in quiet ways to heal, comfort, protect, and uplift the recipient’s spirits. Expressing your compassion after the loss of a mother may feel awkward because death is uncomfortable and difficult to talk about.
If you feel helpless and uncomfortable about saying you’re sorry after someone dies, you’re normal! It’s hard, and it can be difficult to find the right gift for someone whose mother died. A family death is painful, and it doesn’t seem like enough to say how sorry you are. But, remember that simply saying “I’m sorry you lost your mother” can be a huge comfort to someone who lost a family member. By acknowledging their pain, you’re saying that you care about them. And that, my friend, is huge.
However, remember that your gift of sympathy can say more than your words. Your actions are meaningful and important, and your simple, quiet presence will comfort your friend. Below, you’ll find a collection of thoughtful sympathy gifts for the loss of a mother, ranging from general expressions of compassion to more intimate gestures of love, support, and spiritual healing.
A sympathy candle, for comfort and warmth
The Pavilion Gift Company Comfort Candle is a lovely sympathy gift, especially if you include a message about the endurance of a lost loved one’s spirit and soul after death. The loss of a mother is one of the most difficult good-byes we ever have to say, even when we’re not close with our moms. A candle symbolizes warmth and comfort, hope and healing.
The bereavement gift you choose depends in part on the relationship you have with your friend. It also depends on her personality. But, no matter how you choose to express your sympathy after a family death, remember that your presence and hugs are what count most. The more you listen and are available to your friend, the more comforted she’ll feel.
A Sea Glass fine art poster
The Sea Glass Fine Art Heart Poster is a beautiful symbol of love after someone’s mother dies. It’s both uplifting and memorable, and won’t drag your friend’s heart down when she sees it…and when she remembers the mother she lost.
This sympathy gift is part of the The Heart Poster Collection, which is a collection of award winning photography from world famous photographer Donald Verger. His work is collected by people around the world – but that isn’t as important as how this poster makes people feel. It’s a symbol of healing and hope – which is what someone whose mother died really needs.
If you’re searching for sympathy gifts for a death that hasn’t happened yet, you may want to read Thoughtful Gifts for Someone Who is Dying. I know it’s sad and difficult to think about buying a sympathy gift before the loss of a mother or another loved one, but in some situations its appropriate and even healthy to acknowledge the end of a life.
A memorial stepping stone for the garden
If your bereaved friend is a gardener or just enjoys spending time in the yard, the “Those We Love Don’t Go Away” Memorial Stepping Stone is a beautiful bereavement gift idea. Engraved on it is this poem above, which is a wonderful sympathy message for the bereavement card.
A garden stepping stone is a lovely sympathy gift for someone whose mom died – especially if she loved gardening, flowers, or even landscaping.
What to say in the sympathy card about the loss of a mother: “You are in my heart, thoughts, and prayers. I wish you all the strength you need today and in the days to come. May you be blessed with the peace that surpasses all understanding, and may you rest knowing your mother will always be part of your life.”
A holiday ornament to help the family remember
Holidays are the most difficult times after the loss of a mother; a sympathy gift that helps people cope with Christmas or other holidays would be especially thoughtful. Recently I wrote an article about a girl who has Transverse Myelitis – it’s a neurological disorder that results in pain and paralysis. It’s a terrible illness, but Sarah is so upbeat and positive! Her mother drives her to school every morning and is there for her, no matter what. If Sarah’s mom died, she would be lost all year round…but Christmas and other holidays would be the worst.
The next three sympathy gifts are holiday ornaments, to help someone whose mom died before the holiday season.
Christmas Tree Ornament
The Merry Christmas From Heaven Ornament wasn’t my first choice when I was searching for sympathy gift ideas for the loss of a mother. But it received so many positive “comforting sympathy gift” reviews on Amazon – and I realized that this gift can be given to the whole family after a a mom dies.
This oval pewter ornament makes a wonderful gift not only at Christmastime, but as a gesture of remembrance in the days and weeks after a loss. It’s a gift for everyone after the loss of a mother in the family, and can help you say “I’m sorry your mom died” in a way that acknowledges the holiday season.
This sympathy ornament features the last four verses of the “Merry Christmas From Heaven” poem and arrives gift-boxed with a complimentary poem card:
“I love you all dearly,
Now don’t shed a tear,
I’m spending my Christmas
With Jesus this year.”
The poem is under copyright (1990) by John William Mooney, Jr.
A Glass Memorial Ornament
The Engraved Remembrance Heart Personalized Ornament is less “Christmas-y” and more general. This sympathy gift would be appropriate for someone who celebrates the Christian holidays, but not as an actual believer in Jesus Christ.
I like this gift because of the family aspect. You may know one member of the family (your friend), but there’s a whole family who is grieving the death…and by giving an ornament that can be shared, you express your regret and condolences to everyone. This is a powerful way to say “I’m sorry for your loss” to the entire clan, and can be healing for everyone.
Hand-painted angel figurine
The Sympathy Angel Holding Stars in the Sky is etched with the words, “Perhaps they are not Stars in the sky, but rather openings where our Loved Ones shine down to let us know they are happy.”
This is a sympathy gift that may ease the loss of a mother, because it helps us know we aren’t alone in the universe. If your friend’s mom believed in God – and if your friend does, too – then knowing that she’s in Heaven with the angels is comforting. She is resting in peace on the other side, and her family will join her one day.
Amazing Grace wind chimes
The Woodstock Inspirational Amazing Grace Chime is one of my favorite gifts for someone whose mother died. It sings! This wind chime consists of six silver color aluminum tubes, a laminated bamboo top, and wind catchers that are stained a cherry color. They’re precision tuned for superior sound and designed by professional musician Garry Kvistad.
Here’s what someone said after receiving this sympathy gift for the loss of a mother: “What a wonderful and thoughtful gift to give for any occasion, but what a treat to receive one in remembrance of a loved one. Such a delight to listen to! What an awesome way to think about my mom; listening to one of my favorite hymns, sitting outdoors, letting the gentle music calm me.”
If you aren’t sure of the “Amazing Grace” aspect of this wind chime is suitable, consider a more generic wind chime.
Encouragement to stay healthy after the loss of a mother
Research shows that the risk of a heart attack is extremely high for the bereaved in the days and weeks after losing a loved one – whether it’s the loss of a mother or a partner. The first day after a loved one died, heart attack risk was 21 times higher than normal, which declined progressively over the first month. Friends and family of a bereaved person should watch for heart attack signs and help her maintain a healthy lifestyle.
This isn’t exactly a sympathy gift idea after the loss of a mother, but if you know your friend well enough, perhaps you could somehow make it one.
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This personalized “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” Memorial Sympathy Candle Holder is made of solid cherry wood, and holds three votive candles. The glass holders are included at no extra charge. This is one of the most thoughtful bereavement gifts for coworkers because it can be displayed at home or work.
What makes this sympathy gift different is the personalized touch: you can have your friend’s mom’s birth and death date engraved on the candle holder. This memorializes and honors the loss of a mother in a more personal way.
I featured a different type of comfort candle on my article about another type of family loss in The Grieving Process After the Death of a Child.
What to say in the sympathy gift card after the loss of a mother: “You are in my heart, thoughts, and prayers. I wish you all the strength you need today and in the days to come. May you be blessed with the peace that surpasses all understanding, and may you rest knowing your mother will always be part of your life.”
A book about loss and grieving after a death in the family
I’ve never read Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Loss by Pat Schwiebert and Chuck DeKlyen, but the reviews on Amazon on wonderful. I attended a grief conference last year; we watched a video about how this book is both comforting and helpful after the loss of a family member. When someone’s mother dies, they need the gift of tears so they heal.
Tear Soup is a beautiful coffee table book for all ages. It’ll help family members and friends understand what loss feels like, and how to go through the grief process. If your friend is a parent, this sympathy gift is especially powerful because it helps kids grieve the loss of grandmothers and great-grandmas.
A plush comfort blanket
The Floral Embossed Sherpa Soft Plush Throw Blanket is one of the most practical sympathy gifts for coworkers you know well, because it gives them “permission” to sleep and process their grief. It’s like giving a stuffed teddy bear, but not as child-like.
This is one of my favorite gifts in my 17 Gift Ideas for After Mastectomy Surgery article – a soft, comforting, warm, cozy blanket. After I had surgery, all I wanted to do was curl up in a soft warm nest and sleep. Same thing after my grandma died.
A Christian sympathy gift for the loss of mother
This is a sympathy gift I’ve never heard of, perhaps because I’m not Catholic. I wasn’t sure I should include it on my list of sympathy gifts after the loss of a mother because you can’t give this to just anyone! But if your friend is Catholic, this would be a beautiful gift after the loss of a mother.
The Wonderful Clinging Cross: Handheld Comfortable Cross is designed to perfectly fit in anyone’s hand. It’s a constant reminder that God is near and real.
Here’s the poem that accompanies this Christian sympathy gift:
When my mind is fuzzy
And my eyes are dim with tears
I need to feel Your presence, Lord,
And know that You are near.
When my heart is racing
And my thoughts have such a sting,
I tightly grasp this little cross
And prayerfully I cling.
It’s not a magic piece –
This cross Your father planned,
But when I cling to it I feel Your nail-scarred hand.
6 Sympathy Gifts for People You Don’t Know Well
The better you know someone, the easier it’ll be to find the right sympathy gift after their mom died. But what if you don’t know the person well? Here are a few ideas for people you don’t know well, but you want to say “I’m sorry your mother died.”
Sympathy gift basket
The Great Arrivals Sympathy Gift Basket, In Loving Memory includes a lovely bereavement card, snacks that are easy to share and eat, and free shipping.
I’m a huge fan of giving gift baskets, because they (usually) keep for a long time. They can be shared with others, if your coworker doesn’t want the items in the gift basket. If you know your coworker well enough to visit at her place, you can drop the gift basket off in person – along with a nice bottle of wine.
Memorial stepping stone
The Memorial Garden Stepping Stone includes a message of hope and remembrance. It isn’t just a bereavement gift for gardeners, it’s for anyone who has even the smallest yard or balcony. It can be hung inside or outside, which makes it a flexible gift after the loss of a mother.
A sympathy gift for a coworker
This is a simple, classy, formal bereavement gift for a coworker you don’t know well, but you connect with. This Handcrafted Pewter Paperweight says “Most Things are Difficult Before They Are Easy” – which can apply to much more than the grieving process after the loss of a mother. Personally, I’d like this type of bereavement gift if I lost my mother – I like that it’s not too sentimental.
More than a sympathy bouquet of flowers – a live plant
The Healing Tears – Blue and White flower bouquet isn’t sombre or depressing, like some funeral flowers can be. A bouquet of flowers is a heartwarming, uplifting way to express your sympathy and support after a mother dies. It’s a gift that brings life and light, freshness and beauty.
The best sympathy gifts for the loss of a mother bring hope and healing, because that’s what we need after a mom dies.
If you aren’t sure what type of flowers you should give in a sympathy bouquet, here’s a list of “flowers for a mother’s funeral.”
Flowers for a Mother’s Funeral
Dark Crimson Rose…..mourning
Immortal Flowers…….unfading remembrance
Red Poppy……………eternal sleep
Tea Rose…………….I’ll remember always
White Carnation…….to honor the loss of a Mother
White Rose…………..to honor the loss of a Father
Zinnia…………………in memory of a dear friend
Sending the right type of flowers can help you express sympathy for the loss of a mother in ways that another gift can’t. Condolence flowers portray compassion, support, and other sentiments that are difficult to put into words. The ritual of giving flowers has strong history in funerals and after the loss of a mother because the flowers themselves carrying meanings.
“One a Day” Memory Jar – Sympathy Gift for the Loss of a Mother
The KindNotes Keepsake Gift Jar of Messages for Condolences, Bereavement, Passing, Loss, Funerals is a creative way to honor a mom’s death. It’s a beautiful keepsake glass jar, filled to the brim with linen decorative cardstock envelopes, which can be displayed and treasured in the office or at home.
This jar contains Vintage Letters – 31 positive and encouraging sympathy messages to be opened each day of the month. Or, the recipient can reach for a sympathy note anytime they feel sad and need a little pick-me-up. This is a unique and thoughtful way to comfort a friend or loved one during difficult days, through the power of words.
Sample Messages – which can also be used in a sympathy card for the loss of a mother:
- Gone from our sight, but never from our hearts.
- May the love of those around you help you through the days ahead.
- Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. – Theodore Roosevelt.
- May your heart and soul find peace and comfort.
- The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. – Helen Keller.
- Rise above the storm, and you will find the sunshine. – Mario Fernandez.
I love this sympathy gift idea because it will remind the person of your support and compassion, long after the mother’s funeral is over.
Memory book for the funeral or celebration of life
This may be a bit too personal to be on the list of sympathy gifts after a family death when you don’t know the bereaved well, but it’s a practical idea.
A Celebration of Life, In Memory Of… is a journal that has one page for every guest to make a note in memory of the deceased. It works for a joyous celebration of life or a somber funeral, and will help your coworker remember his or her loved one forever.
If you have any thoughts on these sympathy gift ideas after a death in the family, please comment below. I especially welcome tips for giving gifts of comfort and peace to people who are bereaved.
For more ideas, read Sympathy Gifts to Say You’re Sorry After a Family Death.
May you find the right sympathy gift after a family death, and may God give you the right words to say.
Your thoughts are welcome below! I don't give advice, but you can get free relationship help from marriage coach Mort Fertel.