Do you need to bring a gift to a funeral? Funeral etiquette can be different depending on unique cultural traditions; but there is some general etiquette for funerals that are widely understood. Emotions are already flowing. Loved ones are stressed out and mourning. The last thing you would want to do is commit a funeral faux paux that distracts from the remembrance of the deceased.
Do you HAVE to bring a gift to a funeral?
The answer of course is NO you do not have to. It is not expected in the same way it is when you arrive at a birthday party or other celebratory gathering. While you don’t have to bring a gift you may not want to arrive empty handed.
If you feel as though you would like to give something to the grieving family there are some options that are totally appropriate and appreciated.
Options for Gifts to Bring to a Funeral
- A bouquet of flowers is a common token of remembrance. The only downfall is that a grieving family may receive so many flowers. It can become overwhelming. Others have also commented on the beautiful bouquet wilting and dying after a couple days and for some can be a sad memory of the loss they have experienced. If you go with a bouquet consider whether you know they will enjoy them or not.
- If you are worried about the bouquet being too much a single flower is a subtle and inexpensive option while still being thoughtful.
- A nice sympathy card is a thoughtful way to let the bereaved know that you are thinking of them. Write a nice note showing your support and care. Having support during times of grief is so important and a card can be a nice reminder they are not alone.
- A living plant is a nice gift to give. For some taking care of a plant may be therapeutic. I want to highlight (SOME), because there are those of us who do not have a green thumb. Haha.
- A cash donation can be nice especially if the family has to stretch their bank account to pay for the funeral. Another option is a donation to a chosen charity.
- There are so many nice memorial stones, jewelry pieces and crafts that will really show you care.
As you read through this list it is best to consider how much you know about the bereaved. If you are close with them you will have a better idea of what will help them feel loved and supported. If you don’t know them as much but still want to show support you can never go wrong with a single flower.
Do be sure to check the funeral home for any “in lieu of flowers” notes.