Comforting DIY Sympathy Care Package Ideas

Grieving takes a lot out of people; fill their cup with a homemade sympathy package.

Published April 11, 2023
Silhouette of women sitting on log and hugging

Grief is a strange and difficult emotion, where time is both all too real yet not real enough. There's a hollow emptiness in the chest of those who are mourning the loss of someone they love, and those with cracking hearts as they watch the ones they love grieve, standing by, ready to help. Let them know you're there with a sympathy care package.

DIY Sympathy Care Package and Gift Basket Ideas

When you're building a grief care package, the priority is the needs of the family or loved ones, with a few wants thrown in because mourning is draining. The ideas can be simple, but a care package for a grieving friend should brighten their day, or at least soothe the pain in small ways.

Hot tea and candles

Grief Care Package Ideas for the Mind

After grief, the mind is reeling. You can help a friend or family member cope with the loss of a loved one by showing you care. Add any, or all, of these to your package to ease the minds of those who are grieving.

  • Include a new book or two - or a favorite they don't yet own.
  • Send a "wreck it journal" to empty their mind creatively.
  • Make a playlist they can access using a QR code you place in the package.
  • Gift a traditional or notebook for them to sort through their thoughts - don't forget some nice pens or markers!
  • For those who are puzzlers, add puzzle books to the basket.
  • Help them turn their mind off with coloring books.
  • Include a board game.
  • Consider adding in some ibuprofen or other over-the-counter medicines for ailments.

Adult coloring book

Grief Care Package Ideas for the Body

Help the grieving to look after their body during this difficult time. Whether nutritional or something a bit more laid-back, you can send a message of love and support with these care package ideas for someone who lost a loved one.

  • Bubble bath or bath salt
  • A loaf of fresh bread with butter
  • Homemade meal or dessert (Make it something that all they need to do is reheat or toss in the refridgerator.)
  • Body lotion
  • Candy, such as chocolates, gummies, or even trail mix
  • Healthy snacks such as fresh fruit or dried fruit and nuts
  • Salty snacks such as chips and pretzels
  • Cheese, crackers, and other charcuterie accoutrements
  • Nutritional protein shakes or powder - especially helpful if they're having a hard time eating
  • Restaurant or food delivery gift cards
  • Take their mind off of shopping by gifting a meal delivery service.
  • Gift a basket of snacks and sodas.
  • Give the gift of a food tray in the form of a veggie, fruit, or sub tray.

Food gift basket

Quick Tip

If you're gifting a food item, add some disposable plates or cutlery, so it's one less thing to clean up or put away for them.

Grief Care Package Ideas for the Soul

The soul gets worn down during times like these. Offer a friend a helping hand during all of this.

  • A plant that's very, very easy to care for
  • Add a bouquet of flowers, already trimmed and in water
  • Eucalyptus to hang in the shower
  • A bottle of wine or whiskey to sip and enjoy - this is when it's important to know your receiver, and don't forget a wine key!
  • Gift a laundry or cleaning service to take something off their plate
  • Add face masks, hair masks, or other indulgent self-care items
  • A box of chocolates
  • Soft lotion tissues
  • An eye mask for puffy eyes
  • A memorial stone or garden stone
  • Worry can take over - add a worry stone
  • Include a coffee mug
  • A soft, warm blanket for a touch of comfort

Gift basket with red wine and flowers

Quick Tip

Add a handwritten card or note, expressing that you're there for them and ready to take anything off their plate, as well as an ear to listen.

Grief Care Package Themes

Thare are lots of different things that you can put in a sympathy care package for a friend, family member, or even an acquaintance or co-worker. Let a theme guide you as you pick out what to include. You know your audience best, but sometimes a little inspiration can help.

Self-Care Sympathy Package

Pack the basket with bubble bath, a cozy bathrobe, and some candles. Perhaps your Netflix login or a streaming gift card. If it's in your budget, consider a small weighted blanket.

Wine and Cheese Sympathy Care Package

Grab a bottle of wine, a cheese, two, or three, some tasty crackers, dijon mustard, and a fruity jam. Don't forget to toss in some napkins or plates to make the clean up a breeze.

Baked Goods and Sweet Treats Sympathy Care Package

Fill a basket with brownies, cookies, or fruit bars. Homemade or store-bought, just having a dessert nearby is what counts. Of course, you can also throw in some ice cream, cookies, or dried fruits.

Tea, Coffee, and Cookies Sympathy Care Package

Grab a bag of coffee, a box or tea, and an excellent selection of cookies and biscuits. Don't forget the stroopwafels. Consider gifting them a mug with a happy message or quote on the side or a pattern they love.

A Meal in a Basket Sympathy Care Package

Meals can be hard to plan or put together. Bring some homemade meals that are easy to freeze (hello, lasagna!), supply some frozen pizzas, salads in a bag, or a classic blue box of macaroni and cheese. Remember, it's about comfort. So if your loved one is a sub-fanatic, a sub will hit the spot.

Happy Memories Care Sympathy Care Package

Picking just one memory when someone has shared a lifetime with someone is hard. Why not give them a digital picture frame they can load up with pictures? Don't forget a snuggly blanket and perhaps a cuddly animal to hold close.

Spa Sympathy Care Package

Think face masks, nice lotion, a ready-made-cocktail, and don't forget an eye mask. A nice scented candle, incense, or essential oils make for a nice touch too. A hair mask? Oh yeah. And if they're not the bath type, you can add some shower steamers.

Plants and Flowers Sympathy Care Package

Include an easy-to-care-for plant, or one that's already established and won't add any difficulty to their life. Pressed flowers, a fresh bouquet, or even everlasting flowers, too. Just make sure to already have the plant potted or in a vase so there's no extra work.

Gift Card Sympathy Care Package

When you're grieving, it can be hard to know from moment to moment, day to day, just what you'll need or even want. Loading them up with gift cards for local restaurants, grocery store, bookstore, delivery service, cleaning service, or even yard service can take a lot off of their plates.

Escape Into Your Imagination Sympathy Care Package

Make a pile of their favorite magazines or subjects, supply a few books, or load them up with DVDs of movies or tv shows to sweep them away. No DVD player these days? That's when a gift card for a streaming service sure comes in handy.

Food gift basket

Grief Care Package Ideas Can Make Things a Little Easier

There's no knowing what needs or wants will arise from one moment to the next when you're grieving or grappling for a hold on life. And while you may not be able to predict that, you can offer a hand to make things a little lighter to a friend or family member dealing with loss.

Comforting DIY Sympathy Care Package Ideas