Sending flowers to a funeral is a time-honored tradition. It’s not only a way pay respects, but also an expression of love and support for family members. And, while flowers are a thoughtful gesture, there are other things you can do to show that you care.

We’ve compiled a list below of some of the creative ideas we have seen here at Mountain View Funeral Home:

Memorial Tree or Shrub: If you still want to send something natural, a tree or shrub is something that can be planted and live on for a long time. You will want to make sure that the family has a place to plant your gift, so it is best to look into that first. Along with your living tribute, you could also include a garden memorial stone.

Wind Chimes: Imagine sitting on a back porch and hearing the soft rustle of wind chimes blowing in the breeze. Wind chimes provide a lovely sentiment that can remind family that their loved one’s spirit is always with them.

Take Care Basket: When a loved one passes, it is obviously a difficult time for the family. Grieving and funeral planning can take a front seat to anything else in life, including taking care of oneself. A basket with personal items could be just the thing. Depending on the recipient, you could include a massage gift certificate, spa items for home pampering, or even a Netflix account to help them relax.

House Cleaning and/or Meals: The last thing on a grieving family member’s mind is the desire to clean house or cook meals. Offering to take on some household chores—and actually coming over to do them—can be a huge help in someone’s time of need. You can also coordinate a meal chain where friends can pull together to make sure that the fridge is stocked with heat-and-eat or grab-and-go meals and snacks.

Gifts for Children: Children can often feel forgotten when the rest of the family is busy and grieving themselves. But, they are likely going through their own emotions such as fear and confusion. Considering the age and interests of children and giving them an appropriate gift can help them—and their parents—during the difficult mourning period. A few ideas here might be a comforting plush toy to cuddle with or a journal to write down their feelings. Coloring books with crayons or other craft items can help keep them busy and give them an outlet to express themselves. Or, you can even take them out to the park, for lunch, or to a movie to help them play and see that life goes on.

Donations: You will often see “in lieu of flowers” on an obituary or funeral program when someone passes away. These words are usually accompanied by an organization or charity close to the deceased’s or family’s heart. Making a monetary donation in the name of the loved one is always a touching expression of care.

At Mountain View Funeral Home, our thoughts are always with family members and friends when they lose someone they love. If you have any questions about how we can support you, please contact us here.