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After losing both my dad and younger brother within the last 2 years, I have an alternative gift suggestion to sending funeral flowers. We were blessed by family and friends with flowers, food, gifts, etc.
After things calmed down, we had lots of thank-you notes to write. One of our relatives gave us several books of postage stamps to cut the cost of sending out the notes. This was an extremely thoughtful gift and very practical too!
By Vicki -- Matt's Mom from Springfield, MO
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What can I send someone whose wife has just passed after a long battle with cancer? I'm sure he has been inundated with flowers and I'd like to send something different.
When my dad passed, the nicest things we received were cards with memories about him. That meant (and still means) more to me than anything else. The other thing that meant a lot to me was a peace Lilly plant. I have kept it going all these years!!
Sending prayers and condolences to your friend!
a great thing for a widower, especially if his wife was the 'home economics expert' in the household (though probalby not during her illness) is something that would make his material life easier
if you have the budget, maybe hire a housekeeper for him for a day or volunteer to help clean his house
organize a food sharing thing where you bring him food and others bring him food every day for a month
gift certificates to restaurants, supermarkets, etc, anything that makes his material life better
for some people a bottle of nice Scotch or wine is an appropriate gift
A food gift basket is a thoughtful sympathy gift. Books are also an alternative to flowers. Depending on how well you know the person the book could be a novel, a book on dealing with grief, a cookbook or a book on a subject you know they're interested in. A journal could be helpful to them as they go through the grieving process.