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Beyond Cakes and Cookies: Better Options For Condolence Gifts

Updated: Jan 9

By Jill S. Cohen, NYC family grief counselor

Recently, a writer form the New York Magazine “Strategist” column asked to interview me on a second grief-related topic. The first one, a couple months ago, was about deciding whether or not to have children at a funeral.

This topic, however, was “condolence gifts”. When the interviewer first told me the topic, all I could envision was the many Jewish “shiva” visits that I have been to, in which there is a table overloaded with cakes, cookies, candies, and maybe a few pieces of fruit. Usually, it does not all get eaten. Much of it is wasted, or given away, or thrown away. So, I took the opportunity to recommend the kind of things that I’d rather give or receive as condolence gifts, that are perhaps more personal, more long-lasting, or more useful.

(Note: My comment on food does not refer to the “Meal Trains” that people organize, in which a different family provides dinner for the grieving family each night for a specified period of weeks or months following a death. That is SO helpful.).

To read my ideas and those of others in the field of grief, here is the article.


For more information about grief and grief counseling, visit www.jillgriefcounselor.com

Click for the freebie, “Would You Benefit from a Grief Counselor?”


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