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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.

http://nymag.com/strategist/article/meaningful-condolence-gifts-for-grieving-friends.html


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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