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Appropriate gift for my friend's mother (my friend died)


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One of my best friends in college died recently.  Her memorial will be in May and I plan to travel to it if I can (we are in Greece part of that month).  I am Facebook friends with her mother who I knew IRL too.  My friend's younger  brother died two years ago. Both were medically caused deaths but while her brother\s death was foreseen, her death was totally unexpected.  I hesitate in ordering flowers or plants because my friend's mother took in her cat and I think she had a cat too plus I would rather do something more practical.  The mom has expressed feelings of being overwhelmed with clearing out her daughter's apartment and doing all the other things she needs to do.   My friend was single.  In the South, we have a service called GrubSouth with delivers food from restaurants.  You can get a gift card from them.  I thought that may be a good present instead of flowers but do not know what kind of service is in Chicago area,.  Also, if you have other recommendations, please give them.  

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:grouphug: I'm so sorry for your loss. 

 

I'm sorry I don't have any ideas for Chicago meal delivery, but I hope someone will.

 

Instead of flowers, I think a nice card and letter sharing your favorite memories of her daughter would be nice. Something she can read time and again as she goes through the grieving process.

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I LOVE your idea of sending food this way. One time my sister sent a huge basket of food to a grieving family. Later I heard how super appreciated it was.

 

Here's GrubHub in Chicago: https://www.grubhub.com/delivery/il-chicago

Snap Kitchen: snapkitchen.com

This looks good too: sprig.com

Door Dash: Doordash.com

 

I'm so, so sorry for your loss.  :grouphug:

 

Alley

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I am sorry for your loss, too.  

 

When my SIL died, someone gave my MIL a special candle and she really liked that.  Also, my SIL died from breast cancer and someone else gave her a necklace with a pink ribbon on it and that was special to her.  I like the food delivery service idea the best, though.  That poor woman - losing one child is already too tough.  

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I am very sorry to hear of your loss, Christina. 

 

I like the idea of sending a grub hub gift certificate. Another idea might be to do a gift certificate for a cleaning service. She could either use it herself or use it for the move-out cleaning in your friend's apartment. I also think a nice card/letter a couple months later as follow up would be appreciated. That would be a good time to share good memories of your friend with her, especially if they are memories you share together with her mother. 

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Thank you all.  One thing I will be writing to her is how my children, who only met her one time each, liked her and I am going to write to her what they all said about their memories too. Also she was the person who remarked when she saw my now dh and me a few months after we met (not the first time she saw us) that she was sure we would be still together when we are 90.  Well, we are still together 36 years later and counting.

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The gift of a food card is a lovely gesture. My bf from high school died from alcoholism several years ago. Although we usually avoided her dad (who raised her), I got in contact with him shortly after her passing. We email randomly several times a year, and I make it a point to email him on her birthday and the date of her passing. I often share special memories that I have. I want him to know that she was loved and is missed. When I was in town for a class reunion, I stopped in to visit with him for a few hours.

 

This is the only experience I have in this situation, but he seems to enjoy and appreciate it, and I know I am blessed by the friendship that has grown between us.

 

I'm sorry for your loss. It's different losing someone young, unexpectedly, especially someone you thought you would grow old with.

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Oh gosh. How sad for you and especially her poor mother.

 

I’m in the Chicago area and you’ve received some good advice and suggestions already. There is a service called Hour Maids that we used to use for cleaning. If you go with a service, maybe you could explain the situation. The team of cleaners I had were young and very sweet, mostly Polish. If you need any other suggestions for Chicago places, just ask.

 

I think the letter idea would be really lovely.

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I generally recommend food as well. People in mourning often need to be reminded to eat.

 

Also, grieving is weird. It's not some linear process where first you're really sad, then you're sad, then you're pretty sad, then you're occasionally sad, and then you're not sad anymore. It's more... up and down. And a lot of people forget, after the first few months, that the family and friends are still grieving. I'm warning you for yourself to expect this but also to suggest you put a note on your calendar now to send Friend's Mom a note in a few months just to say you were thinking of her. It can be as simple as "Dear $Name, I was just thinking about Friend and how she used to Do The Thing and I wanted to check in."

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I generally recommend food as well. People in mourning often need to be reminded to eat.

 

Also, grieving is weird. It's not some linear process where first you're really sad, then you're sad, then you're pretty sad, then you're occasionally sad, and then you're not sad anymore. It's more... up and down. And a lot of people forget, after the first few months, that the family and friends are still grieving. I'm warning you for yourself to expect this but also to suggest you put a note on your calendar now to send Friend's Mom a note in a few months just to say you were thinking of her. It can be as simple as "Dear $Name, I was just thinking about Friend and how she used to Do The Thing and I wanted to check in."

I do this. I have notes on the calendar to remind myself to contact a friend I have who’s a widow. I wrote down her husband’s birthday, death date, and their anniversary and make a special point to send a quick line saying, “Today is X’s birthday. I still miss him and wanted you to know I was thinking about him and you today.†That’s it. I keep it simple. I put random dates on my calendar too, “Check in on X.†Sometimes I write to her when I’m thinking about her, but I still put the dates on the calendar to make sure that time doesn’t get away from me and 6 months go by before I contact her again. Time has a way of doing that.

 

I had another friend many years ago whose husband died and I didn’t know how to handle it and after a couple of months, I stopped being careful to contact her. I’ve always regretted it. It’s been 10 years and she’s remarried since then, but I did a crappy job of being there for her. I won’t make that mistake again.

 

So, no matter what you choose to give her now, get some dates on the calendar and make a point of sending her a message or a card or a voice mail.

 

If you are ever in the area near her, offer to take her to lunch and let the conversation turn to your friend and let her cry if she wants to without trying to cheer her up. Let the tears fall if they want to.

Edited by Garga
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I read a book written written by a grieving mom and she was grateful when people sent her pictures, candids, one she hasn't seen before, ones at events with stories. There will never be any more pictures and she wanted to have all the ones she could.

 

Food, cleaning, those both sound great and will be appreciated ok sure.

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