18 Unique Death Anniversary Gift Ideas


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Everyone deals with death in different ways. Some people like to let death anniversaries come and go, while others prefer to spend the date surrounded by family and friends. 

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Death Anniversary Gifts

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If you know someone who’s marking a death anniversary, you might want to give them a thoughtful gift. Giving your loved one a death anniversary gift can let them know you’re thinking of them and that you’re there to support them through their grief. 

So what should you give as a death anniversary gift? We’ve compiled some thoughtful gift ideas for a death anniversary, whether it’s for a loved one who lost a parent, someone who lost a spouse, or anyone else in your life marking a death anniversary. 

Death Anniversary Gifts for Someone Who Lost a Parent

Most of us eventually face the deaths of our mom and dad, whether it’s early in life or later on. But that doesn’t make the loss of a parent any easier. 

If someone you love is marking the anniversary of a beloved parent’s death, consider giving them one of these caring gifts.  

» MORE: Grief can be lonely. Create space for your community to share memories and tributes with a free online memorial from Cake.

1. Memory jar

A custom memory jar is a thoughtful gift that can keep on giving for days, months, and years to come. A memory jar is a large glass container where your loved one can collect thoughts and memories about their departed parent. 

If they have people over to mark the death anniversary, your friend can leave the memory jar out on a table and ask visitors to share an anecdote they shared with the deceased. 

We like the Top Shelf Family Memory Jar from Amazon.

2. Commemorative candle

Candles aren’t just a decorative way to make a room smell nice. They’re also a useful tool in grieving the loss of a parent and in remembering the life of a loved one.

A commemorative candle with the name of the departed or a meaningful quote on it is a perfect death anniversary gift. 

We like the Personalized Scented Soy Candle from Amazon.

3. Garden stone

If your loved one spends a lot of time outdoors tending the garden, or if that was their parent’s pastime, consider a memorial garden stone. You can have a garden stone engraved or painted with a custom design that commemorates your loved one’s departed parent, making it a great death anniversary gift. 

We like the GiftsForYouNow Personalized Memorial Garden Stone from Amazon.

4. Engraved photo frame

For some, displaying photos of departed family members can help keep meaningful memories alive. Placing photos around the house might do the trick well enough, but it can be even more meaningful to put those photos in custom-engraved picture frames.

If your loved one likes to keep photos on display, consider having a photo frame engraved with the parent’s name or a special quote. 

We like the Lifetime Creations Personalized Picture Frame from Amazon.

Death Anniversary Gifts for Someone Who Lost a Spouse or Partner

It can be difficult to choose a gift for the death anniversary of your loved one’s spouse. But giving your loved one a token of sympathy, no matter how small, can help them feel less alone. 

If your friend, family member, or loved one is going through their spouse’s death anniversary, consider the sympathy gift ideas below. 

5. Self-care package

Acknowledging a death anniversary of a spouse is emotionally taxing. When your loved one is going through such a trying time, they might need a boost of self-care. You can help by providing a care package filled with things like bubble bath and chocolate.

We like the Lavender and Rosemary Aromatherapy Basket from Amazon. 

6. Night out

While they might enjoy a night in pampering themselves, your friend or family member might also need a night out. As a death anniversary gift, you can offer your loved one dinner at their favorite restaurant or a drink at their favorite pub (on you). 

7. Soft and cozies

Anything that makes a person feel comfortable and cozy is a good death anniversary gift. Consider soft and fuzzy blankets and throw pillows, slippers, a robe, or cozy socks.

We like the PAVILIA Premium Fleece Blanket with Sleeves from Amazon. 

8. Spa gift card

You could also treat your loved one to some professional pampering for their spouse’s death anniversary. Consider a spa gift card for services like manicure and pedicure, a facial, or a massage. 

Death Anniversary Gifts for Someone Who Lost Another Family Member

No matter how long it’s been, whether just one year or more than a decade, death anniversaries are emotional occasions. And a death anniversary can commemorate the loss of any family member, from aunts and uncles to sisters-in-law. 

If someone in your life is marking the death anniversary of any family member, you can give them one of these gifts to show your support. 

9. Memorial jewelry 

You can find unique memorial jewelry that’s engraved with a symbol or quote your loved one may find meaningful. Alternatively, you can have a necklace, charm, or bracelet custom-engraved with a quote or with the name of the departed. 

We like the Joycuff Hidden Message Cuff Bangle from Amazon. 

10. Wind chime

A wind chime is a special death anniversary gift that can remind your loved one of their family member every time the wind blows. A memorial wind chime can be pre-engraved, or you can have one custom-engraved. 

We like the GiftsForYouNow Personalized Wind Chime from Amazon. 

11. Keepsake box

Your loved one likely has some small items, notes, and trinkets from their beloved family member that they want to keep safe. A memorial keepsake box is a perfect gift for a death anniversary in that case. 

We like the WE Games Old World Wooden Treasure Box from Amazon. 

12. Housekeeping gift card

Mourning a loved one on their death anniversary is stressful, and it can be hard to take care of regular household tasks. You can relieve that burden for your friend or family member with a housekeeping gift card. 

Death Anniversary Gifts for Someone Who Lost a Friend

It isn’t just family members who leave a lasting mark when we experience their loss. Grieving a close friend can be just as difficult. 

If you know a loved one who’s passing the death anniversary of a beloved friend, consider these gift ideas. 

13. Memorial playlist

If your loved one’s deceased friend was your friend, too, you might have a list of songs your group listened to together. If so, you can put all of those songs together to create a memorial playlist.

Give the playlist to your loved one on a CD or send them a link to a digital playlist.

14. Tree sapling

If you want a death anniversary gift that gives you a chance to spend time with your loved one and your loved one has outside space, a tree sapling may be a perfect choice. Together, you and your loved one can plant the sapling and say a few words for the departed. 

15. Sparklers

Lighting a candle can be meaningful, but lighting sparklers and fireworks can add a touch of fun.

For a unique death anniversary gift, consider giving your loved one some colorful sparklers that you can light together in their friend’s honor. 

16. Memory book

A memory book is like a photo album, but even better. With a memory book, you can include photos, as well as letters, small keepsakes, quotes, stickers, and more.

As a death anniversary gift, you can create a memory book that’s ready for your loved one to fill with memories of their friend. 

We like the Vienrose Scrapbook Photo Album from Amazon.

17. Photo mug 

Another unique alternative to a photo album is a photo mug. To give a photo mug as a death anniversary gift, you’ll just need to find a picture of your loved one and his or her departed friend together. Have that picture printed onto the mug to create a one-of-a-kind memorial gift. 

We like the Custom Coffee Mug with Photo from Amazon. 

18. Memorial donation

You can give your loved one a death anniversary gift that helps other people, too. For the anniversary of your loved one’s beloved friend, consider making a donation to a charity in that friend’s name

If possible, you can even create a crowdfunding campaign for the donation to raise more funds. Make the donation to a charity that the friend and your loved one would find especially meaningful.

Finding the Best Death Anniversary Gifts

Not everyone likes to receive gifts on the anniversary of a loved one’s death. If you’re not sure whether or not your friend or family member likes to acknowledge their loved one’s death anniversary, just ask.

If they decline, instead of giving your loved one a death anniversary gift, you can send them a text or give them a call to ask how they’re doing. You might feel like you don’t know what to say on a death anniversary. But there’s never any harm in simply checking in with someone you love and care about. 

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