15 Sympathy Gift Ideas for Someone Who Lost a Father


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You might find yourself at a loss for words when your friend, family member, or colleague loses a father. You want to show sympathy for their loss, but how? A sympathy gift can go a long way in showing how much you care.

You might choose to send a simple bouquet of flowers with a thoughtful sympathy note attached. You can also offer creative and longer-lasting gifts to provide a source of joy for the grieving family. In general, you should choose a gift that best expresses your care and support.

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We provide 15 sympathy gift ideas for someone who lost a father. No matter who in your life has lost a father, these sympathy gift ideas can help.

Tip: If someone in your life is coping with the death of a father, they might be facing a number of complex tasks. From writing an obituary to understanding grief, our post-loss checklist can help with the process. 

Sympathy Gift Ideas for a Friend Who Lost a Father

Your friends are there for you through thick and thin, so you want to show your support in their time of grief. These sympathy gifts for the loss of a father can help you comfort a friend in need.

Personalized jewelry

A friend who loses a father might want something to remind her of him every day. Memorial gift companies and small independent jewelry makers create beautiful, personalized sympathy pieces.

You can have a bracelet or necklace engraved with something as simple as the word “Dad,” or you can have a photo etched into a unique pendant. Keep in mind what would be most meaningful to your friend, as well as his or her jewelry preferences. We like the Cube Bar Necklace from Amazon.

If your loved one has their deceased loved one's lock of hair or cremated remains, you can send them in to be turned into a memorial diamond. After a consultation and a few months of waiting for the diamond to grow, you'll have a custom diamond that you can get set on a ring, necklace, or other jewelry.

Some companies, like Eterneva, create lab-grown diamonds and allow you to pick from several cuts and colors for your gemstone. 

Self-care basket

Your friend might not want to leave the house for a while after the loss of a father. During that time, the best thing your friend can do is take care of himself or herself. You can show that you understand his or her need for space with a self-care basket.

You might find one that’s pre-made and suits your friend’s tastes, but it’s often better to create a gift basket from scratch. Fill it with your friend’s favorite self-care items: chocolate, tea, bubble bath, candles, and maybe even some soft slippers or a blanket.

We like the KEDRIAN Care Package Box.

Card keeper

Do you have a large friend group? If so, you might all be looking for the perfect sympathy gift. 

You can buy or create a personalized card-keeper if everyone in your friend group wants to express his or her sympathies. A personalized card-keeper is a photo album that contains individual sympathy cards.

Each card should be personally written and unique. Your friend will be able to page through the card-keeper, read messages from supporters, and know that he or she is loved.

We like the Simply RSB Greeting Card Organizer Kit from Amazon.

Gift card for house cleaning or massage

Your friend might not have the energy to take care of daily tasks like cleaning and they might crave time away to recharge and refresh.

A sympathy gift for the loss of a father doesn’t have to be a physical object. Instead, you can give your friend the gift of relaxation with a gift card for house cleaning or a professional massage.

You'll need to call around to local spas and cleaning services to find a gift card.

Tree sapling

A tree sapling has the unique benefit of growing over time. Each year, your friend will watch the tree grow a little taller and be reminded of her father and his life.

A tree sapling also allows you and your friend to spend time together because you can plant the tree together — you’ll show your friend that you’re by her side in her time of grief.

We like the Trees of Monterey Collection of Seedlings from Amazon.

Sympathy Gift Ideas for a Family Member Who Lost a Father

Choosing a gift for a family member who has lost a father can be just as hard. The person who has passed away might be your uncle, cousin, or grandfather, or you might be only distantly related. 

The sympathy gifts below can help you choose the perfect gift for a family member who’s lost a father.

Custom photo album

Your family members will want to reflect on the life their father lived. A customized photo album is a perfect gift to express your understanding and sympathy. You can have the cover of the album embossed with a meaningful quote or just the father’s name.

You might include a few photos of the father and his family inside the photo album. Try to find pictures that his children don’t already have in their possession. Choose photos that they would like to see and keep forever.

We like the Custom Rustic Sunflower Photo Album from Amazon.

Garden stone or wind chime

Consider a personalized garden stone or wind chime if your family members have a garden or spend a lot of time outside. This gift could be especially meaningful if your family member’s father was a gardener or outdoorsman.

Memorial gift companies have garden stones and wind chimes that are pre-engraved with remembrance messages. You could also have a garden stone or wind chime personally etched with the father’s name or a unique quote.

We like this Personalized Fancy Monogram Name Landscaping Stone from Amazon.

If you would like something smaller and more tangible, companies like Parting Stone craft beautiful handheld cremation stones to let you keep your loved one with you.

Photo mug 

Your family members won’t look at a photo album every day, but they might drink coffee or tea. A creative gift for a family member who has lost a father is a personalized photo mug.

Make sure you have a high-quality photo on hand if you want to give a photo mug as a gift. A meaningful photo might be one where your family member and his or her father are together and enjoying each other’s company.

We like this PICTURE Perfect Coffee Mug (11oz or 15oz) from Amazon.

Plantable seed paper

Similar to a tree sapling, plantable seed paper is a gift that keeps giving year after year and it’s much simpler to give and receive.

Your loved one can place the seed paper in a planter and the seeds will begin to grow flowers as the paper decomposes. 

We like this Bloomin"Plant Me" Original Seed DIY Crafting Paper from Amazon.

Memorial guestbook

Your family member might want to keep a record of everyone who attended during a funeral or memorial for her father. She might want to keep a record of everyone who attended. A customized memorial guestbook allows visitors to write messages of sympathy as they enter or leave the service.

After the memorial, your family members will have dozens of messages to read through, reminding them how much their father was loved.

We like this A Life Remembered Memorial Guest Book from Amazon.

Sympathy Gift Ideas for a Colleague Who Lost a Father

A sympathy gift for your colleague who has lost a father should be meaningful and not overly personal. Here are some colleague sympathy gift ideas below.

Vacation time

Some workplaces allow employees to gift their vacation time to each other. You might have the opportunity to give the valuable gift of time if you have some vacation time banked up.

Your colleague will truly appreciate the time you give him to grieve without worrying about using up their valuable sick days. Consider getting your other colleagues onboard to donate some of their vacation time, too, if you want to provide your colleague with even more time away. 

Fruit or chocolate basket

Edible gifts are often some of the most appreciated. A grieving colleague likely won’t want to cook or go out to eat. 

The simple gift of cookies, fruit, or chocolates can help your colleague regain the energy they need to get through the first days of grief.

We like this Barnett's Gourmet Chocolate Biscotti Gift Basket from Amazon.

Keepsake box

You’re left with all of your loved one’s belongings when a loved one dies, as well as all of the gifts they’ve given us. A personalized and thoughtful keepsake box can help your colleague store meaningful memories.

You’ll find keepsake boxes available through memorial companies and individual sellers. Look for one that speaks to your colleague’s tastes and provides enough room for multiple letters or trinkets.

We like this Floral Heart Laser Cut Wood Keepsake Box from Amazon.

Engraved photo frame

You likely don’t have any photos of your colleague’s father. But you can still provide a place for your friend and co-worker to put their treasured memories.

An engraved photo frame can make a meaningful gift that shows you care and support your colleague. You might find an engraved photo frame with a quote that’s perfect for your co-worker. Otherwise, you can have one engraved with a unique quote or the father’s name. 

We like this Personalized Photo Frame from Amazon.

Donation or dedication

Consider getting the workplace together to make a donation or dedication. You can choose a nonprofit organization based on your colleague’s interests, father’s interests, or something else. 

For example, if your colleague’s father passed away after a long battle with cancer or Alzheimer’s, consider making a donation to the American Cancer Society or Alzheimer’s Society.

Organizations often send the family a notice that someone made a donation in memory of his or her loved one. Make sure you provide your colleague’s address.

Other Considerations

A sympathy gift is a great way to show your support when a friend, family member, or colleague loses his or her father. Consider combining two or more of the gift ideas above to create a personalized gift package for the person in your life. Make sure you throw in an appropriate condolence message for someone who lost a father.

You can also show your sympathy in other ways. For example, you might offer to help your friend or family member with the many practical matters and logistics that come up after a death. Simply acknowledge your friend, colleague, or family member’s loss — it can go a long way.

Finally, check the obituary and funeral notice for “in lieu of flowers” notifications. These notifications will inform you if the family has preferences regarding gifts. If you need more inspiration, check our guide to sympathy gift ideas for almost any situation.

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