21 Thoughtful Ways to Send a Sympathy Hug


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It’s frustrating when you can’t be there to show love and support to the important people in your life. That’s why you’ve got to get creative if you want to send a sympathy hug to someone who’s far away. Not sure how? We’ve got you covered.

Gift Ideas for Sending a Sympathy Hug

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Hugs offer simple but effective ways to combat loneliness, reduce stress and anxiety, and help those you love to feel like your heart is near. Let’s take a look at some thoughtful ways you can do that no matter where you are in the world.

How to Send a Sympathy Hug With Words

Below we’ll look at the best way to send sympathy hugs with words and symbols on your phone or over social media pages.

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1. Smartphone hugs 

Hug your smartphone, and it will record the length of time you have it pressed or hugged to your chest. Just tap the record button, hug your phone, and when finished, the sensor will automatically know when to stop recording. It’s that easy! 

2. XOXO, XOX, :{}:, :)X or :D<

Thankfully, we’re now more advanced than typing calculator words like BOSS, HELLO, and SHOE. Now you can type hugs and kisses or make your semicolons and brackets look like hugs. 

Pro-tip: If your :) turns into a ☺, then just arrow back or delete, and it should return to the original :). Then, just add an X, and you’ve got what looks like a happy face over two crossed arms—the hug! And don’t include the commas!

3. Leave a voicemail

As infrequently as people leave voicemails today, don’t you just love it when someone you love leaves you a message! 

If you’ve saved one or two on your phone to listen to their voice whenever you miss them, then you know how much these simple little messages can bring you joy.

4. Social media post

Type a short but sweet message on their social media page to let them know you’re thinking of them. Whatever you decided doesn’t have to be long-winded. They’ll know.

5. Messenger

Messenger offers a more private opportunity for you to connect with your loved ones and leave them a note that says you’re bear hugging them and wishing them well while they grieve.

6. Greeting card

They’re not old-fashioned, and people love getting mail that isn’t from the electric board, a credit card offer, or any kind of junk mail. So, pick one out at your local store and put a stamp on it.

Your friend or loved one will be so happy to see handwriting with your name in the upper left corner.

How to Send a Sympathy Hug With a Gift

Anything you send will indicate your sympathy and love, but if you need some extra sympathy gift ideas, scroll down to check out what we discovered for you.

7. Written letter

Who says you have to spend a lot of money? A well-written letter is as good as any gift! 

But if you haven’t written an actual letter in a while or are used to relying on some computerized calligraphy font over your penmanship, then practice a few times before you give it a go. Even if you’re rusty, it’s the thought that matters.

Pro-tip: Seal it and then write the following on the front: “open when you need a hug.”

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8. Sustainable teddy bear

Eco-friendly plush bears offer you a simple way to send the biggest hug your budget can afford via USPS mail. If you’re not into teddy bears in particular, check out the other options available such as giraffes and turtles.

It’ll be the perfect gift, no matter which one you choose.

9. Hygge gift basket

You’ve probably heard of the Norwegian word “hygge” before, right? If not, it’s all about comfort, coziness, and self-care. 

While you can order one of these Hygge boxes from an online marketplace, you can also DIY a gift basket on your own. Include things like a blanket, socks, hot cocoa, or anything else your loved one will appreciate. Don’t forget to add a sweet little note or some instructions.

10. Candle

A great smelling candle adds to any room or bath! If you don’t make them yourself, look for a local retailer that sells something sustainable and great smelling. 

If there isn’t a store nearby, check out places like Etsy. It’s filled with businesses and business owners who’ve been honing their crafts to provide you with great products and excellent service.

11. “Hugging You” mug

Coffee or tea mugs are something most people have enough of at home, but what about the office? 

Pick out a mug that says precisely what you’re thinking and package it up for your friend or loved one. If “Hugging You” isn’t appropriate, then look for one that conveys a secret message or joke that only the two of you know about. 

Pro-tip: To make it more special, gift the cocoa or tea, too!

12. Blanket

Blankets are the perfect way to send someone a hug. When they’re sitting down or getting ready to snuggle in for the night, you know they’ve got that wonderful memento from you keeping them warm. 

Pro-tip: if you buy one in a color that matches their décor, they’ll keep it out and ready to grab at a moment’s notice.

13. Spa gift basket

Bubbles, essential oils, face masks, and anything else you can think of will work perfectly in a spa gift basket for that loved one who needs more than a hug—they need a mini-vacation! 

Look for natural and hypoallergenic items just in case there’s any allergy.

Pro-tip: Lavender offers soothing scent sensations, so it works well to bring down those anxiety levels.

14. Framed “hug”

When you print out the word in a fancy font, paint it, or have the kids color in the word, you can frame your “Hug” and send it to anyone who needs to see your love daily. 

Pro-tip: Thrift stores make great places to find bargains on picture frames. With a bit of insight and maybe a new coat of paint, you can turn any drab frame into something your loved one will treasure.

How to Send a Sympathy Hug Virtually

Look for ways to send a virtual hug during a pandemic or any other time to someone you know who needs a reason to smile and know they’re loved.

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15. Songs

Did you know you can send songs to people? If your loved one lost someone close to them, like a partner or spouse, you could send the exact piece that’ll remind them of when they first met or their first dance. 

If you have a membership to one of the online music providers, consider making them a playlist to listen to on repeat as long as needed.

16. E-cards

There are lots of sites dedicated to sending e-cards to friends and loved ones. As long as you have a working email and a minute to fill one out, you can send as many and as often as you like.

Pro-tip: Cards from the heart go a long way, but everyone needs to laugh when times are tough, too.

17. Emojis or Bitmojis

Skip the emojis if you have an avatar Bitmoji set up. Just type in “hug” in the search bar and choose which virtual hug suits the situation best. 

If you don’t have one yet, download the APP store’s program to set up a Bitmoji that looks like your cartoon self.

18. Russel Stover virtual hug GIFs

The candy company developed an excellent way for you to send your loved one some GIFs! Presumably, they want you to stop and buy something while you’re there. But the GIFs are free of charge if you’re just logging on for the email attachment.

19. Rosalyn Carter Institute virtual hug

If there’s an exceptional caregiver in your life who needs a virtual hug, the Rosalyn Carter Institute will do just that for a small donation to their nonprofit. When you donate, you’ll be supporting caregiver advocacy, policy change, and more.

Caregivers lose patients and feel loss, too. So, don’t forget them when sending out meaningful words and hugs.

20. Pictures of photos, paintings, or drawings

If you’re not there to hang up your children’s artwork on someone’s refrigerator, you can still get the kids together for a bit of an art session. After they’ve finished and everything’s cleaned up, then make a video call.

That’s when your children can showcase their artwork and communicate love with some of their favorite people. 

Pro-tip: After the phone call, take some snapshots of the kids holding their artwork and send them over. That way, the video chat’s memory will stay fresh in their minds.

21. Video message

Do you know how to make quick videos? If so, gather everyone up to send their love and sympathy. Put on a short play, let them repeat a poem or anything written from the heart, or anything else you can imagine. 

Then, cut, add some music, graphics, or anything else for a wonderful virtual hug.

Sending Hugs With Outstretched Arms

Sometimes it’s tough to be so far from the people you love, especially when they need a hug! Hopefully, you’ve gleaned a few ideas on how to support your friends and loved ones until you have a chance to meet face to face again.

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