When a woman loses her husband, she often feels she has died, too. Friends who offered support go back to their own busy lives after the funeral, leaving the widow alone just as she begins to face the reality of her new life. A thoughtful gift basket, assembled with your friend's needs and tastes in mind, shows that she can count on your ongoing support.
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Baskets That Hold Memories
People often avoid mentioning the husband who has passed away for fear of upsetting his widow, but the opposite is most often true. Your friend needs to talk about her husband and to know his life mattered to others. A memory basket gives her a collection of stories she can read over and over. Ask friends and relatives to write out their favorite memories and put them together with photos in a small scrapbook. Include a journal and encourage your friend to record her feelings. Packets of flavored coffees, teas and hot chocolate make good fillers to round out the basket.
Bunches of Fun Invitations
Fill a basket with small gifts that symbolize invitations for special outings. A packet of microwave popcorn can represent a night at the movies; a box of Monet note cards means a trip to the art museum; fortune cookies promise dinner at her favorite Chinese restaurant. Remember to plan something for the most difficult days in the year ahead: the couple's wedding anniversary, the husband's birthday and the anniversary of his death.
The Gift of Time
Create a basket organized around a decorative clock to represent your gift of time. Include a weekly planner calendar for marking dates your friend can count on your help with any project. For example, many widows dread giving away clothing and other items that belonged to their spouse and find the job much easier with emotional support. Others appreciate not having to worry about outdoor chores in the year after the death. Find out how you can help and make a commitment. Of course, a clock and a weekly planner won't fill the basket, so add lots of chocolate coin candy. Time is money, after all.
After a Death, New Life
The hope of new life can help a widow move through the grieving process. Create a basket filled with seeds for indoor plants, a catalog for new garden plantings and a gift certificate from the local nursery. But not all growth is green. A book written especially for widows may provide advice and comfort when friends cannot.
Pampering Soothes the Soul
A death leaves survivors emotionally and physically drained, yet widows often feel the need to put on a strong front for friends and relatives. All the more reason to assemble a basket to pamper your friend. Buy certificates for massages, manicures and pedicures and surround them with a variety of nail polishes, body creams and shower gels. Fill the remaining space to overflowing with the most decadent chocolate you can find.