Personalized Gifts

Pet Dog Memorial Photo Plaques and Keepsakes

Wooden Dog Photo Memorial Custom Text Keepsake Box
As an animal lover and pet homer (3 cats, a rabbit and a dog presently) I have had to say goodbye to a few four pawed furry family members over the years.

Note that I said 'pet homer' and not pet 'owner'. We don't 'own' pets, I believe they choose us via mysterious never to be understood means and come into our lives during times of great need. This is certainly the case for those animals that share your home and for whom you form a deep attachment.

Wooden Dog Photo Memorial Custom Text Keepsake Box

Pet Memorial Photo Fleece Comfort Grieving Blanket

My biggest loss in recent years was my beloved black Labrador Fred. I recently had a fleece blanket made with a paw print pattern and his photo along with a few words to act as a keepsake that I can seek comfort from.

Being a tactile item I can look at it and wrap myself in it when remembering how Fred and I would 'spoon' on the sofa. He was such a lovely big old boy, I'd lie behind him and together the two of us stretched out full length would just about fit.

I have also kept a lock of his fur which I may sew into the corner of the blanket.

I don't think it's morbid to remember ones family dogs this way, we must each do what we feel is neccessary to bring comfort. My surrounding myself with more pets is a wonderful distraction but not a replacement for my dear Fred. We can no more replace family pets than we can people.

Dog Memorial PHOTO Plaque Add Verse Poem Name DateWith this is mind I have been busy today designing simple yet sympathetic dog memorial keepsakes which include photo plaques, keepsake boxes, mugs and more.

Dog Memorial PHOTO Keepsake Gift - Add Text Coffee Mug
The memorial keepsakes allow you to add a a photo of your family dog, their name, dates of birth and death along with other verse, quote details as desired. Have a look and drop me a line if you require any assistance or a different pet, animal theme.

Dog Memorial PHOTO Keepsake Gift - Add Text Coffee Mug

When a loved one dies ...time doesn't heal - what to say and what not to say to the grieving

When a loved one dies the pain of the loss and the ongoing absence can be unbearaby painful and nothing (not even the passage of time) can ease it. One just learns to live with it. One wraps the grief up and places it to the side while the challenges of life are met. But it's always there, visible out the corner of an eye.

And when the moment is right, when you can focus entirely on your grief you gently unwrap it and begin again, living the grief and the sadness, embracing the emotions and allowing the tears to flow. This in itself is a tribute to the person who has passed over.

It is ok to grieve and to remember and to miss the person you've lost. Time doesn't heal, you don't have to 'get over it' and you can talk of the person and the memories and share pictures of the person / people you have sadly had to say goodbye to on this plane of existence. Missing someone is loving them still and it is entirely normal. Losing people we love is also saldy normal and hence why we do learn to live with loss.
Catholic Celebration of Life Keepsakes
I have created ( as have many others) some celebration of life, tribute and memorial gifts that you can add photos and text and special messages to. They can be gifted to the family, friends, loving partners of those who have passed or to yourself as a treasured keepsake.

Among them are memorial boxes where you can store a few small momentos, photos of his or her life as shared with you or them. Plaques with photos and a personalized verse, row of scripture. Wall art and other decorative items which serve as an instrument to keep the memory alive and to show respect for the deceased.

If you're gifting someone a sympathy card or a celebration of life gift, there are things that are helpful to say and things that aren't.

Catholic Celebration of Life Keepsakes

What to say and what NOT to say when sending a sympathy card

Celebration of Life Purple Bloom Guest Books
Finding words for sad occasions isn't easy and sometimes we get it wrong. Below are suggestions as to how to word messages of sympathy so as to comfort and not offend, phrases to avoid and verses to include in cards of condolence. Also featured is a range of cards and memorial gifts that include words of sympathy and condolence that you can further personalize to ensure your genuine sadness at the loss of the deceased is conveyed.

Words of Sympathy and Comfort for the Loss of a Mother or Father

Express Your Condolences for the loss of Mother, Father or other with words that express your sincere sadness for their loss and that you are thinking of them.

"I am so sorry for your loss, losing a mother / father is one of the worst things to bear, my thoughts and prayers are with you." 

 Ensure you use their name too. Names can feel uncomfortable to say when the person is deceased but it's very important to use them. Don't be afraid to do so. Show that you sincerely care and are willing to help.

Prayer Cards 

Prayer Cards - Business Card Sized
"I am here as your friend (neighbor, family) to support you and help you in any way you need during this difficult time. If you need anything just ask. I am also here to just listen if you want to talk, cry or just to have some company." 

Share a fond memory, something you can reminisce together about and cherish. Also try to remember anniversaries of death and living moments of the deceased as the grieving person will do and will require extra support during those times.

Words of Sympathy - TIPS

Send the card as soon as you hear about the death.

It is never too late, so even if the funeral has passed and you came across the news late you can still send a card. Choose a simple card and handwrite the message as it is more personal. Use the person who is deceased's name. Offer condolences, and if appropriate a sincere and specific offer of help. Do not make promises you won't or can't keep.

If you knew the deceased well then you can share a memory or focus on their good qualities. If you didn't know them well then focus on your friend who has suffered the loss.

Photo Card Sympathy Thanks 

"I am sorry to hear that your mother / father has passed away. I remember them with fondness and treasure the memories I have." 

"I can't imagine what you are going through but I want you to know that your mother / father was very special and made a difference in many lives. They will be sadly missed. I know it is little comfort that their suffering is now over and that they are at peace. You will miss them dearly as do we." 

"I was so sad to hear your news. I know that there are no words that can take away the pain but if I can help in any way, shopping, a meal, cleaning let me know. Myself and my family are here for you." 

" I am sorry to hear your tragic news. It came as such a shock, you must be devastated. We are all thinking of you and while I sadly can't make the funeral I will be there with you in spirit and I will be around afterwards to meet up to share fond memories and catch up. "

Sympathy Phrases to Avoid

Memorial Photo Cards and Keepsakes - Mother/Father
  • "I know how you feel" 
  • Time heals" 
  • "They are in a better place now." 
  • "You'll soon get over it, you're strong." 
  • "They lived a long time, it was their time to go" 
  • "It will be alright, you'll meet someone else." 
  • "You were blessed to know them, be thankful" 
  • "You have your whole life ahead of you." 
  • "Life goes on." 
  • "Oh well at least you weren't that close!" 
  • "It's not like losing a child or a parent" 
  • "My mate Sandra just lost her dad it was awful"

Yes, you and I have all used some variation of the above in the past and we did so with the very best of intentions. And that's what we need to remember when we might be on the receiving end of these comments.

It is just the case that people do not want their sadness and sorrow to be made to be smaller, less important or less impacting while in their moment of grief, which after all can last a lifetime. How we manage our lives after the loss of a loved one doesn't mean we grieve for them any less on any single day.

We just don't show it, or have a way of shielding others from it. And most importantly we do not want to get over it, forget about it. We want that person remembered and treasured as much in death as in life.
Personalized Photo Frame Funeral Collection

Comforting Lines and Verses

“Parents hold their children’s hands for just a little while .. their hearts forever.” Author Unknown

"Although it's difficult today to see beyond the sorrow, May looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow. Hold tight to memories for comfort, Lean on your friends for strength, And always remember how much you are cared about." Author Unknown

"Our love will be deeper, our life will be fuller because we shared your moment.” Author Unknown
"Friends are the pillars on your porch. Sometimes they hold you up, sometimes they lean on you, and sometimes it’s just enough to know that they are standing by." Author Unknown 

"Those who loved can truly tell, the heartache of parting without farewell." Author Unknown 

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal." Author Unknown

"May the peace which comes from the memories of love shared, comfort you now and in the days ahead." Author Unknown 

"They say love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies." William Penn 

"You don’t get over it, you just get through it. Your don’t get by it, because you can’t get around it. It doesn’t ‘get better’; it just gets different. Everyday… Grief puts on a new face…." Wendy Feireisen

"Those we love don't go away, They walk beside us every day, Unseen, unheard, but always near, Still loved, still missed and very dear." Author Unknown 

Religious Funeral Thank You Cards

"When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure." Author Unknown 

"I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love." Leo Buscaglia 

"May the stars carry your sadness away, May the flowers fill your heart with beauty, May hope forever wipe away your tears, And, above all, may silence make you strong." Chief Dan George 


Edit: I wrote this article a long time ago now and I've updated it recently with fresh information. What to say to someone recently bereaved can be difficult. We want to say the right thing, but it doesn't always work out that way. I'm one of the well-meaning who has got it wrong, and I'm sure at some point you have been that person too. There are some very common phrases that we use that are best not used which I've detailed here with some alternative messages of sympathy that in some small way will show the bereaved that you are sincere and understand their pain. Please do contribute here or on the blog with your suggestions for 'what to say' and stories of when you or someone else has got it wrong or right! #funeral #memorial #celebrationoflife 


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