Do you know someone who is on a path of self-discovery? It can be a beautiful process that helps people get to know themselves better, gain empathy, and gain a better understanding of the world around them. This desire to self reflect may stem anytime, but it is not uncommon for the experience of grief or loss to be a turning point.
For those who are grieving a loved one, it is common to reflect on the past and shared history. Perhaps thinking of them reminds them of a shared hobby, a place they traveled together, or a goal they set together. Many times people choose to go on a path of self discovery of these shared memories in efforts to feel close to their deceased loved one.
For those who had a complicated relationship with the person who has passed away, the process of grief can be even more complicated. As Brittany Wong writes, “when the person who died is someone you had conflicted feelings about ― say, a toxic parent, or an ex-spouse with whom you begrudgingly co-parented for years ― it’s easy to feel like you’re doing it wrong.” A season of self reflection can be particularly helpful for people who experienced trauma or abuse from the person who has passed away. Giving yourself compassion, slowing down, journaling, and looking for closure are helpful tools.
“It’s important to find a way to tap into your feelings and thoughts, whether it’s talking to a therapist, talking to a close friend, expressing it through a beloved creative hobby, or journaling."
If you are supporting a friend we have a few gift ideas to aid them on their quest for self-discovery. Here are a few great reflection gift ideas to get you started.
We love the idea of gifting your friend a necklace with their initials to remind them to believe in themselves. There are so many gorgeous shops that offer initial necklaces, but I’m really partial to a simple initial necklace. My favorite option is this by Gorjana!
We also love the idea of sending birth flower jewelry. So many times the experience of self reflection after loss includes spending time trying to feel close to the loved one you have lost. If your friend is feeling this way, a piece of birth flower jewelry with their loved one’s birth month flower on it can feel so special! We have a really beautiful Birth Flower necklace that can also be personalized with a loved one’s name on it. It is a gorgeous gift for anyone who is grieving.
If none of the options above sound quite right for your friend, there are so many creative shops that can create a custom piece of jewelry with special meaning. Our product specialist can engrave almost anything on a piece of remembrance jewelry. If this is of interest to you, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will work with you to design a custom piece just for them with lots of meaning.
Reading Materials from the Heart
It is very common for people to struggle to stay focused on activities like reading after they lose a loved one. But, if your friend gets to a place where they are ready to go on a self discovery journey, there are some amazing and supportive self discovery books if they are needing to do some healing. We love “It’s Ok that You’re Not Ok: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture that Doesn’t Understand” by Megan Devine.
If your friend is traveling in order to feel close to their loved one, it is a thoughtful gift to send them a travel guide. It can help them make a special connection to the person they lost!
You can also send them a book about a topic they have shown interest in. This can be something related to their process of grief, a new hobby they have wanted to pick up, or an interest in a subject or piece of fiction. It is a simple act that shows you care and that you are listening to what they are learning.
Memory Keeping Gifts
You can also give gifts that help them reflect on memories they have of their loved one. Great ideas for this include a self discovery journal engraved with a special phrase that would have meaning for them.
You can also gift a photo album full of memories. We love the albums available at Shutterfly or Chatbooks. Both are super easy to use and can be customized with photos from their loved one’s life. If you do not have photos of their loved one, you can also send them a gift card to Shutterfly or Chatbooks so they can build their own photo album.
Go on a Trip with Them or Take them on an Outdoor Adventure
You can also help encourage them to take a trip to help center themselves. The trip does not have to be elaborate – even a weekend away camping or a day in nature can help them to reflect and meditate. A day of hiking or a visit to a state or national park nearby can be so rejuvenating for their hearts. Or, if they are planning a larger trip, you can help support them to enjoy an experience, contribute towards airline tickets, or towards a night in a hotel.
We hope this list is helpful as you work to support a friend on their path of self-discovery!