SEPTEMBER 2011 IssueVol 3, Issue 3


I Did Not Know 

What To Say  




WELCOME EVERYONE!  We are honored to have you be a part of our online community. 


Featured Article...How to Choose a Thoughtful Sympathy Gift. Finding the perfect sympathy gift to express your deep concern is not always easy. This month we will explore what to think about when choosing a sympathy gift.

Do you have a favorite sympathy gift that you have given or received? We would love to hear from you. Email us your thoughtful sympathy gift ideas and we will add your suggestions to our website.


Virtual Book Tour...Be sure to check-out our Virtual Book Tour featuring interviews with authors that have written inspirational books on grief and the healing process.


Do you have a story you would like to share?  We invite you to submit your inspirational stories, letters that have reached your heart, a favorite quote or poem, an unforgettable outing, or a book that touched your life.  We would love to hear from you.  


With Love and Gratitude,




Happy New Year - Happy Rosh Hashanah 

 May your New Year be filled with happiness & good health!

"May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year"
(L'shanah tovah tikatev v'taihatem)

In This Issue
Featured Article
Thoughtful Sympathy Gifts
Virtual Book Tour
Discussion Topics
Quick Links

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Featured Article of the Month

featureHow to Choose a Thoughtful Sympathy Gift


ornamentThe grieving process can be as unique as ones finger print. Each person brings to the journey their individual personality, their connection with the person that passed away, their religious/spiritual beliefs, their feelings about death, and their life experiences. When it comes to choosing a thoughtful sympathy gift one size does not fit all.


Finding the perfect sympathy gift to express your deep concern and provide the recipient with a lasting gift that honors the memory of their loved one, is not an easy task but not an impossible one.


As you consider what might be an appropriate sympathy gift for your loved one, here are a few things to consider:  

  1. What are their religious beliefs? If they are religious, take a few minutes to consider the customs and norms of their religion. Some religions have specific beliefs about giving gifts after the death of a loved one. If they are not religious, be sure to stay away from religious gifts that may offend them. Remember, this is a time to be supportive, not a time to push your own belief system.

    Gift Idea: I received a beautiful Angel with a candle that includes Psalm 27: 1 - The Lord is My Light and Salvation. This Angel sits next to my bed and I am reminded that through lives ups and downs I am not alone.
  2. What are the circumstances? The cause of death and the significance of the relationship between your friend and the deceased are important factors to consider when choosing a sympathy gift.

    Gift Idea: A friend that lost a pet may appreciate a stepping stone with the animal's name on it to place in their garden. A mother that is grieving the loss of her child may welcome a thoughtful journal and a personalized memory box with the child's name inscribed. Sending flowers and being a good listener to a husband whose wife has been murdered may be the best way to offer your support.  

  3. What is their age? A grandmother may want a different type of gift than a friend in her twenties.

    Gift Idea: When my mother passed away a good friend of mind gave me a Calvin & Hobbs cartoon book. Life was so heavy at the time that having something that made me laugh was just what I needed. I was 25 when my passed away and for me it was the perfect gift.
  4. What is their gender? Gender plays a big part in the type of gift that is appropriate. A male friend may enjoy a round of golf with you much more than a candle or a piece of jewelry.
  5. What do they enjoy? Try to find activities that bring them joy and help them reconnect with life. A relaxing day at a spa, an enjoyable afternoon at a baseball game, or a nice afternoon tea, are just a few gifts that you can share with your lovedgift box one.

    Gift Idea: A few weeks after my mom passed away, my friends took me on a trip to Disneyland. What a wonderful gift this was to help bring joy back into my life.
  6. Do they have any allergies or food restrictions? When choosing a food gift basket or if bringing food to the family, be sure to check to see if they have any food allergies or are on a restrictive diet. You don't want to buy a bottle of wine for someone that does not drink. Or bring peanut butter cookies to someone that is allergic to peanuts.

    Gift Idea: Don't have time to cook, Sympathy Food can provide a complete nutritious meal to a grieving family.
  7. Do they have pictures in their home or scrapbooks? If your friend enjoys displaying memories in their home, a personalized picture frame or a decorative scrapbook that they can keep mementos in may be an appreciate gift.
  8. What type book will reach them? If choosing a book, consider the stage of grief your friend is in. The first few months after a loss can be extremely difficult and it may be difficult to concentrate.   Books that are easy to digest and provide coping skills by people in similar situations may be best.

    Gift Idea: I received a very meaningful, yet simple book after my mother passed called "How to Survive the Loss of a Love". 
  9. Think outside the box. Gifts don't need to be traditional; they can be as unique as your imagination.

    Gift Idea: When my friend Dan passed away I could not afford the last minute airfare to attend the funeral. A friend of mind paid for my ticket using his frequent flyer miles.
  10. Offer your support. Some people don't need or want trinkets, books or movies; they just want a friend that will be there with a listening ear, a hug, and a warm heart.

Buying a special gift basket, inspirational book, customized picture frame, memorial ornament, or sending flowers to a grieving loved one can brighten their day and lift their spirits during a difficult time.


For more Thoughtful Gift ideas, visit our website at







2011 Lori Pederson
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Lori Pederson, Founder of I Did Not Know What To Say, a website created to inspire and to provide you with tools to assist a love one through the grieving process. If you would like our free newsletter on how to assist your friends and family members through the journey of restoring balance in their life after the death of a love one, please visit our website at

Thoughtful Sympathy Gift Ideas

Sympathy Gifts

Why Sympathy Food?
Why not send a more useful, heartfelt gift. Now, with the help of™ you can show them how much you truly care by sending our already prepared meals that are ready in minutes. 

Our Special Interview with Sympathy Food 


  Visit our Thoughtful Sympathy Gifts page for a wide variety of sympathy gift ideas for your loved ones.  We hope the thoughtful gifts listed on our website inspire you to give warmth and joy to your friends and family in their time of need.

VirtualVirtual Book Tour & Interviews

We invite you to explore our Virtual Book Tour and Interviews with tips on how to assist a grieving loved one.

If you are an author or an expert in the grief recovery field and would like to be interviewed, please contact us at

To order these books and preview other inspirational books, be sure to visit our Helpful Books page.


Discussion Topics

We invite you to join our on-going discussions on our Facebook page.  Not on Facebook?  We have also posted our discussion topics on our Blog.  Current topics include: 
About I Did Not Know What To & Lori Pederson
LoriLori Pederson created I Did Not Know What To Say in April 2009 as a platform to inspire and provide resources to people that wanted to help their friends and family through the grieving process. 
Lori's expertise comes from those experiences that only life can provide.  Over the past twenty years, Lori has lost many family members, including her mother to ovarian cancer, as well as many friends, colleagues and pets.  She is no stranger to loss and the grieving process.
Throughout her life she has been blessed with many friends and relatives that were there for her as she experienced these great losses. She understands that although people want to help, they often don't know where to start.  I Did Not Know What To was created out of Lori's desire to assist people find the words when they don't know what to say or do.
You can learn more about Lori and her organization by visiting, reading her personal Blog or contacting her at:
Lori Pederson

Each week we will be adding new inspirational stories and resources to our website and Blog.  Help us reach our goal of providing inspiration and insight to the world by sharing your story or resource with our online community.  We would love to hear from you! 

Share Your Story. Please email us your inspirational stories, letters/cards that have reached your heart, a favorite quote, an unforgettable adventure, a thoughtful gift idea, a book that touched your life, or a suggestion for our website or newsletter to 

If you are an author or expert in the field of grief recovery, we would love to interview you for our Blog and/or one of our upcoming newsletters.

If you have a website, Blog or newsletter, we ask that you consider including our information on your site.  Here is the link:   

I Did Not Know What To Say is a website created to inspire and provide you with tools to assist a love one through the grieving process.

With Love & Gratitude,


Founder, I Did Not Know What To Say

Copyright 2011' I Did Not Know What To Say(TM) Newsletter.  All Rights Reserved.