Sadly, many people get faced with the question of what to give a terminally-ill loved one during holiday celebrations, especially when the act of giving feels trivial and meaningless.
Reality often strikes at these stressful moments when no online store or shopping mall is selling what you wish you could give your loved one: a miracle.
Thankfully, others who have braved this task offer compassionate and insightful ideas to help alleviate the anxiety associated in these gifting situations.
Aside from the ultimate gift of love, care, and support that friends and family generously offer, perhaps you’ll consider one of the following suggestions.
An Everlasting Gift
You can reach for the stars and give your loved one a gift that shines for eternity by naming a star in their honor.
Once you name the star, it gets recorded, and you get a certificate to present to the honoree along with an optional silver ornament or necklace engraved with the star’s name and coordinates.
Star-naming services offer gift packets as well that enable your loved one to name their star.
Cherish their Memories
Create a memory box in which family and friends contribute short written notes inscribed with memories made with your loved one.
Some attach small, symbolic tokens to represent each noted memory.
You can also include cards and letters from friends and family, all recounting how your loved one touched their lives.
Record Their Knowledge
Family and friends who enjoy writing can present a special journal in which the recipient can jot down feelings, memories, frustrations, and general advice on life.
Pre-printed books provide questions in multiple categories that your loved one can use as prompts to recall specific events they may have forgotten.
Depending on the recipient’s personality, they might create a fictional, lighthearted biography or a factual account of their life.
Portrait quilts and friendship memories quilts serve two purposes. While keeping your loved one warm, custom quilts also keep family and friends close by.
Crafty folks can design a blanket, which a group can sew; others might prefer to hire a custom quilt designer to handle the task.
Encourage your loved one to leave a video legacy so that after they’ve died, they can still visit with friends and family. Several organizations offer professional services for creating a living video legacy or family history.
While this may seem more like a gift that someone is leaving you, you are giving the gift of freedom for someone to acknowledge their terminal state and interact with each one of you in terms meaningful to them.
A self-care package full of your loved one’s favorite potions and lotions, special soaps and anything that soothes them is often a welcome gift. Include coupons for a free massage or another form of therapy along with their favorite, hard-to-find delicacies.
Heirloom Memory Book
Professionally printed family photo books with pictures, funny memories, and quotable family sayings are a perfect gift for putting all of those memories in hard-copy form to pass down through the generations.
Record-able books are also popular for parents and grandparents who are terminally ill and worry whether their progeny will remember them.
Depending upon the spiritual beliefs of your loved one, wrap up a beautiful figurine, pendant, or pin to remind them that guardian angels are watching over them in the spirit realm. Help lighten their burdens and fears with books that narrate angel stories offering hope in the hereafter.
Remember Them During the Holidays
Finally, keep traditions going by organizing gatherings your loved one can still feel a part of.
Make a date with them to sign and mail greeting cards, help them make out their holiday list and offer to shop for them.
Invite friends and family over to bake cookies, wrap gifts, and trim the tree as you enjoy favorite holiday music together.