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Suggestions please

(38 Posts)
SueH49 Tue 03-Sep-19 06:15:59

Hello Everyone,

Firstly, let me say I live in Australia.

Sadly on Sunday a very close friend who lives in England passed away. She is survived by her husband who I have met a few times and I stayed with them for a week when I visited a few years ago. She also had a daughter that I have met a couple of times but do not know her well. However both kept me in the loop when my friend was unable to communicate with me - we (my friend and I) had spoken weekly or so for many years up until a couple of months ago. The daughter messaged me to say the end was near and then again within a couple of hours of her Mum passing away to let me know. I would have been one of the first to know.

I'm considering flying over for the funeral but if that does not eventuate I would like to send something to each of her husband and daughter (daughter may be a problem as I don't have an address) but not flowers. Does anyone have any suggestions for something that may be appropriate? It would need to be ordered online and delivered from the UK rather than me buying here and posting. I'm happy to spend a reasonable amount - 50 - 100 pounds

Thanks in advance for any ideas.

crystaltipps Tue 03-Sep-19 06:35:00

Maybe there is a charity that they support which you could donate to in memory of your friend?

Jane10 Tue 03-Sep-19 06:56:31

What a nice friend you are. I know its a cliche but I don't think there's a substitute for a heartfelt letter. It's something lasting and can be looked at in years to come. I know I derive much pleasure and comfort from re reading letters sent after my Dad died.
You sound like you have many happy memories of your friend. How about sharing them with the bereaved family. Sounds like they've done well in keeping you up to date with everything. A sad time for you all.
Flowers are nice too of course. Send an arrangement to your friends home? Not for the funeral but just to brighten the place up. They're sure to have people dropping in.
Anyway, these are just my thoughts. Please accept my condolences on the loss if your old friend.

notnecessarilywiser Tue 03-Sep-19 07:35:36

I'm with Jane10 on this one - a letter to each of them with fond reminiscences about your dear friend would be unique and much appreciated.

If you don't go to the funeral you may be able to honour her memory in Australia. I'm thinking of the "light up a life" opportunities we have here where individual lights on a public/hospice Christmas tree can be dedicated to a loved one. There are similar schemes involving plants/floral displays in local parks, but you'll know what is available where you are.

Condolences to you on your loss.

Daisymae Tue 03-Sep-19 10:21:09

Woodland trust have a in memoriam section where you can buy a tree in a wood. A good legacy.

tiredoldwoman Tue 03-Sep-19 10:23:42

What about planting something that flowers just now in your own garden , so every year you can send them a letter and a photo of 'her' flowering plant ,on her anniversary ?

annep1 Tue 03-Sep-19 12:41:20

In Northern Ireland death notices are usually inserted in the local newspaper with a charity specified if that's the family's wish, and you can check online. I don't know if it's the same in England.
I think a letter sharing memories is a lovely idea which I know is always appreciated.
Condolences on losing your dear friend.

SueH49 Tue 03-Sep-19 12:47:13

Thanks for your suggestions. I will send a letter but I also like the idea of a tree in a wood and will look into that. A donation to a charity is also an option that I will look into more.

moggie57 Tue 03-Sep-19 12:47:14

maybe a commemorative candle or a rose bush/ for the garden. .or her favourite charity...prayers and blessings to you and your friend.

moggie57 Tue 03-Sep-19 12:50:35

what about planting something in your garden too. I cant think of the name but its Australian and got yellow flowers.. wonderful yellow flowers to brighten up a grey day..

CocoPops Wed 04-Sep-19 05:02:33

I like the idea of a shrub for daughter and husband to plant in their gardens. Perhaps they might like to buy a rose bush or a tree. You could buy UK vouchers online.

Granarchist Wed 04-Sep-19 09:55:56

have a look at the website '' It is a brilliant site founded by a cancer sufferer who was not allowed flowers while in hospital. The site has presents for all eventualities.

Elegran Wed 04-Sep-19 10:07:35

I have given a rose bush to someone whose husband hd passed away - it was called something like "happy memories" (sorry, I can't remember exactly what) She planted it in the garden and says she thinks of him every time it flowers. Perhaps you can find one with a name that recalls your friend?

maryhoffman37 Wed 04-Sep-19 10:12:32

Since you knew your friend for so long, could you make a photobook of your memories? Easily done online with Photobox. Or send a rosemary bush from an online fir (rosemary for remembrance). I'm sorry for your loss.

jaylucy Wed 04-Sep-19 10:22:01

The idea of a rose bush for their garden or sponsoring a tree is good, or did your friend support any particular charity that you could give a donation to ? Doesn't have to be one in the UK, you could give a donation to an equivalent one in Oz.
Even a nice photo frame or do you have something that your friend gave you that you could pass on to her daughter, along with the story behind it?
Please write a letter with stories and memories of your friend. Memories like this show a different side of the deceased person and can often raise a smile at such a very sad time.
I have had this happen to me twice the other way round when two very special friends passed away in Australia . I unfortunately was unable to go to either funeral (one of which was actually on my birthday) and so instead I just visited our local church for several minutes of quiet thoughts, as well as giving donations to charities that were suitable here in the UK

geekesse Wed 04-Sep-19 10:36:56

It would be nice to write them a letter each with some of your memories of her that relate to things they didn’t know. My Dad’s (Quaker) funeral was very special because friends and family shared aspects of my Dad that we didn’t see, and it left us as his kids with a richer understanding of who he was as a person. He was a miserable old sod for us in his declining years, yet many spoke of his warmth and his smile, which we never saw. His sisters and brother talked about his childhood and youth, and his Quaker friends spoke of his generosity and commitment - all things we never knew about. Your precious memories are a greater gift than anything else to a bereaved family.

Summerstorm Wed 04-Sep-19 10:38:09

Maybe inviting them over for a wee holiday with you. It sounds like your friend was ill for some time and maybe when things settle down a bit they would benefit from a break

janeainsworth Wed 04-Sep-19 10:46:49

I agree with jane10 that a letter from you will always be treasured.
If they have a suitable garden, a rose or tree would be appreciated too. I still have the rose that a friend gave me after my mother died more than 20 years ago, and I love to see it flowering every year.

David Austin Roses are based in the U.K. and you can order online. Their roses are lovely.

My condolences on the loss of your friend Sue. It sounds as though you had a very special friendship. thanks

GabriellaG54 Wed 04-Sep-19 10:58:15

Who would be paying the not insubstantial fares to Oz for a 'wee' holiday and think of the arrangements those people would have to make for their homes/gardens/pets to be looked after not to mention holiday insurance.
Not a good idea.

ReadyMeals Wed 04-Sep-19 11:12:09

Well if it's to be a gift for the bereaved rather than a tribute to the deceased, then it could be anything. Bottle of wine? Special chocolates? Photo frame? Silver trinket box with "Condolences for your loss 2019" inscribed inside the lid. All manner of things like this could remind them you cared for their feelings at this time.

mumofmadboys Wed 04-Sep-19 11:12:36

Would a nice photo frame for each of them to put a photo of your friend be an idea? Sorry for your loss

NannyG123 Wed 04-Sep-19 11:15:02

I would say a rose bush, someone got one for me after my mum died 23 yrs ago. And it's still going strong, and I always think of my mum when I'm pruning it etc.

Aepgirl Wed 04-Sep-19 11:36:21

So many funerals have the request ‘family flowers only. Donations to ...... charity’. I think you should gently enquire what is requested.

nettyandmasey Wed 04-Sep-19 11:45:14

You can get some rose bushes linked to a charity. For example my sister in law had a liver transplant last year so I found one linked to transplant foundation . Maybe there is one linked to your friends illness x

annifrance Wed 04-Sep-19 12:00:23

Maybe order an album on line and then send them photos and a journal of reminiscences.