What to buy instead of flowers?


Alternative Memorial and Bereavement Gifts


Jonny’s Story (Chelmsford, Essex)

“When I lost my Nana Joyce, I wanted to celebrate her life in a unique way. My Nan was a beautiful person inside and out. In fact, during the 1950s, a beautiful portrait of her could be seen in the photographer’s window in Southport.

I took this lovely photograph to Picture Proud who placed it on one side of a beautiful wooden heart. On the other side we added a picture of Joyce in her later years, the Nan we all knew and loved. Whilst sorting through her possessions,

My father found a poem which she had saved, which was obviously a message to her loved ones for after she passed away. The poem read

‘Be still – close your eyes. Breathe. Listen for my footfall in your heart. I am not gone but merely walk in you!’

Picture Proud was able to add her actual handwriting of this to the heart also. To finish the keepsake heart, we chose a ribbon of yellow reflecting the daffodils of her Welsh family. After the funeral, I presented each member of our family with one of these stunning wooden hearts. Every person was moved emotionally by such a beautiful reminder of a wonderful person.

Picture Proud also created a magnificent memory box which I presented to my Dad, Joyce’s eldest son. The box lid shows a montage of pictures from Joyce’s happy life from childhood to old age. I had the poem that was put on the heart repeated on the inside lid. For my father, it’s an object for reflection, a place to keep all of her precious memories inside, safe and forever, and most importantly, it’s a place to go to for quiet remembrance of a lovely person, dearly missed but never forgotten.”

Losing a loved one or friend can be devastating and people often struggle with the right way to share sympathy or to comfort those in mourning. The traditional method of acknowledging the passing is to send flowers and cards, lovely gestures that show the family are in their thoughts.

But because flowers don’t last, and sometimes there are just too many flowers to do anything with, families often request donations to a favourite charity or other alternative methods of remembering the departed loved one.

Are you looking for a tasteful gift to give to a friend who has lost someone?

You may want to check first with the family or funeral home if a preference has been chosen, such as a favourite charity.

If not, consider a personalised gift from Picture Proud. Gifts such as a personalised Hanging Heart or a Memory Box are thoughtful, sensitive ways to offer sympathy and love at such a difficult time.

Ruth and her Picture Proud team have years of experience in advising on the right type of gifts for all occasions based on your needs, as well as the perfect images and wording. Or, if you have something specific already in mind, they are very happy to work with your ideas.

Hanging Heart

As you have read in Jonny’s story, Jonny chose a favourite image of his Nana Joyce for the personalised Hanging Heart, and added an uplifting quote of hers on the back. He bought a heart for every family member at the wake and they were so touched by the unexpected gift. Several friends of Joyce’s saw the heart and wanted one for themselves and have since placed orders for more copies.


Picture Proud helped design this Hanging Heart for a family that had tragically recently lost their son to cancer. They wanted to use their last family photo and we worked with them to find the perfect words to place on the heart. It is a treasured memento of happy times with their loving, funny, kind son.
Personalised Hanging Hearts can portray images, words or a combination of both. Whatever colours, design or look you would like, Picture Proud can help you create a wonderful, unique memento. This example shows how effective words alone can be if obtaining a photo is difficult.
Bereavement Hearts no photos

For more information on Personalised Heart products, please Click Here

Memory Boxes

Memory-box-in-hall-wayA personalised Memory Box is the perfect gift for a relative who would like somewhere safe to store personal mementos of a loved one.

Picture Proud helped Jonny to design this Memory Box, which he gave to his father the night before his Nana’s funeral. It now holds a collection of items that remind him of happy memories from his mother’s life, and as you can see in the picture, it has pride of place in his hallway.

For more information on Memory Boxes, please view our product range here, and for Hanging Hearts, please see our range here.

You may not need us right now but Picture Proud hopes these ideas provide inspiration in what is a sad time. If you would like to discuss options for Hanging Hearts or Memory Boxes, please contact Ruth @ info@pictureproud.co.uk or +44 (0) 1245 360317

Buy from our collection of Bereavement Gifts in either May or June 2015 and 5% will be donated to our chosen charity Cancer Research. Let’s Beat Cancer! If you would like to donate to Cancer Research, please click here:


Memory box image